Equity Indicators: Measures of Socio-Economic Status at Victoria University

Sinclair, Genevieve, Doughney, James and Palermo, Josephine (2001) Equity Indicators: Measures of Socio-Economic Status at Victoria University. Working Paper. Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.


After reviewing relevant literature on socio-economic status (SES) and the ways in which it is used for higher education institutional research and policy, a detailed data analysis of Victoria University student data was undertaken. Between 10,000 and 15,000 domestic student addresses were 'geocoded' to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) collection district level. A survey of individual re-enrolling 2001 students that included Western-DETYA (Department of Employment, Training & Youth Affairs) parental occupation and education data was analysed also. The most important findings were: (1) The debate for practical reasons tends to focus on area versus individual measures, but SES is a richer and more complex subject and must be acknowledged as such. (2) It is apparent that VU's student catchment is on average of lower SES than the Melbourne average, using various area measures of SES, including the DETYA-Martin indicators. (3) There is only a very small difference between average area SES measures at the collection district and the postcode level. In practical terms this means that the postcode method is adequate, as well as being cheaper and more efficiently obtained, for analyses at an aggregated (or average) level. (4) Individual surveys of students do not prima facie add to the quality of aggregated institution level SES results delivered by area analyses. This again suggests that the postcode method is best for practical reasons.

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Item type Monograph (Working Paper)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/185
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Historical > FOR Classification > 1402 Applied Economics
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Keywords equity indicators; socio-economic status; Victoria University
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