Media releases

Year 12s are resilient but feeling the pinch

17 Jun 2024

EMPLOYMENT outcomes, scholarship offers, work experience and internship opportunities are influencing the university choices of Year 12 students, according to a new report from the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

In its biggest survey yet of school leavers, UAC asked nearly 17,000 students what matters most to them.

They’re looking forward to the freedom of post-school life, broadening their social connections and immersing themselves in study or work – but they’re feeling the pinch.

The survey found students are more concerned about cost-of-living pressures than previous years. Its influence on their choice of institution rose almost 10 per cent (from 34 per cent to 43 per cent). Course fees, accommodation costs, transport and proximity to campus are also big areas of focus.

On an optimistic note, mental health concerns are down. This marks the best mental health score in the survey’s four-year history.

‘We’re seeing students making careful economic decisions around employment outcomes after they finish their study,’ says UAC spokesperson Kim Paino, ‘but they’re also showing great resilience.’

A new area of inquiry in this year’s survey was the impact of artificial intelligence. As digital natives, these gen Zs live technology, but they are cautious of the impact AI may have on them.

For more information about these students, including their leisure habits, read the full Student Lifestyle and Learning Report 2024.

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For further information (media only) email or contact:
Diane Jardine, Communications Coordinator, UAC on 0436 459 603, or
Kim Paino, Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer, UAC on 0409 155 112.