[ASC-list] University science

Helen Sim Helen.Sim at csiro.au
Fri Jan 20 02:59:59 UTC 2012


This article doesn't say how the situation has changed over time -- if 
indeed it has. It may always have been the case that a large number of 
first-year students found themselves "disillusioned" about science, 
maths and engineering. Maybe the actual report says more; maybe not.

- Helen


On 20/01/12 12:48 PM, Niall Byrne wrote:
>
> Despite the ASC debate I’m still seeing the UniMelb figures as a good 
> sign for science.
>
> But this story from the Age is less good. It implies we’re getting 
> them into university but then turning them off.
>
> That’s a  challenge for university lecturers.
>
> Ps: this story contains the usual maths. I say that, because they 
> grumble so often there’s a danger that they end up talking down the 
> status of maths. My consistent advice to the physicists has been, be 
> enthusiastic in public space… for example a shortage of physicists 
> means more money for those left… debate welcomed.
>
> Niall
>
>
>   Uni science courses lack 'relevance'
>
>
>           Jen Rosenberg
>
> January 20, 2012
>
> ·
>
> University courses are not relevant to life, students claim. Photo: 
> Craig Abraham
>
> ALMOST half the university students studying science, maths, 
> technology and engineering do not think their course is relevant to 
> Australian life, a study has found.
>
> Commissioned by the Chief Scientist, Universities Australia surveyed 
> first-year university students and found they expressed concern over 
> the relevance and role of those disciplines in their lives and 
> communities.
>
> They are disillusioned with the subject matter and the way it is taught.
>
> It follows a report in December showing that the number of high school 
> students taking science units has plummeted.
>
> The report was a wake-up call, said the chief executive of 
> Universities Australia, Professor Glenn Withers, and ''poses a risk to 
> Australia's future as an innovative nation and an international leader 
> in research''.
>
> Science degrees are in greater demand, with more students applying for 
> university, but they are gravitating more towards the health sciences 
> as pure sciences lose favour.
>
> ''It is quite acceptable for people to say 'I was no good at maths' 
> and that sets up a culture in which it's OK not to do well at maths 
> and not like maths,'' said Will Morony, chief executive of the 
> Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers.
>
>
>
> Read more: 
> http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/uni-science-courses-lack-relevance-20120119-1q8f6.html#ixzz1jxTgr0eZ
>
> --------------
>
> Niall Byrne
>
> Creative Director
>
> Science in Public
>
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>
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>
> 03 9398 1416, 0417 131 977
>
> niall at scienceinpublic.com.au <mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au>
>
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>
> Full contact details at www.scienceinpublic.com.au 
> <http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au>
>


-- 
------
Helen Sim
Media Liaison and Public Relations

CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
and
Australian Astronomical Observatory

T: +61 2 9372 4251
M: +61 419 635 905


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