Hot or not: what’s packing the uni lecture theatres
Article by Julia Hinde, Sydney Morning Herald
Course and subject popularity changes over time in response to social change or employment opportunities.
From arts to aviation, sports management to veterinary science, Victoria’s universities offer a plethora of courses. But what are the emerging areas grabbing today’s students’ interest and what’s driving student choice?
According to Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) data, health subjects are right out on top when it comes to today’s students’ choice of university course. More than 26,000 students put undergraduate health courses at the top of their list when applying through VTAC to university in 2014. That’s a huge jump on just a year earlier, and 84 per cent more than chose management and commerce in 2014.
So what are some of the health courses on the up?[…]
Further maths – the lower of the maths subjects and the second most popular VCE subject after English – has also seen a big total increase over the past decade.
However, Geoff Prince, director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, says there has been a decline in those taking the more advanced maths subjects, maths methods and specialist maths.
“It deeply worries us,” he says. “Specialist maths and maths methods have been in decline in Victoria for a very long time. Maths methods is the gateway subject to science, technology and engineering at university and to maths teaching.”
In terms of percentage increase, sociology – the study of human social relationships – has been the star VCE performer over the past decade. Numbers enrolled in sociology are up by more than 200 per cent since 2006, to 896 in 2014.
Also on the rise in the past decade, with big percentage increases though often from small bases, have been English language, environmental science, Persian, outdoor and environmental studies, and Chinese as a second language.