LSAY Publications

The impact of schools on young people's transition to university



Research report no.61
Title:The impact of schools on young people's transition to university
Authors:Sinan Gemici, Patrick Lim, Tom Karmel
Publication date: 4 April 2013
ISBN:978 1 922056 24 5

This report uses Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) data to look at the impact of schools on a student’s tertiary entrance rank (TER) and the probability of them going to university (controlling for TER). It shows that the characteristics of schools do matter: although young people’s individual characteristics are the main drivers of success, school attributes are also responsible for almost 20% of the variation in TER scores. The three most important school attributes for TER include sector (Catholic and independent/ government); gender mix (single sex/co-educational) and the extent to which a school is ‘academic’. The socioeconomic status of schools didn’t emerge as a significant influence on TER. For the probability of going to university, after controlling for TER, the most significant school characteristics include the proportion on non-English speaking background students; the sector; and the socioeconomic make-up of the student body.

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