PDA

View Full Version : University Studies



Alan Shore
03-03-2005, 02:19 PM
Look I have to agree with AC here - the scene in Sydney is truly scary.

Part of the problem is it appears to be much harder to get into Uni there (so they tell me) and so there is mega competition to get into selective schools that will lead to the ultra high Uai's. I entertained two Mums in my apartment in Mt Buller one afternoon and I had a major inferiority complex by the end of it!

I guess we have always taken the approach that as long as you get the UAI you need for what you want to do at Uni, who cares, but it doesn't seem like that in Sydney.

Gareth didn't go to the World youth last year, because he wanted to do well in Year 11. However as he had totally bludged for the previous 10 years, he had a lot of catching up to do. He has now had a UAI est of 89 to 99 and he only needs 85 for the couse he wants to do at the ANU (Physics and IT), so he is totally relaxed (not too relaxed I hope!), and will go to Belfort.

I understand that it is exceptionally hard to get into schools like James Ruse and North Sydney - the 2 selective schools that the chess kids seem to go to. That is what the exams are for and the kids actually study for them for months. It seems a bit over the top, however if that is what all the other kids are doing, then you get sucked into the maelstrom.

I'm just grateful we live in Canberra and our school encourages kids to do community work and co-curricular as well as academic.

Jenni,

Perhaps (unfortunately) these days uni entry can be paralled with the adage 'All roads lead to Rome'.. rather than being an ultra-competitive pursuit.. universities want students, so they can bring in the $$$. (although I will add, now that uni's have introduced 'up-front payment' degrees, i.e. if you're not good enough to get in but want to front up 125k, you'll get in, which increases the competition somewhat, as well as slightly devaluing degrees and raking in more $$$). In fact I'm pretty annoyed.. they lowered honours entry from 5.5 to 5.0.. after I got my GPA to 6.33.. beh.

The most important thing however, is getting into a good university. If you want to pursue a serious professional/academic career, more than GPA, it's one's alma mater that will get them over the line. However, even getting into a good university is easy these days.. it will just not be an immediate thing. One can do bridging courses, study at another university and gain entry based upon GPA there, etc. it just takes an extra 6 months/year.

Once you're into your 'great uni' you may have another problem - your exit score/transfer credit is not good enough for the course you want to do. Worry not - there are often other avenues in. Aside from taking other courses and getting that Grade Point Average up, you may be able to take the course through another degree structure (Science and Arts can be very flexible).

For example, I got into my 'uni of choice' after finishing High School and even my 'course of choice' too. Yet, I wanted to change to Psychology in 2nd semester.. IT was not for me. Psych is a very popular course these days, you need an OP 2 (about UAI 98.3) to get into the B.Psych.Sci but instead I did the exact same degree structure by going through a B.Sc which only required an OP 6 or 7 (UAI 89.6), easily done.

So, therefore, there are many ways into uni.. of course the hardest thing is just performing well once you're in there.. if you haven't got the ability, you really shouldn't be attending.

antichrist
03-03-2005, 04:13 PM
The Chinese and some other mostly northern Asians are very pushy of their children. From about year 2 or 3 the children are made to go to much outside coaching to prepare for Opportunity Classes entrance exams in mid year 4.

Then in year 6 entrance exams for selective high schools take place.

The extra coaching takes place right up to year 12.

Sydney Boys High, a selective high school, is known as Shanghai Boys High, is similar for the girls school as well.

The parents are mainly the "students" who came out from 1986 onwards. They were well educated, but earlier their education was suppressed due to the Cultural Revolution. At least the older ones were.

They can't get to the top of the pile here due to many reasons but they want to children to. Also in China it is a lot more competitive to enter uni. so they are used to pushing.

arosar
16-03-2005, 06:07 PM
Finally this government is doing something right. It's good they're abolishing compulsory student union fees.

AR

Rincewind
16-03-2005, 06:30 PM
Finally this government is doing something right. It's good they're abolishing compulsory student union fees.

Why is that good?

eclectic
16-03-2005, 06:36 PM
Finally this government is doing something right. It's good they're abolishing compulsory student union fees.

AR

it won't stop the students paying them voluntarily if they have a social conscience

perhaps even wanting to pay more

as a way of sticking it up the coalition

let's see the student unions apply the much trumpeted "user pays" catchcry in the conservatives' favorite playpen called the "free market";

succeed, then wait for the next tactic that will be used to try and nobble them


eclectic

arosar
16-03-2005, 06:39 PM
Why is that good?

What do you mean why is that good? Mate it's good for me. I've never used any uni services (just believe me on this). So why in the world do I have to pay it if I don't want to?

