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UC follows ANU score-dropping

By Kerces 27 September 2006 18

Following the announcement that ANU would be dropping some entry scores, the University of Canberra has followed suit.

UC Vice Chancellor Roger Dean said the uni was under-enrolled by 400 places this year and they don’t want that to happen again next year, the ABC reports.

The UC administration will be looking at all its entry scores on a course-by-course basis and consider dropping some of them, such as business related ones, back down to 70.

Interestingly, he said, “We don’t want to under deliver the contract we have with DEST so we’re trying to accommodate a slightly broader range of people than we did before.” He also added some spin about how UC has always been about access.

PLUS The ANU Student Association is complaining in The Canberra Times that dropping course scores will create an underclass of students who can’t cope. Get real guys, they’re still not talking about dropping them anywhere below 75.

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18 Responses to
UC follows ANU score-dropping
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nyssa76 5:48 pm 01 Oct 06

The UAI (or TER as I knew them) are a joke.

There are plenty of people who, when given a chance at Uni, actually do well. Then there are others who get the “score” needed and drop out after 12 months.

Basically Uni UAIs are a joke. Irrespective of what you get, as long as you have the money to get in you’re fine. There are lots of kids who should be in Uni but miss out by 1 point and don’t have the money to get in.

vancouver 6:28 pm 30 Sep 06

My daughter completed her schooling in Queensland, and her score there equated with a score of 77 in NSW. She was admitted to an Arts degree at Sydney Uni where she scored mainly credits and majored in English and Philosophy. She then completed a Masters degree externally where she achieved mostly credits and distinctions. I believe that UAIs don’t always reflect the ability of our Year 12 students, as many don’t come into their own until they’re studying subjects they really like and have the freedom to work to their own timetables.

James-T-Kirk 10:54 am 29 Sep 06


But remember that the Year 12 scores are actually generated from a random number generator based on the performance of other classes, so none of this counts.

When my wife did a stint in college I was able to play with the marks spreadsheet used there. Wow, I have never seen so much statistical mumbo jumbo. I’ll never forget setting up a dummy class, where 12 of the 13 students got 99/100 and the 13th got 98/100. The marking sheet them declared that all the students were a ‘c’ grade, except for number 13, where they were ‘e’.

Shit in * statistical mumbo jumbo = shit out

All the TER is, is a randomiser that helps to guide the student into what society believes that they should be doing.

I’ll never forget listening to an education minister (in the late 80’s so I can’t remember which one) say that Australian students have to drop their expectations if Australia was to be a competitive force in Asia.

I don’t believe that we can compete with Asia for labour jobs. We have to use our brains.

VYBerlinaV8 10:42 am 28 Sep 06

I have no doubt there will come a time when some old folk will get to reminisce about how going to uni once meant something.

Meconium 1:44 am 28 Sep 06

It’s pathetic to see the students’ association complaining about the decision, as if it devalues their effort in attaining the scores they did to get into uni. The average and SD of marks at ANU won’t change a bit.

I for one welcome our new underachieving overlords.

snahon 1:55 pm 27 Sep 06

(Unfortunately) uni’s effectively operate as a commercial entity and as such those less ‘profitable’ courses will no doubt disappear.

Thumper 12:38 pm 27 Sep 06

I suspect in my case it had more to do with ‘economic rationalism’.

Ie, no full fee paying students did the cultural heritage/ conservation stream, whereas plenty of full fee paying students did other courses.

terubo 12:35 pm 27 Sep 06

They changed aspects of mine. The point I guess I’m making, is that sometimes courses dry up when lecturers who are ‘right up to date’ either can’t be found, or when Unis don’t bother updating courses.

VYBerlinaV8 12:10 pm 27 Sep 06

Nor did they change engineering.

Thumper 12:06 pm 27 Sep 06

No, technological advances don’t change Cultural Heritage Conservation and management practices.

terubo 11:13 am 27 Sep 06

(in the same form, that is. Technological advances, for example, can change the face of an industry).

Thumper 11:12 am 27 Sep 06


terubo 11:11 am 27 Sep 06

er, do those industries still exist?

Thumper 10:52 am 27 Sep 06


same as my UC course. It was the best in Australia and now I don’t think it exists.

VYBerlinaV8 10:40 am 27 Sep 06

I’d say cost of living would be a factor. There is also the ‘desirability’ of the local courses, which would no doubt fluctuate over time. For example, when I did my undergrad degree at UC the course was considered one of the best in the industry, now it doesn’t even exist any more.

johnboy 10:27 am 27 Sep 06

I wonder if the cost of interstate students finding somewhere to live is driving the sudden interest in getting local students to stay home.

simto 10:03 am 27 Sep 06

What lowering the entrance scores demonstrates, however, is that there is a lower demand for a particular course (or, more particularly, a lower demand amongst the higher-ranking students). If ANU (and UC) are becoming less-demanded locations, then there’s an underlying problem, and it does need to be looked at.

VYBerlinaV8 9:30 am 27 Sep 06

People sometimes forget what entrance scores are all about: it’s about being able to adjust entry requirements so as to take the correct number of students in a given course. So if there are 50 students who want a specific course at a specific uni, and there are 40 places, the entrance requirement is adjusted so the top 40 get in (at least that’s how it worked when I was transitioning from year 12 to uni). Although the scaling and maths behind it all gets a bit involved, the theory makes sense. It seems to me that some people get almost emotionally attached to entrance ranks, which is crazy – they’re just a tool used by unis to fill spots. That said, if the unis are under-enrolled, they need to lift their game in setting entry score requirements!

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