Mature outlook on learning
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.