Sum changes afoot

More cour­ses now re­quire stu­dents to study maths, Lau­ren Ah­wan re­ports

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Diversity -

SCHOOL stu­dents are be­ing urged to un­der­take higher-level math­e­mat­ics, amid pre­dic­tions that more study path­ways will re­quire maths pre­req­ui­sites.

The Univer­sity of Syd­ney last month an­nounced it will re­quire stu­dents to com­plete at least in­ter­me­di­ate math­e­mat­ics to be el­i­gi­ble for a wide range of its cour­ses.

Aus­tralian Math­e­mat­i­cal Sciences In­sti­tute di­rec­tor Pro­fes­sor Ge­off Prince be­lieves other uni­ver­si­ties will fol­low suite, while Group Train­ing Aus­tralia says a solid maths back­ground is al­ready re­quired for stu­dents in vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion. The Univer­sity of Syd­ney says the new pre­req­ui­sites will ap­ply from 2019 to give stu­dents suf­fi­cient time to se­lect sub­jects that ful­fil the en­try re­quire­ments.

Prince says stu­dents are start­ing univer­sity in­ad­e­quately pre­pared for cour­ses that have a strong maths com­po­nent.

“It’s not an in­signif­i­cant group and the uni­ver­si­ties have re­ally had to work hard to ac­com­mo­date these stu­dents,” he says.

“So there will be a lot of pres­sure for other uni­ver­si­ties to come on board with this.”

He says if stu­dents are con­sid­er­ing univer­sity study they should take in­ter­me­di­ary maths with cal­cu­lus.

Group Train­ing Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Jim Bar­ron says prospec­tive tradies must al­ready prove their com­pe­tency in al­ge­bra and trigonom­e­try be­fore they can sign up for a group train­ing ap­pren­tice­ship.

“The (math­e­mat­ics) re­quire­ments for the key trades – elec­tri­cal, plumb­ing, me­chan­ics – are prob­a­bly greater than for many, many univer­sity cour­ses,” he says.

Bonita Ham­mond-Brown and Su­san Prashanth, both Year 10 stu­dents, al­ready plan to un­der­take maths in their se­nior school­ing but say the move to adopt maths pre­req­ui­sites will lead to many oth­ers re­view­ing their sub­ject choices.

“I have friends that do not like maths and are prob­a­bly plan­ning to give it up as soon as pos­si­ble,” Ham­mond-Brown says. “How­ever, know­ing that they may not get into the univer­sity course they want may make them think twice.”

Pic­ture: BIANCA DE MARCHI

ALL ADDS UP:

Year 10 stu­dents Bonita Ham­mond-Brown and Su­san Prashanth have cho­sen to study maths.

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