AR

arosar
16-03-2005, 06:40 PM
it won't stop the students paying them voluntarily if they have a social conscience

And that's fine - so long as it's entirely voluntary.

AR

eclectic
16-03-2005, 06:41 PM
oh!

by the way

it's good to hear that that government is retrospectively abolishing all those compulsory upfront course fees, hecs fees, student loans fees, pels fees etc etc

so very kind

yes they'll continue to apply the word "compulsory" when it suits them


eclectic

Rincewind
16-03-2005, 08:19 PM
What do you mean why is that good? Mate it's good for me. I've never used any uni services (just believe me on this). So why in the world do I have to pay it if I don't want to?

The majority of your uni service fees are not union membership and you will continue to pay those. I believe the money you save will be less than you think.

Rincewind
16-03-2005, 08:25 PM
it won't stop the students paying them voluntarily if they have a social conscience

I dont think that will happen. For starters 50% of students are probably young liberal members and 80% of the rest are poor. I think spontaneous student rallies will probably happen on an issues basis but the back of the student union will probably be broken.

It's the complacency of compulsory unionism. Most students don't realise how much worse things could be and how much more the government is willing to make them pay for their education.

Any short term windfall ar makes will most like quickly evaporate in higher course and subject fees.

Thunderspirit
16-03-2005, 08:35 PM
Finally this government is doing something right. It's good they're abolishing compulsory student union fees.

AR

Amiel it disapoints me that you support the How Odd's government stance on complusary unionism. Union fees help support the main services that help in beauty that is university life.
Whether it is social activites, or providing services for students, students will fight to keep unionism alive and well at Australia's universities.
During O-Week when each of the clubs are recuitring, there are about a dozen at the Liberal stall, and at least double at the ALP right stall, sadly there weren't much at the ALP left stall, but I always joined.

"Together united we'll never be defeated!"

arosar
16-03-2005, 08:58 PM
Amiel it disapoints me that you support the How Odd's government stance on complusary unionism. Union fees help support the main services that help in beauty that is university life.
Whether it is social activites, or providing services for students, students will fight to keep unionism alive and well at Australia's universities.
During O-Week when each of the clubs are recuitring, there are about a dozen at the Liberal stall, and at least double at the ALP right stall, sadly there weren't much at the ALP left stall, but I always joined.

"Together united we'll never be defeated!"

What the bloody hell are you talkin' about mate? Listen, youse lot look after yourselves and I look after meself, alright? I mean, get this right. Them union fees go to crap services that I'll never use like child care! I mean, FMD! Why in the world am I paying for that shit? If I need it, then I'll pay for it. But right now, the unions siphon off up to $590 off students as soon as they front up to reception. No questions ask, that's it. Talk about bloody daylight robbery mate.

AR

Rincewind
16-03-2005, 09:08 PM
What the bloody hell are you talkin' about mate? Listen, youse lot look after yourselves and I look after meself, alright? I mean, get this right. Them union fees go to crap services that I'll never use like child care! I mean, FMD! Why in the world am I paying for that shit? If I need it, then I'll pay for it. But right now, the unions siphon off up to $590 off students as soon as they front up to reception. No questions ask, that's it. Talk about bloody daylight robbery mate.

What $590/annum???

what uni do you go to?

At uow undergrads pay around $50/annum for WUSA membership and postgrads a little under $60 for the postgrad equivalent.

Compulsory service charges for on campus services will remain pretty much unchanged and compulsory (AFAIK) this is probably the majority of your $590.

Cat
16-03-2005, 10:24 PM
What the bloody hell are you talkin' about mate? Listen, youse lot look after yourselves and I look after meself, alright? I mean, get this right. Them union fees go to crap services that I'll never use like child care! I mean, FMD! Why in the world am I paying for that shit? If I need it, then I'll pay for it. But right now, the unions siphon off up to $590 off students as soon as they front up to reception. No questions ask, that's it. Talk about bloody daylight robbery mate.

AR

AR, you're talking so sweetly, you could get on the Alan Jones show with this stuff. I reckon we should be bloody grateful for everything we get! Those Student Unions are just breeding grounds for Commie gits, some of whom even make it to the Front Bench. Anaesthetise the lot of them, that's what I say, play 'em a couple of hours of Australian Pop Idol, that'll soon shut um up!

When I were a lad a good shafting never did me any 'arm, we were grateful for it. No bloody nancy boy Student Unions when I were at Med School, Thatchers babes we were, feeding off the milk of the mother land.

