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Students denounce the decade of greed

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PRESS RELEASE A&JU Peter McGauran MP H&y a Shadow Minister for Science and Technology Federal Member for Gippsland


After a decade marked by corporate excess, Victoria's school leavers have shunned careers in business, commerce and economics.

An analysis of figures from the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre reveal an unprecedented collapse in student preferences for business-related courses at Victoria's main universities.

Relative to 1990, first preference choices for Economics and Commerce had fallen by 50% at Monash University and 20% at Melbourne University, while falls of 40% and more had been recorded in Economics and Accounting courses at LaTrobe.

The Shadow Minister for Science and Technology, Peter McGauran, said today while students had disowned the earlier generation's obsession with "fast money" careers, interest in Science-related courses remained in a slump.

Mr McGauran said though first preferences for Science courses at Melbourne University had remained virtually static, those at Monash University had fallen by 30%.

"Student course preferences are the best real indicator of career interests," he said.

"The crash in first preference choices for business-related courses across all main universities shows Victoria's youth have read the lessons of the spate of corporate collapses and financial mismanagement.

"In the eyes of the young, the credibility of the corporate sector has been shattered," Mr McGauran said.

"The shakeouts in key industries, the demise of the stockmarket and the current recession have served to overturn the image of the corporate cowboys."

Mr McGauran said on preliminary analysis, Victoria's academically talented students had opted for more conventionally rewarding careers in Medicine and Law.

"The young are seeking secure employment within traditional fields, rather than the high risk and essentially unproductive entrepreneurial careers which were the fashion in recent years."

For further information, contact Peter McGauran* .

(03) 629 6254 or (03) 650 7845 January 6, 1991