The SCU degree that’s had enrolments skyrocket by 116%

SOUTHERN Cross University’s summer session has attracted almost 20 per cent more domestic enrolments than for the same intake last year.

Overall domestic applications at the university were up, year-on-year, more than 28 per cent to 1473, resulting in an 18 per cent rise in enrolments to 763 students.

Session 3 started last week and continues to February 19.

The most popular degrees by applications for Session 3 are in health and human sciences:

Master of Social Work – up 84 per cent

Bachelor of Nursing – up 81.2 per cent

Bachelor Psychological Science – up 116 per cent

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy – up 26 per cent

Associate Degree in Law – up 27.8 per cent.

SCU’s Vice President of Engagement, Ben Roche, said they were pleased with the demand, “especially given this year has been one of the most challenging in the history of the university”.

“Domestic students are increasingly recongising that there are world-class options for further study right here in our own backyard, that allow a healthier balance of work, life and study,” he said.

“Our students can be confident of the university’s future, and while for many in larger cities the future remains uncertain, there is a definite air of optimism in the regions.”

All teaching is still being done online.

Access to the campus is restricted and face-to-face graduations are postponed until further notice.

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Pandemic impact boosts SA uni enrolments

A shrinking job market and overseas travel restrictions have prompted more South Australians to consider tertiary education, despite ongoing concerns about the loss of international students from the state’s pandemic-hit universities.

Flinders University data provided to InDaily shows undergraduate offers rose by just over 23 per cent for semester two this year compared to the same time last year, while postgraduate offers were up by 35 per cent on 2019 figures.

The growth was spread across all courses, with health-related degrees showing the biggest spike in demand as the industry continues to grapple with the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

All up, 2546 offers were made, with the university anticipating that the increased domestic student demand will continue into 2021.

“There’s been an overall increase in interest in higher education in South Australia in recent months,” Flinders University deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Clare Pollock said.

“That demand is growing comes as no surprise.

“Due to COVID-19, school leavers are more carefully considering their options as the prospect of gap year travel is limited and the job market is very tight.

“Those in the job market are also facing uncertainty and seeking to strengthen their employability through up-skilling.”

 Across-town rival Adelaide University also reported better than expected results, with domestic student enrolments for semester 2 up by four per cent – 14,476 undergraduate and postgraduate students – on last year’s figures.

International student enrolments also rose by five per cent – 6903 students –with the vast majority of those enrolled completing their studies remotely.

But the number of international students commencing studies in semester two this year dropped by 26 per cent on 2019 figures, with only 543 new students starting in the second half of this year compared to the same time last year, prompting a seven per cent drop in revenue.

“Better than expected offshore enrolments have been the main contributing factor to the improved 2020 position,” a university spokesperson told InDaily last month.

“However, the declining number of international students commencing in semester two 2020 points to the long-term impacts of COVID-19 and the financial challenges ahead.

“The University is expecting this to impact on the pipeline of commencing international students for 2021, and again in 2022, which will have further impacts on the University’s revenue for each of those years.”

The results prompted the university’s acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Brooks in September to call off or defer several cost-cutting measures proposed earlier in the year and agreed to by the majority of staff in August. 

InDaily contacted the University of South Australia in July asking for its enrolment data but is yet to receive a response.

Nationally, university enrolments have grown by one percent this year compared to last year, but the number of new students commencing studies has declined by 14 per cent.

The Department for Education, Skills and Employment anticipates that some international students may continue to enrol and study from offshore but the impact of COVID-19 will be drawn out over the longer term.

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NT election 2020: Tik Tok plan to drive Indigenous youth voter enrolments

Anti-fracking group Seed NT is encouraging young Indigenous Territorians to use social media platform Tik Tok to increase Aboriginal electoral enrolment in time for the Northern Territory election on August 22.

Seed NT community organiser Vanessa Farrelly said rates for Indigenous enrolment were too low.

“We’re trying to use the platforms that our people are already on,” she said.

Ms Farrelly said Seed NT’s efforts to enroll people across the Northern Territory had been challenging, given restrictions around COVID-19.

The organisation is running a competition for the best Tik Tok and poster, to “raise awareness that the NT election is coming up and to encourage Indigenous people to vote.”

“The NT has a shocking rate of the amount of indigenous people who are voting and enrolled in elections,” she said.

Ms Farrelly said it was crucial to capture a generation of younger people eligible to vote but not enrolled.

“In remote areas, it’s so hard to enrol unless you have someone there walking you through the form,” she said.

Remote enrolment drive

The Northern Territory Electoral Commission [NTEC] said anything that could be done to promote voting was welcome, as long as it was done ‘tastefully’.

Electoral Commissioner Iain Loganathan said the NTEC had also moved a lot of its promotional work to social media.

The commission had been visiting remote communities since mid-June, with interpreters, to encourage and increase enrolments, The visits will end before the end of the month when the electoral roll closes.

According to the Australian Electoral Commission, the Indigenous enrolment rate at the end of June 2019 was 68 per cent in the NT, an increase on the 2016 statistics.

Mr Loganathan said 140,000 people were enrolled across the NT, 5,000 more than at the last NT election in 2016.

“But that obviously includes all the urban divisions, and comparatively to the remote divisions, there’s been more growth in urban divisions than in remote divisions.”

Additionally, for the first time ever this election, if residents forget to enrol, they may still be eligible to vote.

“There have been some changes to the electoral act,” he said.

“If you’re not sure whether you’re on the roll, still attend, go to the voting centre, and they will help you.”

Early voting centres will open in remote communities from August 10 and for the first time, in larger communities, will accept votes for two days instead of one.

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