There is a front page article in The Age about the rise in the number of student offers being made by Victorian universities, in the wake of the first full year of the demand driven system for allocating places. The numbers have risen by about 3,000 first round offers, although there are marked differences across the universities. There is a very big increase at RMIT and virtually no change at Melbourne.
Students who applied to get into an associate degree in business were in luck – the cutoff ranking plunged from 69.65 last year to 50 this year.
The cutoff ranking for an associate degree in civil engineering at RMIT fell from 78.55 to 62.35, while an applied science degree in psychology at Bundoora campus decreased from 81.35 to 68.
Emmaline Bexley, a lecturer in higher education at The University of Melbourne, said it would be a mistake to suggest this would lead to a ”dumbing down”.
”Letting people in with an ATAR of 50 is brilliant as long as students are educationally prepared,” Dr Bexley said. (Que? educationally prepared at 50?)
She said while universities tended to use high cutoff rankings as an indicator of the prestige of their degrees, this was a ”bit of a game” and the rankings were more indicative of demand for a course than what was required.
”This is going to give institutions more flexibility and allow a larger group of students in,” Dr Bexley said.
Read more here.
I just love chirpy Emmaline who thinks it’s brilliant that the universities are letting in someone who has achieved a rank of 50 in Year 12.
I just want to have the bridges identified which are designed by civil engineers with cut-off points of 62.
And I also noticed that the cut off score for entry into Primary Education courses is in the 50s – pity the poor children in a few years time.
Now maybe I am being closed-minded about this and that the cut-off score is not a good predictor of university performance – although I certainly have seen research which shows this to be so, although the relationship is not linear. But absent any financial flexibility, it is not quite clear how universities are going to adjust to an even larger spread in the abilities of the student body, notwithstanding Dr Bexley’s gushy suggestion that a larger student body will give institutions more flexibility.
I am also concerned about the wisdom of the 40 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds having a degree – why? What about 35 or 45? Central planning still in vogue.