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Students going for courses rather than universities.

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Media Release

Dr David Kemp, MP

Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs


Tuesday 17 August 1999







“Students are choosing universities based on the courses they offer rather the imag e or status of the institution,” the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr David Kemp said today.


A new report shows that 83% of the students surveyed nominated courses rather than institutions as the stronger influence on which decision they make and 55% said that they would do a similar course at a different university rather than a different course at the same university.


Launching the report Which University? The factors influencing the choices of prospective undergraduates , Dr Kemp said that universities would find the information very helpful when planning development strategies.


The most important influences on study preference for school leavers were ‘interest in exploring the field of knowledge’ and ‘opportunities for interesting and rewarding careers’ - both at 88 %.


Interestingly, starting salaries for graduates rated quite low (27%) as a strong influence on choosing between one university and another.


The study, based on a survey of a group of students who applied to enrol in higher education institutions in 1998, also points to gaps in the information available to prospective students and indicates that many are making decisions based on inadequate knowledge.


“In an era where we are trying to encourage greater responsiveness to student needs, this type of report is able to provide universities with a range of relevant information. It will also help them to provide the right information to prospective students to decision-making about what course to do,” said Dr Kemp.


“It is clear that many students are making decisions with little or no knowledge about aspects of their courses. To help them make informed decisions, the Government is developing Field of Study Guides which include information about the performance of institutions and course outcomes in terms of employment, starting salaries and further study.


“It is expected the guides will further assist students in their choices of higher education study,” said Dr Kemp.


The Guides will be sent to all secondary schools later this year and will be available for careers counsellors to use when assisting secondary school students with their higher education study options.



For further information visit:


Media contact:

Samantha Herro n (0412) 639 754 or (02) 6277 7460


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