Australian universities were first established in the 1850s, well before the introduction of compulsory schooling. From the middle of the twentieth century, the introduction of mass secondary school education and the expansion of the number of universities widened student access to universities. Subjects offered in higher education increased in scope and labour market discrimination diminished. These factors, together with supply-side changes, meant that women were more easily able to shift into investing in skills. By 1987, Australian women were more likely than men to be enrolled at a university. These aggregate figures, however, disguise considerable heterogeneity across fields of study.