Daily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by Daniel Edwards, Research Director, Australian Council for Educational Research

Australia spent A$111.8 billion on education in 2015, the most recent year for which the full dataset for all levels of education spending is available. A report from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) released today shows this was an increase of nearly 80% from 2000 spending.

The federal government contributed A$47.2 billion (42%) of the overall funding. State, territory and local governments spent A$39.1 billion (35%). A further A$25.5 billion (23%) came from private sources.

The ACER report is the first to capture data on education spending at all levels of education – from early childhood to higher education – from all funding sources.

The analysis separates funding into three sources: federal government; state, territory and local governments; and private sources (the latter includes contributions by students in the form of fees, as well as contributions by private businesses and non-profit organisations).

The report also organises spending by education sector and levels, as defined in Australia.

Spending by education level

Education funding goes through a range of transfers between the three sources. At different points in the funding cycle, the contributions by government sources are transferred to other funding sources.

Read more: Explaining Australia's school funding debate: what's at stake

For instance, the federal government transferred A$14 billion of its initial education funding to private sources in 2015, mainly in the form of student loans. It transferred a further A$17.7 billion to state, territory and local governments which then fund schools and other areas of education.

how much Australia spends on all levels of education The final distribution of national education spending, after the transfers, was A$15.5 billion (14%) from the federal government, A$55.4 billion (49%) from state, territory and local governments and A$40.9 billion (37%) from private sources. The bulk of Australia’s education spending is directed to three levels of education: primary schools (27%), secondary schools (28%) and higher education (26%). The remaining 19% is spread between early childhood education, preschool, vocational education and training (VET) certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas. Spending as a percentage of GDP In 2015, Australia spent A$102.4 billion on primary school and above. In real terms this spending has grown substantially since the beginning of the century and faster than student numbers. While spending on education increased by 79% between 2000 and 2015, the number of students in the Australian education system increased by only 22%. As a result, education spending per student (primary and above) increased by 46% over this period. Read more: Yes, education funding has increased – but not everyone benefits Australia’s spending on education as a proportion of GDP has also increased, from 5.1% in 2000 to 5.9% in 2015. This increase has largely been driven by private sources of funding, rather than government funds, indicating an increasing willingness by people to invest in their own (or their children’s) education. The share of private spending on education (primary and above) after transfers increased from 26% of total education spending in 2000 to 34% in 2015. The fastest period of growth in private spending has been since 2012. This coincided with the introduction of the higher education sector’s demand-driven funding arrangements (where universities didn’t have a cap on the number of bachelor degree students they could take). But it’s important to remember the government allocates a significant amount of its initial funding (before transfers) to student loans. Spending as a percentage of total government spending Government spending on education before transfers increased by 67% in real terms between 2000 and 2015. At the same time, total government spending rose by 65%. So, government spending on education before transfers, as a percentage of total government spending, was 1% higher in 2015 than in 2000. It peaked in 2010 due to the global financial crisis stimulus spending and fell in the interim. Australia’s government spends a relatively large proportion of its budget on education compared to other OECD countries. In total, government spending on education is 13.5%, which ranks Australia ninth of the 39 countries in the OECD reporting. But Australia’s total government spending for all services (including health, education, social protection, defence, public order and safety) is relatively low. Read more: FactCheck: is Australia below the international average when it comes to school funding? ACER’s analysis is drawn from annual expenditure data the Australian Government Department of Education submits for the joint UNESCO Institute for Statistics, OECD and Eurostat (UOE) data collection on education statistics – which the OECD releases as the Education at a Glance publication. The Education at a Glance reports are good for obtaining a snapshot of Australian education spending in relation to other OECD countries. But until now the data have not been organised in a useful way for further examining the Australian context. To fully appreciate the nuances of the data, we need increased expertise in the economics of education in Australia. More emphasis on this would enable long-term forecasting of the policy implications of Australia’s investment in education and would offer an additional objective voice at the education policy table.

Authors: Daniel Edwards, Research Director, Australian Council for Educational Research

Read more http://theconversation.com/three-charts-on-how-much-australia-spends-on-all-levels-of-education-120076

Writers Wanted

Why this Queensland election is different — states are back at the forefront of political attention


Cervical, breast, heart, bowel: here’s what women should be getting screened regularly


Will I or won't I? Scientists still haven't figured out free will, but they're having fun trying


The Conversation


Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Scott Morrison: the right man at the right time

Australia is not at war with another nation or ideology in August 2020 but the nation is in conflict. There are serious threats from China and there are many challenges flowing from the pandemic tha...

Greg Rogers - avatar Greg Rogers

Business News

AppDynamics Solves Visibility Gap Between Traditional Infrastructure and Cloud Environments

New Full Stack Observability Platform, Integration With Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer and Cloud Native Visualisation Features Provide Cross Domain Insights and Analytics of Business Perfor...

Hotwire Global - avatar Hotwire Global

Why Your Small Business Should Bulk Buy Hand Sanitiser

As a small business owner, employee and customer safety is at the very top of your priority list. From risk assessments to health and safety officers, appropriate signage and proper briefing...

News Co - avatar News Co

How Phone Number Search In Sydney Can Help Your Business

To run a successful business, keeping track of your company and competitors are the major factors. With a lot of tools, available businesses have options to stay current. One way in which busine...

News Co - avatar News Co

News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion