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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Everyone passes -- or else!

Universities will have to push failing students above the 50 percent mark or pay hefty fines under legislation proposed by the Australian government, writes Steven Schwartz, who's served as a university vice chancellor in Australia and London.


Over the past 20 years, responding to Australia's "college for all" policies, less-prestigious universities lowered admissions standards, he writes. Dropout rates soared.


To eliminate failure, the government will mandate that "university students who score less than 50 percent in their exams will be entitled to a slew of educational life-savers," such as "university-funded tutoring, counseling, examination do-overs, special exams, and extended deadlines."


Universities will be fined $18,780 per failing student.


Universities could raise admissions standards -- or lower academic standards for admitted students.


Students will "get a degree just for showing up," predicts Schwartz. Or, perhaps not showing up. All those failure-is-not-an-option graduates will discover that their degrees are meaningless.


Ten less-prestigious state universities in Michigan will guarantee admission to students with a 3.0 (B) average. Test scores will not be required as a check against grade inflation.

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Guest
Sep 29, 2023

This could have excellent results. As the college degree will no longer signify real ability, independent testing will be needed for students to show competency. Something like the GCSE or such in Britain, but for college. There are the Bar Exam for lawyers and the various USCG testing for maritime competency. So post schooling competency testing isn't something new. And do you really need the schooling if you can show competency after on the job experience or self-learning? Of course, the gatekeepers will demand schooling as they came to do for law school which apparently doesn't train anyone to practice law.

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Guest
Oct 03, 2023
Replying to

It might have been a wonderful time when a person could study law and pass the bar by taking a test (no formal schooling necessary), but I think those days are sadly past. There are fields, such as law, STEM, accounting, etc, where you just really need a full, formal education. A test just couldn't possibly cut it (unless it was a week long).

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Guest
Sep 29, 2023

So silly. Some occupations REQUIRE credentials that actually work. You don't want your bridges designed by dolts who couldn't pass their structural engineering classes. This will just pass the credential down the line. Now other third parties will have to create tests and certifications so graduates can show they know how to do what they're being hired to do.


I also suspect this will have a somewhat chilling effect on the employment of fresh graduates. Employers will figure that the easiest thing to do is hire people with experience, rather than trust recent graduates.


Or, of course, we can just descend into Idiocracy.


I swear, there should be a government regulation against government regulations... er, well, something like that :)


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Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
Sep 30, 2023
Replying to

I don't give former president Trump much credit, but he was on to something when he ordered, under his administration, the removal of two regulations for every new one that was written; but as the world grows more complex, we'll need more regulation, not less, so, in education in federations, we should probably constitutionally reserve this issue to the States (as under our Tenth Amendment, which is regularly ignored in Washington, D.C.), whose civil statutes should reserve their regulation to their regions.

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