Student's postcode of permanent home residence is used to map students to a Remoteness Area classification under the Australian Bureau of Statistics' 2011 Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) classification of regions. Under the ASGS classification (used from 2011 onwards) the number of students from a metropolitan, regional or remote area can be calculated.
The ASGS provides more accurate information for the regional classification of students than the MCEETYA classification previously used and was adopted by the department in 2011.
Regional status is assigned to domestic students only, excluding domestic students who have a permanent home address overseas.
To calculate regional status, permanent home residence (E320) for each student is used. When deriving a student's regional status for a particular year, the relevant postcode of permanent home residence for that year is used. The calculation uses the student's earliest available E320 value in the given year, as the initial value more closely represents the student's background.
Each student's postcode is mapped to metropolitan, regional and remote categories. Postcodes can be mapped to multiple categories meaning that fractions can occur. For example, a postcode may be classified as 75% regional (0.75 regional) and 25% remote (0.25 remote). A postcode in the middle of Sydney however would be classified as 100% metropolitan and students in this postcode would receive a score of '1' for the metropolitan category (and '0' for the regional and remote categories). Integers and fractions are then summed across the data set to calculate an estimate of the number of students from a metropolitan, regional or remote area.
A regional student includes those students from either an Inner Regional or Outer Regional area as defined under the ASGS.
A remote student includes those students from either a Remote or Very Remote area as defined under the ASGS.
A small number of students are unable to be classified to a regional classification and these students are therefore assigned to 'unknown'.