Australian schools fail to prepare students for university

CANBERRA: Australia’s schools are failing to produce students with literacy and numeracy skills required at university, reported Xinhua News Agency, quoting a report.

The Productivity Commission on Monday released its report into the demand driven funding system for universities, revealing that it led to a higher number of students dropping out.

Under the system, 60 per cent of young people had attended university by the age of 22 in 2016, compared with 53 per cent in 2010.

However, the additional students enrolled in university who would otherwise not have done so were generally less prepared for higher education, achieving lower scores in literacy and numeracy tests.

Of the additional students 21 per cent had dropped out of university compared to 12 per cent of other students.

Those who did graduate had a harder time in the job market, with fewer in full-time work with lower average pay.

“It’s a clear challenge for policy,” Michael Brennan, the chair of the Productivity Commission, said in the report.

Despite the system allowing tens of thousands of students from poorer backgrounds to attend university, the report found it failed to create opportunities for indigenous and rural students.

The demand-driven system was abolished by the incumbent government in 2017 after government expenditure on higher education rose from A$6.4 billion to A$9.3 billion in eight years. – Bernama