Health, teaching and policing popular, as UWS increases its first preferences for 2010

Date: 07/12/2009

Demand to study at the University of Western Sydney is on the rise, with UWS experiencing an increase in first preferences for 2010 to over 9500 - a jump of almost 5 per cent from last year.

Adding to the good news, the University has recorded a 16.3 per cent increase in first preferences from 30 September to 30 November.

UWS has increased its number of total preferences for 2010 to over 62,000 - the second largest in NSW and the ACT.

Importantly, UWS is a university of first choice for a growing number of prospective students. The University has recorded over 28,000 1st-3rd preferences for next year - representing a 9.4 per cent increase on the same time last year.

UWS school leaver first preferences at 30 November have increased by 3.2 per cent on last year; while non-school leavers have increased by 5.2 per cent.

Courses that are popular for 2010 include nursing, business and commerce, medicine, education, policing, health-related fields such as physiotherapy and sports and exercise science, psychology, communication, engineering and forensic science.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), Professor Stuart Campbell, says that there's been a trend among school leavers or people looking to upgrade their qualifications to gravitate towards fields like nursing, medicine, allied health, policing and education.

"For a number of years now there have been concerted workforce campaigns to attract more people into these professions and boost the numbers of doctors, teachers and nurses and allied health professionals.

"These types of courses offer stability and job security, as well as being national priority areas," says Professor Campbell.

The University has introduced a number of new courses for next year, including the Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Physiotherapy, the Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Podiatric Medicine, and the Bachelor of Social Science/Master of Urban Management and Planning.

Professor Campbell says these new degrees are designed to address workforce demand and emerging career opportunities, particularly within the Greater Western Sydney region.

"Western Sydney is one of Australia's most diverse and dynamic regions, and is expected to significantly change over the next decade as businesses, industry and residents are drawn into the area," he says.

"Employers are seeking out urban planning professionals who have an understanding of the local region and are skilled in urban management, strategic planning and policy development.

"Similarly, the University's new health science courses, including the new Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Podiatric Medicine degree, will help produce more highly-skilled graduates for our health care system.

"Podiatrists are increasingly playing an important role in health care and prevention in Australia, due to rising numbers of people with chronic health conditions like diabetes."

Broad discipline courses like arts, combined law studies, business and commerce, social science, as well as the University's suite of double degrees, are also experiencing strong demand for 2010.

"The Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Business and Commerce have both attracted large numbers of first preferences for next year," Professor Campbell says.

"The broad-based disciplines and the University's double degrees are popular because they give students added flexibility in their working lives and more career choice in a competitive employment market.

"Providing the 1.8 million people in Greater Western Sydney with the opportunity to study at their local university is vitally important to us.

"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."

UWS will be holding its Course Decision Day on Monday 4 January 2010, at the Parramatta campus, 4:00pm-8:00pm. Students can find out more about UWS courses, ask questions, find out about scholarships and other programs, and discuss their preferences.

Students who have submitted an application have until 6 January 2010 to change their preferences through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

For more information about UWS Course Decision Day and UWS courses contact 1300 897 669, email or visit


Popular courses for 2010 across the University's campuses as of the 30 November include:

* Bachelor of Nursing (over 1100 first preferences across Parramatta, Hawkesbury and Campbelltown campuses)

* Bachelor of Business and Commerce (over 1100 first preferences across Parramatta and Campbelltown campuses)

* Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery (over 590 first preferences at the Campbelltown campus)

* Bachelor of Arts/ Master of Teaching (Primary) (over 570 first preferences across Penrith and Bankstown campuses)

* Bachelor of Policing (over 490 first preferences across the Penrith and Bankstown campuses)

* Bachelor of Health Science/ Master of Physiotherapy (over 330 first preferences at the Campbelltown campus)

* Bachelor of Psychology (over 300 first preferences at the Bankstown campus)

* Bachelor of Engineering (over 200 first preferences at the Penrith campus)

* Bachelor of Science (Forensic Science) (over 130 first preferences at the Hawkesbury campus)



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Amanda Whibley
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