Higher Education Statistics Collection (HESC)


Collection frequency


Latest data


Description of data source

The Higher Education Statistics Collection includes the Higher Education student data collection which encompasses enrolments, equivalent full-time student load (unit of study data) and completions. It includes all Higher Education Institutions that have been approved under the Higher Education Support Act 2003.


Disability refers to students who have indicated that they have a disability, impairment or long-term medical condition which may affect their studies.

Age groups

Age calculated at 31 December in the year prior to the reference year.


Sex is recorded as ‘Male’, ‘Female’ or ‘Intersex/indeterminate’.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status is voluntarily self-reported based on the ABS Indigenous Status Standard.1

Definition of CALD

A domestic student who arrived in Australia less than 10 years prior to the year in which the data were collected, and who comes from a home where a language other than English is spoken.

Geographic information

Data collected in the 2021 HESC are based on the 2016 Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).2

Remoteness is classified according to Accessibility and Remoteness Index of Australia.3


National, state and territory data are available.

Measures reported
  1. The ABS Indigenous Status Standard can be found at Indigenous Status Standard, 2014, Version 1.5 | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au).
  2. The ASGS can be found at Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au).
  3. Further information on the geographic standard used by this data source can be found at Remoteness Structure | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au).
  4. The data collection method for Higher Education student data changed in 2020, including changes to detailed disability categories.