On this day in 1982, The Canberra Times reported of a major decrease in young people choosing to pursue tertiary education.
The most significant decrease in students enrolling in tertiary education came from those who performed well in school, marking the extent to which young people had lost belief in the value of university education.
The Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission revealed a report with these findings, noting that if this trend were to continue, the school-leavers of the time could lack the necessary skills to work with the social and technological changes that would occur throughout their work life.
The report stated that a major factor in students' choices to pursue full-time work was the motivation to "secure themselves a 'place' in the labour market".
The shortage of full-time jobs seemed to incentivise the school-leavers to enter the workforce, rather than deter them. They seemed to believe that the shortage of labour would only worsen, and they were not convinced that further education would improve their chances of getting a job.
There had also been a decrease in scholarships available to school-leavers, which was another factor affecting student's choice to participate in higher education.
The report illuminated the need to make changes to student assistance, work-study arrangements, and the nature and content of some courses to generate the motivation in young people to pursue tertiary education.