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Study participation

Definition

Study participation measures those attending, studying, or enrolled at school or anywhere else. It is grouped into full-time study (20 hours or more a week), part-time study (less than 20 hours a week), and those not studying.

Where the data comes from

Question 29 on the individual form.

How this data is classified

1 Full-time study

2 Part-time study

3 Full-time and part-time study

4 Not studying

9 Not stated

For further information about this classification, refer to the 2013 Census data dictionary.  

For background information on classifications and standards, refer to the Classifications and related statistical standards page.

Subject population

The subject population for this variable is the census usually resident population aged 15 years and over.

The subject population is the people, families, households, or dwellings to whom the variable applies.

Non-response and data that could not be classified

Non-response

'Non-response' is when an individual gives no response at all to a census question that was relevant to them. The non-response rate is the percentage of the subject population that was coded to ‘Not stated’.

  • Non-response rate for 2013: 10.4 percent, of which 4.9 percent were substitute records.
  • Non-response rate for 2006: 10.1 percent, of which 3.4 percent were substitute records.
  • Non-response rate for 2001: Study participation was included as part of the unpaid activities question and therefore cannot be compared.

For more information on non-response and substitute records, refer to the 2013 Census data user guide.

How this data is used

Data from this variable is:

  • used by central government agencies to monitor changes for those participating in study, and for policies targeting at-risk groups
  • cross-tabulated with a wide variety of other census variables, such as income, age, and ethnic group in order to understand the education participation rates of different groups.

Data quality processes

All census data was checked thoroughly during processing and evaluation, to ensure that it met quality standards and is suitable for use. These quality checks included edits. All data must meet minimum quality standards to make it suitable for use.

Quality level

quality level is assigned to all census variables: foremost, defining, or supplementary.

Study participation is a defining variable. Defining variables cover key subject populations that are important for policy development, evaluation, or monitoring. These variables are given second priority in terms of quality, time, and resources across all phases of a census.

Mode of collection impacts – online form compared with paper form

The online forms had built-in editing functionality that directed respondents to the appropriate questions and ensured that their responses were valid. As a result of this, data from online forms may be of higher overall quality than data from paper forms. The significance of this will depend on the particular type of analysis being done. There will always be a mode effect but this cannot be measured. Statistics NZ design and test to minimise the effects of mode for all questions.

There were differences between how the forms were completed online and on paper for this variable:

  • On the online form, only people who gave a New Zealand address in question 5 and were 15 years of age or older were able to respond to the study participation question. When forms were completed on paper it was possible for overseas visitors and those respondents under 15 years of age to respond to this question.
  • The online form did not allow the inconsistent multiple response of 'Neither' to be selected along with a response indicating that the respondent was studying. If the 'Neither' box was marked, any other responses to study participation disappeared. Inconsistent multiple responses to this question were possible when forms were completed on paper.

Quality assessment of data and data quality issues for this variable

Overall quality assessment

Moderate: fit for use – with some data quality issues to be aware of, to High: fit for use – with minor data quality issues only. 2013 Census variable quality rating scale gives more detail.

Issues to note

  • Non-response rate for 2013: 10.4 percent, of which 4.9 percent were substitute records.

For more information on non-response and substitute records, refer to the 2013 Census data user guide.

Comparing this data with previous census data

This data is fully comparable with 2006 Census data. Changes in the data over this time period can be interpreted as real changes because there have been no changes in the way the data has been collected, defined, and classified.

This data is of limited comparability with the 2001 Census data. Changes in the data over this time period cannot be interpreted as real changes because there have been major changes in the collection, definition, or classification of the data. In 2001 'Study participation' was included in the unpaid activities question (question 41) and was for the last 4 weeks whereas in 2006 and 2013 Censuses it was for current participation.

Comparing this data with data from other sources

Census is the only information source that provides comprehensive information for small areas and small populations. However alternative sources of information about this subject are available:

Data from these alternative sources may show differences from census data for several reasons. These could be due to differences in scope, coverage, non-response rates, data being collected at different periods of time, alternative sources being sample surveys and as such subject to sampling errors, or differences in question wordings and method of delivery (self-administered versus interviewer-administered). Data users are advised to familiarise themselves with the strengths and limitations of individual data sources before comparing with census data.

Further information about this data

All percentages in census publications have been calculated using 'Total stated' as the denominator.

When using this data, be aware of the following:

  • Study participation had a high rate of non-response in 2013 although this was comparable with 2006 (10.1 percent).
  • The timing of the census in relation to the academic year impacts on the data for study participation. In 2001, the academic year had just begun but most students had not started tutorials, leading many to consider themselves studying part-time. In 2006 and 2013, all universities had begun the academic year one or two weeks before census day.

Contact our Information Centre for further information about using this variable.

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