Over the last 40 years, higher education has moved from the periphery to the centre of Australian life. As recently as the mid- 1970s, only three out of every hundred working-age Australians had a higher education qualification. By 2012, the proportion had increased to 25 per cent. If current policies are successful, by 2025 40 per cent of young Australian adults will hold a bachelor degree or above. Many people study out of interest. But the main factor in this shift towards greater degree attainment – and the main reason governments give for their involvement in higher education policy – is a structural change to the labour market. More jobs require, or are more easily carried out, with the knowledge and skills higher education courses set out to teach. These professional and managerial occupations are now a third of all employment.