19 Failed ex­ams no bar­rier

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - ANNIKA SMETHURST NA­TIONAL POL­I­TICS ED­I­TOR

MORE than half of all year 12 stu­dents who failed their ex­ams were ac­cepted to study at uni­ver­sity this year, while coun­try kids are lag­ging be­hind, new data has re­vealed.

The lat­est snap­shot of Aus­tralia’s uni­ver­sity sec­tor, seen ex­clu­sively by the Sun­day Her­ald Sun, shows of­fers were made to more than 8000 stu­dents who re­ceived an ATAR score be­low 50, mean­ing the stu­dents per­formed worse than half of their year level.

In 2010 only 15.5 per cent of stu­dents in the bot­tom half of their year re­ceived uni­ver­sity of­fers. This year most un­der­per­form­ing stu­dents ac­cepted cour­ses in teach­ing, com­merce and health de­grees.

The Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment re­port, re­cently handed to the gov­ern­ment, also re­veals the av­er­age mark for high school stu­dents ap­ply­ing for uni­ver­sity has slipped from 80 per cent in 2010, to 76 per cent this year.

Ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter Dan Te­han said the gov­ern­ment would link in­creased uni­ver­sity fund­ing to im­prove­ments in per­for­mance, such as stu­dent at­tri­tion and comes from 2020.

“The num­ber one pri­or­ity for ev­ery uni­ver­sity should be its stu­dents and en­sur­ing their suc­cess,” he said.

In 2018, health de­grees were the most pop­u­lar de­gree cour­ses on of­fer with one in four stu­dents ap­ply­ing to study cour­ses in medicine, den­tistry, nurs­ing, ve­teri­nary stud­ies and pub­lic health.

More than half of all stu­dents were of­fered a place in their pre­ferred course and fe­male school leavers FACE­BOOK said yes­ter­day it had taken down ac­counts linked to an Ira­nian ef­fort to in­flu­ence US and Bri­tish pol­i­tics with mes­sages about charged top­ics such as im­mi­gra­tion and race re­la­tions.

The so­cial net­work iden­ti­fied 82 pages, groups and ac­counts that orig­i­nated in Iran and vi­o­lated pol­icy on co-or­di­nated “in­au­then­tic” be­hav­iour, Face­book head of cy­ber­se­cu­rity Nathaniel Gle­icher said. grad­u­ate out- were more likely to ap­ply for uni­ver­sity than males.

In 2018 in­dige­nous stu­dents re­mained vastly un­der-rep­re­sented in higher ed­u­ca­tion com­pared to their pro­por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion with only 2.1 per cent of ap­pli­cants iden­ti­fy­ing as in­dige­nous.

Fewer than one in four uni­ver­sity ap­pli­cants were from re­gional ar­eas, de­spite mak­ing up 27 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion. Coun­try kids were also more than twice as likely to de­fer their stud­ies com­pared to

Mr Gle­icher said there was over­lap with ac­counts taken down ear­lier this year and linked to Iran state me­dia, but the iden­tity of the cul­prits had yet to be de­ter­mined.

“It’s of­ten hard to know who is be­hind this type of ac­tiv­ity,” Mr Gle­icher said in a tele­phone brief­ing.

Ac­count own­ers tried to hide their iden­ti­ties by pass­ing them­selves off mostly as US cit­i­zens and, in a few cases, as ap­pli­cants from metropoli­tan ar­eas. In 2010, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Par­tic­i­pa­tion and Part­ner­ships Pro­gram which en­cour­aged dis­ad­van­taged stu­dents to ac­cess uni­ver­si­ties and com­plete their de­grees.

Mr Te­han, who rep­re­sents the ru­ral seat of Wan­non, said the Coali­tion had in­jected $650 mil­lion in to the pro­gram to sup­port 134,000 un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents each year.

“Coun­try kids should have the same op­por­tu­ni­ties to go to uni­ver­sity as their city cousins,” Mr Te­han said. Bri­tish cit­i­zens, Mr Gle­icher.

Posts on the ac­counts or pages, which in­cluded some hosted by In­sta­gram, fo­cused mostly on “sow­ing dis­cord” via strongly di­vi­sive is­sues rather than on par­tic­u­lar can­di­dates or cam­paigns.

Ac­counts and pages dated back sev­eral years, but most of the on­line ac­tiv­ity took place in the past year, ac­cord­ing to Face­book. ac­cord­ing to

Sam Porter and Shelly Kemp with their son, Banjo, and An­toinette Ware. Pic­ture: DAVID CAIRD IT’S not ev­ery day you help de­liver a baby over the phone, and for ESTA worker An­toinette Ware this was a call to re­mem­ber.In Sep­tem­ber last year, Mrs Ware an­swered a triple-0 call from Sam Porter say­ing his part­ner, Shelly Kemp, was in labour. This week the fam­ily was united with the woman on the other end of the line — giv­ing Mrs Ware the chance to meet the healthy baby she helped into the world.“It was sur­real. I’ve never met one of the ba­bies I’ve helped to de­liver, so it was very spe­cial,” Mrs Ware said. “It’s funny be­cause he is so big now.” She re­calls how the call quickly turned to a de­liv­ery. “I was get­ting de­tails from Sam and he was say­ing the head was pre­sent­ing, so I knew I had to get the call in to the am­bu­lance guys right away.“By the time I put the de­tails through, the baby was on its way.”Mrs Ware cred­its hav­ing a “mum voice” and Mr Porter’s calm na­ture for the smooth de­liv­ery.Now a mother of three, Ms Kemp said the pair were in the garage ar­gu­ing about get­ting in the car when her wa­ters broke and she felt an im­mense pres­sure.“I was just be­ing naive — say­ing he won’t come tonight, I’ll have a shower. And then all of a sud­den it kicked off,” Ms Kemp said.“Then I couldn’t get in the car.“He (Mr Porter) had to drag me in­side and as soon as I got in­side the house I couldn’t move.”The cou­ple called for an am­bu­lance, but it was soon clear their baby wasn’t go­ing to wait. It was then left to Mr Porter to take the reins and de­liver their son on the floor of their Mel­bourne home.The cou­ple said be­ing able to thank Mrs Ware in per­son was a beau­ti­ful mo­ment.

ARI­ANA Grande is ready to re­sume tour­ing again and will hit the road next year.Grande an­nounced yes­ter­day that her 42-datewould kick off on March 18 in Al­bany, New York.Her pre­vi­ous tour was sus­pended af­ter a ter­ror­ist bomb­ing killed 22 and in­jured more than 500 at Manch­ester Arena in 2017. Ari­ana Grande

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