Accumulating degrees through taking single subjects-A possibility at Macquarie University

Year: 1994

Author: Pisk, Karen

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The problem was to determine perceptions of undergraduate students at Macquarie University who take advantage of the non-award program's guidelines which allow them, after obtaining a "C" average in first year with 18 credit points, to obtain automatic entry into second year. These students have been admitted regardless of their TER score and have enrolled in single subjects with an up-front payment of $300 per credit point.

Invitations were given to volunteers to participate in a survey questionnaire which consisted of Likert-type questions and open-ended questions concerning the advantages and disadvantages of studying in the non-award program, the problems of being a student who has achieved a lower cut-off than the required aggregate, and the future plans of such students. Progress of the students at the University was also noted, as well as their response to gaining entry into a full degree program after one year.

A very positive response to the scheme was indicated by all the students, mainly because it gave them a chance to experience university life, enhance their career opportunities and demonstrate that they could pass at a tertiary level even if their TER scores were not high enough to enable them to enter.

The argument could be put that, like secondary education, tertiary education should be available for all who wish to take up the challenge. The case for competency-based training which is being implemented in other areas all over Australia, is equally valid at tertiary level where if the students show that they can successfully complete a course, they should be able to obtain formal recognition and accreditation.