Bonus points to help keep career options open

Thursday, 5 June 1997

Bonus points for the study of Maths 2 and languages other than English will enable more students to consider careers in fields vital to Australia's future success, according to University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor, Mary O'Kane.

Students taking the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) in 1999 will be the first to have the option of obtaining the bonus points, which will have the effect of boosting the Tertiary Entrance Rank for students seeking entry to a University of Adelaide course.

In general terms, students who successfully complete Maths 2 and/or a language other than English, as Publicly Examined Subjects (PES) at SACE Stage 2 level, and who have applied for entry to a University of Adelaide course, will receive up to four bonus points. Two bonus points will be awarded for Maths 2, and two for a language other than English (regardless of whether one or more languages are taken).

Professor O'Kane said many students who were eligible for the points would find they could enter a wider range of courses than otherwise possible.

"In South Australia, we are particularly mindful of the need to encourage students to consider careers in areas such as information technology, science and engineering, and also to make sure they are prepared for work in a world where cross-cultural communication is essential," Professor O'Kane said.

"Unfortunately, some students don't realise until it's too late that their subject choices at school have made it harder to enter many interesting and rewarding careers. The offer of bonus points will act as a reminder of the importance of study in Maths 2 and languages other than English.

"I also expect the scheme will build on the success of the University of Adelaide's Women in Engineering program by encouraging girls to give much stronger consideration to careers in fields such as engineering where they are under-represented."

The Modern Language Teachers Association of South Australia has welcomed the scheme as a means of redressing the decline in the numbers of students studying languages.

"With the increasing globalisation of world markets, Australians need greater access to and higher levels of proficiency in languages than ever before," MLTA SA president, Mr Philip Reuter, said.

Dean of the University's Faculty of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Professor Alan Carey, said school students were often unaware of the broad range of disciplines, such as engineering, information technology and physics, for which a high level of mathematical skill is needed.

"One of the main impediments to meeting the demand by local industry for graduates in electronic engineering is the shortage of students with adequate maths preparation."

More information about the scheme and how it works is available from the Student Information Office, freecall 1800 061 459.


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