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Selection for Commonwealth University Scholarships in Western Australia

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Selection for Commonwealth University Scholarshi-us

in Western Australia

The Commonwealth Minister for Education and Science, the Hon. Nigel Bowen Q.C., M.P., today stated that no change would be made this year in the method of selection for Commonwealth University scholarships for students who intend

to enter university in 1971.

Mr Bowen said that his attention had been drawn to rte, newspaper articles and letters about the present arrangements whereby students are selected for Commonwealth University scholarships on the basis of results in their best three

matriculation level examination papers. He also said that he realised the subject of selection criteria was being actively considered by the University of Western Australia, the Education Department and other bodies concerned with

education in Western Australia.

In view of the widespread public interest in the matter, Mr Bowen had asked the Commonwealth Scholarships Board to re-examine the present policy to see whether any changes should be made in it. The Board had now concluded

its examination and had advised him that on the basis of the evidence available it did not consider that any changes in the existing arrangement should be made at present. He had accepted this advice and had decided that students competing this year for Open Entrance Commonwealth University scholar-

ships in Western Australia should continue to be selected on It the basis of their best three matriculation level papers.

The Minister emphasised that before the present selection method was introduced in 1969 the Commonwealth Scholarships Board had gone into the matter in some djpth. It had consulted with the various educational authorities in Western Australia, and on the basis of their advice and on

other evidence it had concluded that selection should be based on the best three matriculation level papers.

Students who have won scholarships on this basis have just commenced their first year at University and so it is not possible to compare their results with those of students who were previously selected on the basis of their best five papers. When results of university examinations are available it may

be possible to compare the performance of d. fserent groups of students and to draw some conclusion about the relative merits of basing selection on three rather than five subjects.



Mr Bowen emphasised that research would continue in an effort to ensure that the selection method adopted resulted in awards being given to those students with the best prospects of subsequent success in university studies. However, he wished to reassure parents and teachers that ample nctice would

be given of any contemplated changes in selection methods so that students could plan their study courses at the beginning of the year knowing what the requirements would be for selection

for Commonwealth University scholarships.

5 June 1970.