Health, construction, business and policing the popular choices, as UWS makes its uni offers
The University of Western Sydney is making 8741 main round university offers today - and the popular picks among students in these uncertain economic times are for courses that are likely to have strong career prospects in a tighter job market.
With 1502 offers made in the preliminary round, this takes the total number of UWS offers to 10,243 - the largest of any NSW university.
In good news for Greater Western Sydney, 83 per cent of the University's main round offers are to students from the region.
Career trends for 2009 include:
Policing and forensic science; Construction management; Business; Teaching; Psychology; Medicine; Nursing; health-related fields - particularly sport and exercise science and personal development, health and physical education (PDHPE); Combined law studies; Communication and information technologies; and Visual communication.
The anticipation of a national infrastructure and housing construction boom over the next few years has led to the Bachelor of Construction Management experiencing a significant jump in first preferences. As a result, the University is making close to 200 offers to this course in the main round.
Law enforcement and crime-solving professions have also been popular this year. The Bachelor of Policing and Bachelor of Science (Forensic Science) have both experienced large increases in first preferences, and UWS is making a total of 218 main round offers across these two programs.
Other key workforce areas with skills shortages will get a much-needed boost, with the University making large numbers of offers across engineering, early childhood studies, and primary and secondary education, including science teaching.
Professor Stuart Campbell, UWS Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), says the financial downturn may be leading people to consider their future and encouraging them to take up tertiary study.
"Given the global uncertainty, we could be seeing a move toward professions that are less exposed to the major economic changes, where employment may be steadier in the future," Professor Campbell says.
"A national focus on creating a healthier future for Australia and managing growing health challenges like obesity, heart disease and diabetes has perhaps led to increased popularity in the health-related disciplines like sport and exercise science and PDHPE this year. Medicine and nursing also continue to be in high demand with students."
Professor Campbell says other broad disciplines like arts, combined law studies, business and social science are experiencing strong demand.
"It could be that people feel traditional disciplines give them flexibility in their working lives and added career choice in a competitive employment market," says Professor Campbell.
The University's business programs have had a significant jump in first preferences in 2009, and UWS will be making close to 2000 offers across the Bachelor of Business and Commerce and its Advanced Business Leadership stream for high-achieving students.
Similarly, the Bachelor of Arts continues to be a popular choice. UWS is making a combined total of 1159 main round offers to its BA, Bachelor of Arts/Master of Teaching (Primary) and Bachelor of Arts/Master of Teaching (Secondary) programs.
This year the University also introduced its new Bachelor of Information and Communication Technologies degree. It has proved to be popular with students interested in rapidly-developing fields like web design, systems architecture, network administration and games development. UWS will be making over 100 offers to this course in the main round.
UWS continues to grow as a university of first choice for students - particularly those from Greater Western Sydney, according to Professor Campbell.
"UWS received the second highest number of main round first preferences in NSW this year. Demand was particularly strong among school leavers, up seven per cent on last year," he says.
"Importantly, there's also been an eight per cent increase in first preferences from Greater Western Sydney applicants.
"Providing the 1.9 million people in Greater Western Sydney with the opportunity to study at their local university is vitally important to us. In 20 years, we've produced over 100,000 graduates - leaders who are creating an impact through their professional endeavours and making a difference in their communities.
"Initiatives such as our $45 million scholarship program, advanced courses for high achievers, and our Aspire leadership program for top achieving students in Western Sydney ensure that UWS continues to realise the region's educational hopes and aspirations.
"We congratulate all the students who have gained a place in their chosen degree today, and look forward to welcoming these students to UWS in the weeks to come."
For more information about UWS courses, to discuss your study options, or to find out what areas of study still have places available in the late round, contact UWS on 1800 897 669, email email@example.com or visit www.uws.edu.au
Media Services Manager
02 9678 7084, 0418 438 399