Good on yer AR, you can't beat good old Victorian values, Land of Dope & Tories that's what I say!

arosar
16-03-2005, 10:37 PM
AR, you're talking so sweetly, you could get on the Alan Jones show with this stuff.

I'm more into Stan Zamanek meself actually.

AR

Alan Shore
16-03-2005, 11:05 PM
Our fees amount to about $280/year. I can honestly say I am not getting that back in union services...

If the idiots at the union had of cut prices like some were promising then none of this would have happened. But no, the union makes stupid complexes all for the use of women and queers... I mean come on, what a waste of money, they are not so elite and special as to be elevated above the rest of us, those rooms should be for everyone's use - the silent majority are getting excluded anyway so I see no point in paying fees for facilities I'm not permitted to utilise.

Far better is charging more for the services people do use.. then it'll be fair and stop dodgy expenditure.

Trent Parker
17-03-2005, 11:34 AM
What $590/annum???

what uni do you go to?

At uow undergrads pay around $50/annum for WUSA membership and postgrads a little under $60 for the postgrad equivalent.

Compulsory service charges for on campus services will remain pretty much unchanged and compulsory (AFAIK) this is probably the majority of your $590.

UWS charges $300pa; $ ;) $150 payable each semester.



Not getting into university straight away isn't the end of the world.

I was a top to middlin' student at high school..... until year 12. I ended up with a TER of 46.8. I was devistated. (it was TER not UAI back in 1997)

In 1999 I went to TAFE and did an advanced diploma in accounting. Finished that in 2000. In 2001 I started uni.....With 8 units credit from my TAFE course.

Optimally the path HS>>>>TAFE>>>>>Uni would add a year to my studies but would be much cheaper. (TAFE was about 600 a year at that time)

Trent Parker
17-03-2005, 11:41 AM
BTW, It is a load of Bull that you have to be in a private school to get a high UAI and i vehemently detest any statement that says so. Whoever says these things are only stuck up snobs.

Thunderspirit
17-03-2005, 07:52 PM
I'm disapointed with Amiel's position. (Obviuously he has the right.) I never used the child care facilities at my uni either, but that's not the point. It a collective fund that helps all students. If you don't feel like you're getting value for money you need to look for services that are more suited to you. If you look you'll find them.

It very selfish to argue against fees on the ground (every person for themselves). This is not a part of university life, where the 'education' includes more than just lectures and tutes.

It's like unionism generally. If the union works hard to get a pay rise for its members, the non-members also recieve those beniefts as well. Those people are called 'scabs' and no union member likes them.

The union movement will fight such changes- and they have my full support.

arosar
17-03-2005, 08:20 PM
The union movement will fight such changes- and they have my full support.

No need to lecture me on unionism Lee. But here's the deal. Why should I be hooked into it involuntarily? The bottom line, I want that choice for myself.

AR

Rincewind
17-03-2005, 09:01 PM
No need to lecture me on unionism Lee. But here's the deal. Why should I be hooked into it involuntarily? The bottom line, I want that choice for myself.

A voluntary system will be more expensive because of the added cost of determining service entitlement of a individual basis. A voluntary system will also be less effective as student from the lower s-e sector will be forced out of association membership by economic pressures, further disenfrancising them from tertiary education and having a voice in education policy making.

Ask yourself this ar. Why does a stong conservative government who has continually looked to increase the individual cost to the student of education over its term, also seeking to move to voluntary unionism? Think about this for a little bit and tell me if you think the financial "saving" of voluntary unionism will be long-lasting? Or in the long-term, will it be the least empowered of the participants (ie the students) who will end up footing the bill for the fee-hikes mandated by governments and universities?

firegoat7
17-03-2005, 09:15 PM
Hello,

This debate about union educational reforms, initiated by the liberals, stinks of hypocrisy.

The chief headkicker in this debate is the Minister for misinformation Brendon Nelson. Mr.Nelson, was head of the AMA, arguably the biggest trade union in the country. Mr Nelson finds it perfectly acceptable to be a former leader of " a closed shop industrial organisation" then starts preaching to parliament that these sort of practices must be reformed.

Give us a break, the real agenda is political. Student unions continue to be a major obstacle, and a vocal voice against the Howard government. Denying them fees is simply a strategy designed to prevent criticism of the conservatives.

They try to sell it along the lines of individuality, but ultimately the message is mixed and completely hypocritical. They have no right to force this political agenda through parliament, it has been rejected twice in recent Victorian/Australian history. It is a waste of tax payer money and time.


