Education Talking Points 23-02-2016

education talking points





Chemistry offering students a bright future, but students are still sceptical

Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel is calling for Australian students to be properly informed about the opportunities available in national science and research. Australian students are still sceptical that following science, and particularly chemistry, into university is a secure pathway. With a 25% decrease in year 12 students choosing chemistry, Finkel claims that the science community is not doing enough to “articulate the big national challenges” and “global needs” within this sector and that links need to improve between chemistry researchers and the industry. According to the academy, advances in chemistry contribute more than $24bn towards Australia’s economic output and more than 60,000 people are employed in the chemical industry. Click here for full article.


Male teachers now a rarity in Australian primary schools

With males now making up only one in five teachers in Australian primary schools, there are growing concerns that male primary teachers are fast becoming a thing of the past. One early childhood education lecturer, Martyn Mills-Bayne, has gone so far as to set up a support program to increase the number of males in the degree. He claims that children are “missing out on a diverse teaching experience” and aren’t being exposed to the complex relationships within classroom that are healthy in early education. He highlights the fact that the teaching and caring of young kids is too often perceived as “women’s work” which consequently deters males from seeking a career in this field. Click here for full article.


Australian universities called to further encourage international study and work experience

With more students than ever attending universities in Australia, competition for undergraduate positions is tightening, and students are finding it increasingly difficult to differentiate themselves post-study. With globalisation currently a hot topic, universities are being pushed to internationalise their curriculums and set targets for getting students into study and work experiences overseas. The chief executive of the Australian Association of Graduate Employers, Ben Reeves, states that students who seek overseas experience are likely to develop abilities to take initiative and adapt to unusual situations, something that is highly regarded by employers. However, figures show that Australian students aren’t as mobile as they should be, and that only a fraction study overseas compared with the numbers of international students studying in Australia. Click here for full article.


Tech-savvy employees in short supply among Australian businesses

Experts say that it’s time for local companies to begin stimulating the domestic talent pool to help tackle the skills shortage in the IT sector Melbourne-based software developer, Graeme Strange has launched a new two-year graduate program to do exactly that. Realising that more needs to be done to support the IT industry within Australia, Strange believes young Australians have a lot of potential to be innovative and entrepreneurial but at the same time we’re lacking the education institutions to teach the right skill sets. He said that simply shunting more kids into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics classes wasn’t going to fix the problem. He claims that, with a country full of technology, there are boundless opportunities for work as technology creators and coders. Technological skills are increasingly sought after within Australian businesses and today innovation and software tend to go hand-in-hand. Click here for full article.


International education exports smash previous records at $19.65bn

Revenue from Australian education exports grew by A$2bn in 2015, making international education Australia’s third largest export. Growth of 11.5% in spending by international students, including tuition fees, accommodation and living expenses, was spurred on by a 13% rise in education-related travel compared to 2014 levels. These figures have helped to outline the importance of international education for Australian students in the twenty-first century. Phil Honeywood, executive director of the International Education Association of Australia, claims that continued growth in this market is essential considering increasing competition from other destination countries and believes that Australia is more than capable of maintaining it. Click here for full article.