NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED533076
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-9220-5608-5
Who Takes a Gap Year and Why? Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth. Briefing Paper 28
Lumsden, Marilyn; Stanwick, John
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
Taking a gap year--a break between high school and university--is becoming increasingly popular with Australian students. In terms of length and purpose, the traditional notion of a gap year being a year off between school and university has expanded considerably over time. For the purposes of the analysis reported in this paper, a person who takes a gap year is defined as "an individual who commenced university one to two years after completing Year 12. This includes those who accept and defer their university placement for one to two years" (Curtis, Mlotkowski & Lumsden 2012). Highlights of this report include: (1) In Australia the incidence of taking a gap year has increased from 10% in the period 1999-2000 to 24% in 2009-10; (2) The top four primary activities undertaken by gap students in 2009-10 were work (51%), full-time study leading to a non-university qualification (10%), other study (6%), and travel (6%); (3) Characteristics of gap-takers include: (a) being academically less inclined than non-gap-takers; (b) living in regional locations when at school; (c) having English speaking backgrounds; (d) being employed when in Year 12 at school; and (e) being less likely to receive Youth Allowance payments while at school; (4) In their first year of university, gap-takers are more likely to study in the areas of education and creative arts; and (5) Those who don't take a gap year are substantially more likely at age 24 to be employed full-time and to work in professional occupations than gap-takers. Much of this difference can be attributed to the fact that, in terms of their careers, gap-takers are a year or two behind those who don't take a gap year. The data do not allow the authors to measure the longer-term outcomes of both groups because the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) stops at age 25. Appended are: (1) Gap year definitions; and (2) LSAY cohorts sample sizes and durations. (Contains 13 tables.) [For "Bridging the Gap: Who Takes a Gap Year and Why? Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth. Research Report," see ED533077.]
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Canada; United Kingdom
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth