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Tuesday, 12 September 1972
Page: 678

Senator DAVIDSON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science. I ask: Has the Minister's attention been drawn to a recent article in the 'Australian' news paper which claimed that universities will be forced in the next 3 years to turn away a considerable number of students and that students will be required to turn to colleges of advanced education for their tertiary education? Does the Minister know whether this statement is accurate? Will the Government's substantial scholarship programme, as announced in the Budget, influence this situation? Further, has the Minister noted the statement in the article that colleges neglect practically all the humanities for the sciences? If so, will he seek a response from the Department of Education and Science to meet the upsurge in student interest in these subjects and fields?

Senator WRIGHT (TASMANIA) (Minister for Works) - I have seen the article to which reference has been made. There is a pattern of growth in the number of applicants seeking university education. This is a matter which is under continuous consideration by the Minister for Education and Science. It should be noted, of course, that the proportion of the student age group eligible for university education that has entered universities over the last 10 years has grown remarkably with the increased university facilities that have been made available by the Government. It is natural that those who cannot gain admission to universities should turn to colleges of advanced education. I noted the honourable senator's statement that those colleges predominate in their interest in the technological subjects as against the humanities. That is a development which may be either intensified or corrected as the colleges determine their growth. These colleges have still to map out their course of development. Therefore I would not like to indicate whether the humanities will be added to by the colleges in the foreseeable future.

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