More than 3000 extra Year 12 school leavers have applied to study at university next year, compared to 2012.
Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said preliminary applications data collated by the Department of Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education was further evidence of the Gillard Government's record investment opening up university access to more students.
The data shows more than 147,600 preliminary applications have been submitted to study at university in 2013 - a rise of 3247 on this year's applications.
Applications to study at university by Year 12 students made up more than 64 per cent of all applications.
Of the total number of applications, more than 42,000 applications were made by people from a low socioeconomic status background, up almost 2 per cent compared to the same time last year. More than 58 per cent of applications were by female students.
Applications from Indigenous applicants increased by more than four per cent and applications from regional students were maintained.
"The Gillard Government's record investment, and our decision to open up the doors to university to any student that has the desire and ability to get an undergraduate degree, is driving this growth in applications," Senator Evans said.
"We have also given students access to more information about university courses and student services than ever before - in one location - thanks to the MyUniversity website.
"The Gillard Government set the ambitious target that by 2025, 40 per cent of all 25 to 34-year-olds will hold a bachelor's degree or above and lift the participation levels of disadvantaged students to 20 per cent of undergraduate enrolments - and we're well on our way to achieving both.
"It is an economic imperative that we meet these targets. If we don't, we will consign ourselves to low economic growth and will not be able to compete in the future economy.
"The only way we will fill the jobs of the future is by spreading the opportunity of a university education to all Australians.
"Our reforms have already seen a dramatic increase in access by young people from rural and regional Australia, from migrant backgrounds, Indigenous people and those from low socioeconomic suburbs.
"The applications data for 2013 shows a record number of students are reaping the personal rewards that come from a university education, as well as contributing to the future success of Australia's economy."
Year 12 students in Queensland have received their final results this weekend. Results in other states will be released over coming weeks. Students then have the opportunity to change their applications based on their results and preferences.
"This is a nerve-wracking time of year for a lot of students as they wait for their final exams results and weigh up their options on what and where to study," Senator Evans said.
"Going to university is a major investment of time and resources so students need to make sure they are choosing the right university to match their needs.
"The Gillard Government created MyUniversity to be a one-stop-shop for students looking at going to university - all the information they need is at their fingertips.
"Since its launch in April 2012, the website has had almost 1.5 million page views, with more than 6000 view each day.
"On MyUniversity, students can access information on individual courses, results of student satisfaction surveys, student numbers, information about student services and campus facilities, Teaching and Learning Awards received by the university and links to the Job Outlook website.
"Our universities are recognised around the world for being world class - each offering different styles, courses, student exchanges, work experience opportunities and campus experiences, and each presenting tremendous opportunities."
Senator Evans said students should follow their interests and passions when they choose a course.
"Doing something you enjoy is more likely to lead to a rewarding career," Senator Evans said.
"Not only does a university education offer a wider career choice and better access to high skilled and high paid jobs, but it also helps to expand ways of thinking and increases an individual's capacity to contribute to society."
Universities expect demand for mature aged students is likely to be flat next year following strong demand in previous years and the strengthening of the labour market.
Details of the University applications for 2013 are available.
Media Contact: Minister's office 02 6277 7580