It is crunch time for many potential Uni students!
If you didn’t get the ATAR score you were hoping for, statistics published last week have shown that 7,000 applications with an ATAR score of less than 50 were offered a place at University in 2014. This compares favourably to the fewer than 2,000 applicants offered places in 2010 with similar ATAR scores.
The article by Andrew Norton in last week’s The Conversation, argues that with the lifting of the cap on University admission numbers in 2012 and the resultant supply/demand effect, standards are lowered across the board. In addition, recent studies have shown that students with lower ATARs have a far greater tendency to drop out in comparison to top scoring ATAR students, where completion rates of 90%+ were found.
There are problems in all directions – for students, for Universities.
Far from denying someone a chance to graduate from University the article offers a handful of solutions, including helping potential students make better decisions about their career path from school. This may include studying at University, or it may not, but real work is needed at helping students make informed choices from the many different pathways open to them. The quality of Career Coaching at school is crucial.
Another very important aspect of this is to make Universities more accountable for their admission policies so that a successful outcome for all is likely. Afterall, there is no value for anyone in de-valuing a University education.
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