This sentence caught my eye in The Australian:
The government should also fund thousands of sub-degree programs to keep poorly prepared students out of university courses until they have the academic skills to keep up.
That is from a report by David Kemp and Andrew Norton commissioned by Christopher Pyne.
Small problem though. The government already funds thousands of sub-degree programs – they’re called “schools”. The very purpose of these “schools” is to prepare students – some of them anyway – for university.
To be fair though, one of the reasons why so many students at university appear to be under-prepared is because universities don’t have high “entry standards” anymore. That wouldn’t be such a problem if universities maintained high exit standards.
That is the real choice – either maintain high entry standards or maintian high exit standards. If you have a system of low entry standards, however, the “price” to be paid is high drop-out rates.