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Actuaries seek policy change to deliver better maths outcomes for Australians

The Actuaries Institute has launched its latest public policy statement, Mastering Mathematics for Australia’s Future.

The Statement acknowledges education policy is complex but says Australia is falling behind on national and international learning benchmarks.

“Effective maths education is vital for young Australians to help them confidently apply maths to everyday tasks and to create high level capabilities that support the growth of STEM industries in Australia,” said Martin Mulcare, who developed the policy paper with a team of actuaries.

The Statement’s recommendations include:

  • Compulsory mathematics or numeracy courses for all students to school completion;
  • STEM industries to support the mathematics curriculum;
  • Advanced training for mathematics educators;
  • Appropriate mathematics prerequisites for STEM-based university degrees;
  • University admissions to reward students undertaking higher level mathematics; and
  • Promote greater female participation in higher mathematics.

Actuaries Institute Chief Executive, Elayne Grace, said Australian actuaries depend on the development of deep maths skills to work across a very broad range of industries.

“The bedrock of those skills is taught in school, and then university,” Ms Grace said.

““We need to ensure the way maths is taught encourages continued learning and enjoyment. And students who take on harder subjects at school, like higher level maths, should be rewarded by universities for doing so,” Ms Grace continued.

The aim of the paper is to make public policy recommendations that will lead to more students studying maths, and at higher levels.

Read the Statement here.

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