New Federal Government data shows student dropout rates are still among the highest in a decade despite dipping slightly since 2014.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the latest Higher Education Student Data revealed a 14.97 per cent attrition rate for the 2015 cohort compared to 12.29 per cent in 2009.

“Australia’s universities need to be taking responsibility for the students they enrol,” Minister Birmingham said.

“We’ve seen the attrition rate creep back up and hover around 15 per cent and some universities reporting attrition rates double that average.

“Too many students clearly aren’t getting the support they need to succeed.

“I welcome the work some universities have done to bring the attrition rate down by .03 of a percentage point but more needs to be done.

“A small group of universities have shown a disproportionate increase in attrition over the last few years at the same time as they’ve boosted their enrolments. Those universities have questions to answer.

“This data reinforces the need for the performance funding reforms the Turnbull Government has proposed.

“Performance funding would put student outcomes at the centre of learning. Retention, completion, student satisfaction and getting a job should be key to the mission of our higher education institutions.

“We should be willing to ask those universities to account for their performance and to take steps to improve the results that they achieve and to be accountable for the record funding that they’re receiving.

“We’re also driving changes to the transparency of admissions information through the Higher Education Standards Panel so students get the information they need to make the right choices about their courses and understand what will be expected of them.”

The 2016 Higher Education Student Data is available at