If students believe their fees are a misappropriated they should agitate within the university systems themselves and change it. After all it is a student issue not a parliament issue.

cheers Fg7

Thunderspirit
17-03-2005, 09:19 PM
A voluntary system will be more expensive because of the added cost of determining service entitlement of a individual basis. A voluntary system will also be less effective as student from the lower s-e sector will be forced out of association membership by economic pressures, further disenfrancising them from tertiary education and having a voice in education policy making.

Ask yourself this ar. Why does a stong conservative government who has continually looked to increase the individual cost to the student of education over its term, also seeking to move to voluntary unionism? Think about this for a little bit and tell me if you think the financial "saving" of voluntary unionism will be long-lasting? Or in the long-term, will it be the least empowered of the participants (ie the students) who will end up footing the bill for the fee-hikes mandated by governments and universities?

A wise comrade: Thankyou.

firegoat7
18-03-2005, 07:03 PM
A friend passed this along to me I thought it was highly unusual for a VC to be speaking out against the cuts, but then again why not, its great to see.





Yesterday the Minister for Education introduced in Parliament a Bill which, if enacted, is likely to spell the death of the University as a community.



As has now been revealed, the Government has decided to introduce the most restrictive form of Voluntary Student Unionism. The Bill precludes Universities from collecting fees to support services that contribute to the “University experience” for students and thus puts in extreme jeopardy health and welfare services, legal advocacy, affordable childcare, employment services, sporting facilities, the provision of subsidized food outlets and much else.



Organized student representation will no longer be the norm with the potential for individuals to lose their voice in helping to shape and deliver a quality education to meet their needs. In short, this legislation denies students the right to access support services and engagement in activities that contribute to the successful completion of their studies.



This legislation allegedly has been formulated in pursuit of the twin principles of freedom of association and the financial welfare of students. Neither of these claims can withstand serious examination.



In respect of “freedom of association” students at La Trobe University already have the option not to join the Union; their “freedom of association” can be enshrined in any form of compulsory fees set to support the continued availability of a range of services and activities. In reality this legislation will, if anything, inhibit association by despoiling universities of the very facilities that encourage social interaction.



As for the supposed amelioration of student circumstances, it is instructive to examine the example given by the Minister himself in his introductory speech to Parliament. The example of unfairness encompassed a “single mother who is training to be a nurse paying for the canoeing club or the mountaineers”. Leaving aside the possibility that such a student may have, or develop, an interest in such pursuits (and have a better opportunity of doing so in the campus context) under present circumstances she has access to a subsidized child-care facility by virtue of the payment of the General Service Fee. Under the new supposedly “friendly” regime she will not, of course, see any contributions going to such sporting organizations, but she will have to pay – or more likely be in no position to pay – a sum considerably in excess of the total GSF levy to access (unsubsidized) child-care facilities. Perhaps the Minister would like to spell out in detail the advantage that his legislation actually offers to such a student.



Not content with persisting in the underfunding of universities the Minister is now legislating to ensure that they become wastelands lacking even the basic facilities that are the hallmark of decent universities worldwide. Australia will in fact be the only country in the developed world where universities do not levy compulsory fees for campus services. This bill can only lead to impoverishment of universities in Australia and will in time contribute to a situation where Australia experiences an outflow of students to overseas universities which boast better facilities and, of course, a diminished inflow as overseas students see Australian institutions becoming academic slums.



This is bad enough, but what makes the situation truly dangerous is the consideration that over recent years government policies have reduced Australian universities to a condition of substantial dependence upon the recruitment of international students.



This legislation is a recipe not just for the user to pay but for the user to pay more; despite all the demulcent prattle to the contrary it can only lead to the deterioration, and probably the eventual demise of services and facilities which will not be able to withstand uncertain funding; and it will effectively destroy the university as a community in defiance of all the evidence for the importance of a vibrant campus life both for the welfare of the students and for the reputation of Australian universities internationally. These are hardly achievements of which a country with a long tradition of higher education should be proud.



In regional Australia the impact will be particularly devastating. For in many campuses there is insufficient critical mass to attract outside enterprises and the alternative facilities that may (at a price) be available in the city are frequently absent. Perhaps more pertinently regional campuses are important providers of employment opportunities for their local communities – but not for much longer it seems.

_____________________________________________



At a practical level the University is establishing a Working Party under the Chair of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equity and Access), Dr Kerry Ferguson, firstly to co-ordinate opposition to the introduction of this legislation and secondly, and importantly, to explore all possible ways of mitigating the impact of this legislation on the provision of support services and activities on our campuses.



I will provide further updates on the situation periodically.



Michael J Osborne

Vice-Chancellor

17 March 2005