Saturday, 12 September 2009

HSC Debate

Right here, the vice-chancellor of the University of Sydney criticised the HSC ranking system (UAI) as being a too-narrow system that favoured elite (think "private" and "selective" school) students and didn't always get the best students into Universities.

Now not all agree with him. Certainly not the head of James Ruse Agricultural, but then they always do the best in the HSC in NSW so what do you expect?

I'm just wondering though, if the head of the Uni of Sydney isn't in favour of the UAI as a way of selecting people who can get into his Uni, then why not make a different entrance criteria for the University of Sydney? Something more in line with what he considers allows the brightest students to have a chance in his Uni? Auditions, applications, resumes, interviews, whatever? And let other Universities use the UAI if that's what they want?

Then if the Uni of Sydney starts producing all these absolute wonders in comparison with the mediocrity of everywhere else everyone will start following in their footsteps and maybe the UAI will become redundant or unimportant ...

Sounds like a great idea to me!

11 comments:

nailpolishblues said...

I got into Sydney uni via a pleading letter and some non-standard application thing. I'd massively failed at another university and, from what I can recall, was basically barred from there and it was doubtful anywhere else would take me. I took a degree after a while so I suppose that worked. I remember that I also applied at UTS and they were quite catty in their rejection. Rather unnecessary, I thought.

Dan the VespaMan said...

I guess the UAI just gives the whole thing some sort of "system". It certainly isn't faultless, but at least it has some sort of logic behind it.

The HSC is a fairly dreadful thing in my opinion. It seems a bit creepy to me the way that the kids seem to consider it a "do or die" phase of life. I know lots of people who failed their HSC miserably and still went on to lead productive and enjoyable lives.

Maria said...

No system is faultless, Dan; whatever system there is, someone's gonna find fault with it!

I didn't really enjoy the HSC but I have heard many stories in other cultures that there si far worse pressure elsewhere - Mr Coffee told me about how it is common to hear of students committing suicide because they didn't get 'that' grade in Hong Kong and I don't hear nearly so much publicity about suicides in Australia where someone says they plunged to their death because they didn't get 99 or something. I don't think this means that the HSC is 'good', just that I am not sure exactly how it rates as 'ordinary' among student pressure against other cultures.

Maria said...

I got into TAFE via a very nonstandard application too, nails!

I rushed in all windswept and unprepared and improvised in an interview. Maybe it made me look 'artsy' and 'creative' and that's what they were looking for!

Anonymous Bosch said...

Feel free to kick the UAI all you want, Maria - in fact, drive a stake through its heart. It's dead anyway, and replaced by the all-new, bluer-than-white, stain-resistant ATAR. (Which might stand for Australian Tertiary Admission Ranking. Or might not. I'm winging it here).

Newcastle led the way, in its Medicine Faculty. Apparently they realised that while students with high UAI's could get through the course OK, they had virtually no useful bedside manner and could really only work as anaesthetists. Having the patient unconscious is a major advantage when you have no conversational or other real-world skills.

Now all the uni's are bending the UAI rules in various ways: interviews, bonus points for various courses, entry from associated 'business colleges', special consideration for mature students, etc. Essentially, there's an academic home for everyone, if they can just find it.

As for Hong Kong, I've worked there, and it was kind of sad talking to young professionals there who were stuck in that highly competitive system after getting their degree at RMIT, etc. They look back on those carefree days in laid-back Australia - and almost beg me to hide them in my suitcase when I return. Talk about yer lucky country . . .

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Leaving aside this UAI matter: HAPPPEEEEEE BIRTHDAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY! Hope you have the loveliest day. xoxoxo

TimT said...

I'll join in in a dischordant way, HAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPY BIIIIIIIIIIIIIRTHHHHHHDAY!

It's fun shouting on other people's blogs! YAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Anonymous Bosch said...

It's your birthday? Why wasn't I told?

Hippy birdy!

(sung to the tune of "Land of Hope and Glory")

nailpolishblues said...

That tafe isn't the one in Enmore is it?

Happy birthday.

Maria said...

Oh, thank you lovely people, and ... right back at you TimT!

I marked the day well by overindulging in sugary stuff. Headspinning but yummy!

James Drax said...

My UAI sucked and I'm onto my second Master's Degree at USYD.