Universities of Western Australia (UWA) and Sydney (UniSYD) - two Go8 universities in Australia are the latest to go on the same pathway as University of Melbourne (now known as the Melbourne Model) to streamline undergraduate courses and offer professional degrees only at postgraduate level
These changes are planned as unis gear up for 2012 reform. Parliament passed enabling legislation this week.
(The Australian - 09 Sept '09) The UWA will not do a swift transition as implemented at UniMEL, but will have a three-year transition phase. With this change UWA will reduce 70 undergraduate courses into five degrees. UWA will develop the model giving students a choice of three-year bachelor degrees in arts, science, commerce, or design, and high-performing students will be offered places in a research-focused four-year honours degree badged a Bachelor of Philosophy.
At UniSYD more than 30percent of undergraduates at present take double degrees, combining a discipline and a professional degree. The new structure of three-year Bachelors and two-year professional Masters will effectively deliver the same thing. The universities believe it's a better way to do (double degrees) in sequence. Such more streamlined course structure eventually would free up time for staff to pursue research and will help to improve student-staff ratio and also to recruit quality staff. At UniSYD there are about 48,000 students at the moment and the staff to student ratio is 16.9 to one.
The education in Australia is a serious business.
The other Australian universities too are in the midst of working out practical responses to the Bradley reform which will lift the cap on student numbers in 2012. The government is continuously taking steps to fund, monitor and improve the quality of education especially at tertiary level. The universities are made to work hard to improve the standards to be in par with internationally recognised universities in the world.
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