Science Students in Brain Drain

Image: Studentsepaper.com

Week 4 in class assessment.

Updated Copy:

Thirty per cent of university students studying science degrees withdraw after their first year with 15 percent transferring to other courses, according to an RMIT University study released today. RMIT science lecturer Henry Jones included student feedback their teachers didn’t “have the [necessary] skills or experience”. Dr Jones said the Victorian study examined enrolment data from 2007 to 2016 and gave a greater understanding to high withdrawal rates Australia wide. “Clearly, as a discipline, we have some work to do,” Dr Jones said.

National Tertiary Education Union president, Paul Adams, called the report “a disgraceful attempt to blame academics for what is nothing more than poor government policy”. Mr Ryan said due to decades long government cuts to uni funding, academic staff were “overworked, underpaid and under resourced”. He said uni management was to blame for the pressure placed on academics by funding cuts and that this had impacted the quality of education.

Tertiary expert, University of Melbourne Professor Simon Magnusson said it was too easy to “lay all the blame [on] university science teachers”. Prof Magnusson said the reports findings were in line with international results for science student dissatisfaction. He said stress, financial hardship and a change of mind were 3 leading reasons why students drop out. “It might be that a student who thought they were interested in a career in science discovered they were interested in something else.”

Dr Jones said the report was the first step to improving the delivery of science courses in Australia.

Original Submission:

Thirty per cent of university students studying science degrees withdraw after their first year with 15% transferring to other courses. A study published yesterday by RMIT science lecturer Dr Henry Jones included student feedback their teachers didn’t “have the [necessary] skills or experience.” Dr Jones said the Victorian study examined enrolment data from 2007 to 2016 and gave a greater understanding to high withdrawal rates Australia wide. “Clearly, as a discipline, we have some work to do,” said Dr Jones.

National Tertiary Education Union President, Paul Adams, called the report “a disgraceful attempt to blame academics for what is nothing more than poor government policy.” Mr Ryan said due to decades long government cuts to uni funding, academic staff were “overworked, underpaid and under resourced.” He said uni management was to blame for the pressure placed on academics by funding cuts and that this had impacted the quality of education.

Tertiary expert, University of Melbourne Professor Simon Magnusson said it was too easy to “lay all the blame [on] university science teachers.” Prof Magnusson said the reports findings were in line with international results for science student dissatisfaction. He also named stress, financial hardship and a change of mind as 3 leading reasons why students drop out. “It might be that a student who thought they were interested in a career in science discovered they were interested in something else.”

Dr Jones said the report was the first step to improving the delivery of science courses in Australia.