As published in The Age, according to a new data submitted by the Education Department, Victorian universities both has the best and worst outcomes. According to the data submitted, it has been revealed that the national rate of completion has gone down to the lowest levels, perhaps for the first time. The statistic has shown that only 66% of the students in Australia who began their degree courses in the year 2010 were successful in completing it within the span of six years.
The lowest rate in degree course completion has been seen in the Federation University. It recorded a count of only 36.4% of Australian students (who had started their degree in the year 2010) completing their course within 6 years. However, according to Prof. Andy Smith (Deputy Vice-Chancellor) of the University, the institution has stated a lower rate of successful completion of degree, and the count is actually higher. He further added that the university has introduced a new policy which would look after the retention rates. In addition to it, the university is also said to provide with other services concerning tutoring, counseling and mentoring.
Prof. Andy Smith is also of the opinion that the students of the regional universities face certain complexities that are not faced by the students of the metropolitan cities. This eventually affects the time that is required to complete a tertiary education degree. Thus, the Government should take this issue into consideration. On the other hand, the Melbourne University is reportedly having the highest rate of degree completion. A total count of 87.6% of the students of Melbourne University is said to finish their degree course within the period of 6 years.
The remarkable difference in the rate of degree course completion and outcomes have mainly occurred due to the universities enrolling different types of students. The Melbourne Universities enroll students having high ATRs and are advantageous in terms of social circumstances. On the other hand, the Federation University mainly enrolls students belonging to the rural regions and having lower ATRs.
According to the data, it has been seen that the native, rural and students belonging to poorer households and the ones who have ATRs below 50 are most unlikely to finish their undergraduate degree on time. This data was further used by Simon Birmingham, the Federal Education Minister while criticizing the universities over the outcomes.
He is of the opinion that some of the universities are in need for coming up with more efforts in order to support the potential students with taxpayer subsides significantly. In another data released in Graduate Outcomes Survey, it has also been seen that the employment prospects for the Australian students, graduated in the year 2014 has declined. Only a mere 67.5 percent of the 2014 graduates could successfully manage to find a full-time job within the period of four months. If we are to refer to the earlier count, then it is to be noted that the outcome was 83.6% in the year 2007.
However, over the last 5 years a general improvement in the rate of completion among most of the universities in Australia has also been seen. Belinda Robinson (Chief executive of Universities Australia) said that there has been stability in the number of Australian students completing their degree courses within the span of nine years. She added further by mentioning that there were students who were more mature and opted for part-time courses, and took longer period of time to complete their academic degrees. The possible reason behind this delay could be some added activities and chores such as job hunting, household and parenting responsibilities and the likes.
If we are to refer to the completion rates among certain streams of study such as pharmacy, medicine, rehabilitation and dentistry, the figure tends to stay at the highest level. While the lowest rate of completion is mainly seen among students pursuing degree courses concerning agriculture, tourism, information technology and social work.
In addition to this, The Age has also analyzed the rate of completion of the students those who have started their undergraduate studies in the year 2010.
- 87% of students those who have had ATARs of 95 and more were able to complete the course successfully
- 41% of students obtaining ATARs that are lower than 50 have completed their academic course
- A count of 63% of the male Australian universities has been able to complete their course
- The completion rate is 68% for students belonging to the female Australian universities
- 41% of the native students have successfully completed their course
- A completion rate of 66% has been seen among the non-native students
- 57% students who pursued IT were successful in completing the course
- 88% of students who pursued Medicine were also successful in completing the course.
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