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(Australian Associated Press)
As thousands of young Australians receive university offers, the education minister is cautioning them to make sure they’ve chosen the right course to pursue their dreams.
New figures from the government show almost one in 11 students drop out within their first year of uni.
Of those students who stick with their course after a year, another one in nine drop out later.
After six years, a third of students still haven’t finished their course.
“We’ve heard too many stories about students who have changed courses, dropped out because they made the wrong choices about what to study, students who didn’t realise there were other entry pathways, or who started a course with next to no idea of what they were signing themselves up for,” Education Minister Simon Birmingham said on Wednesday.
The education department’s analysis finds the biggest factors in students dropping out were whether they studied full- or part-time and their age, not their university entrance score.
Compounding this effect, older students were more likely to be doing a part-time load.
“It is well known that part-time older students have the greatest difficulty in successfully completing their degree,” the department’s report said.
Senator Birmingham urged all students to take the time to understand all their options, even if they’ve received an offer for a university place.
He highlighted the government’s QILT website as a one-stop shop for prospective students wanting to better understand university and course options and what was most likely to help them land a job after graduation.
“While there will always be a number of students who don’t complete university for a variety of reasons, our ambition to protect both students and taxpayers from a waste of time and money is to keep this number as low as practical,” the minister said.