Australian Financial Review | 18 March 2013
Bachelor degree students are flocking to courses in science-based disciplines and moving away from law, management and commerce, as the uncapping of places available in undergraduate courses takes hold.
The latest available figures for student numbers show that from 2009, when the Labor government announced it would end quotas on numbers of students in bachelor degree courses, to 2011, the most growth has been in health disciplines (17%), natural and physical sciences (12%), engineering and related technologies (12%), agriculture, environmental and related studies (12%) and creative arts (11 %).
The lowest student growth over that two-year period was in management and commerce (2%) and law (3%). The figures belie concerns recently raised by the Business Council of Australia that the deregulated system, as it stands, would lead to universities prioritising law and commerce in undergraduate degrees over such disciplines as agriculture and science, and trying to grow student numbers in the former because of their higher profit margin.