Ma­ture out­look on learn­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today -

BE­ING among the nation’s next gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers is one thing that in­spires ma­ture-age univer­sity stu­dent David Baud­is­tel.

The 60-some­thing fu­ture town plan­ner be­lieves he does this ev­ery day as one of the 4485 ma­ture-age stu­dents at James Cook Univer­sity.

The sur­pris­ing thing is that, as an older stu­dent, the for­mer b u i l d e r i s a c t u a l l y i n t h e ma­jor­ity at the Townsville JCU cam­pus. Ma­ture-age stu­dents make up 39 per cent of the 11,500 en­rol­ments study­ing se­mes­ter one cour­ses this year.

Thirty-six per cent are school leavers and the re­main­ing 25 per cent will be post-school leavers.

‘‘ Some peo­ple ask me how can I stand be­ing around the young rat­bags, but I think it’s great . . . 5 per cent of these kids will be run­ning the coun­try in 15 years’ time,’’ Mr Baud­is­tel said.

He said go­ing back later in life to study town plan­ning meant that he was pre­pared to put in the hard yards that it took to be a suc­cess­ful grad­u­ate.

‘‘ The first year of uni tends to be drop-out year – at the start of the year the lec­ture hall is full and by the end there are only half the stu­dents,’’ Mr Baud­is­tel said.

‘‘ It’s not the old ones drop­ping out, it’s the young ones.

‘‘ I think these kids need to go over a few dry creeks be­fore they can get some sense knocked into them.’’

A JCU spokes­woman put the ma­ture-age growth down to a broader range of study op­tions.

‘‘ We pro­mote our cour­ses to all age groups, how­ever peo­ple are find­ing our di­ploma cour­ses are very ac­ces­si­ble,’’ the spokes­woman said.

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