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National admissions standard urged for teaching degrees

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Teachers

Studying to qualify as a teacher is set to become a little harder, with many in the industry calling for a standard national minimum entry score. While several states including Victoria and NSW have raised the minimum score required, the concern is that there is no national standard. 

Last year NSW announced that students wanting to study teaching would require an ATAR of approximately 75. While in November this year, the Victorian Education Minister James Merlino also announced an increase in the ATAR score required for an undergraduate teaching degree. In Victoria this change lifts the required ATAR to 68 in 2018 and 70 in 2019. A move which will restrict teaching degrees to the top 30% of year 12 students.

Many in the education sector believe this move is essential to stem the current oversupply of teachers and to ensure that the best students are in turn becoming teachers and working in the country’s schools.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli is calling for the Federal Government to step in to instigate national standards. He said this would help to prevent students that have not met NSW’s standards from coming into the state, where their qualification has to be recognised.

Those in favour of new entrance scores say this type of minimum standard is already working successfully in other countries that outperform Australia. They also argue that taking students from the top 30% will increase the status of a teaching degree and improve retention rates amongst teaching students.

At the same time others in the industry, including Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor Greg Craven, are warning the move could result in a shortage of teachers and as a result, larger class sizes.

Sources: Sydney Morning Herald and 3AW 

 

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