Earlier in the year I argued that the governments university equity policy focused on the lowest 25% of people by sociecononomic status was fundamentally flawed.
Using NAPLAN and Victorian Year 12 data I had found that the academic results of the lowest SES 25% (by occupation and postcode respectively) were little different from the second quartile. Consequently, the first quartile was too narrow a focus for policy.
An excellent new paper by University of Melbourne economist Mick Coelli, using higher education participation data from the census and the HILDA survey, puts this conclusion beyond reasonable doubt. Whichever way we look at SES: income, education, occupation or postcode the result is the same – the second quartile is very similar to and perhaps even worse off than the first quartile for their kids getting into university. Read the rest of this entry »