What did they do? The field of study of domestic graduates 2011-2014

Graduate outcomes Higher education Educational evaluation Pasifika New Zealand
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This report analyses the New Zealand Standard Classification of Education field of study of domestic graduates from the New Zealand tertiary education system between 2011 and 2014.


Our analysis shows that: 

  • the distribution of graduates at Level 1 and 2 certificates by field of study showed relative volatility over time, with an increase in graduates in the Mixed field programme field. Changes in the content and provision of this level of qualification, such as an increased focus on foundation - level learning, are likely factors in this pattern
  • graduates with Level 3 to 7 certificates/diplomas showed less variation in the field of study over time, with Society and culture and Management and commerce remaining the largest fields of study at this level
  • at the bachelors or higher level, there was an increase in the proportion of graduates in STEM - related subjects, a trend shared by Australia, but with a faster pace of change in New Zealand
  • at the bachelors level or higher, universities had the highest number of graduates in all fields of study
  • women were more likely to graduate in fields such as nursing and teaching, while men dominated the graduates in areas such as engineering. Māori and Pasifika were relatively less likely to graduate in the STEM-related fields at the bachelors or higher level.
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