La Trobe leads demand for uni places

La Trobe University has experienced the greatest growth in first preference applicants of any university in the State over the last three years.

Students-at-work-standardThis is revealed in tertiary applications and offers data published last night by the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC).

The three-year period represents the time since the Commonwealth Government first signalled it would remove caps on undergraduate places, a policy which finally came into effect this year.

The VTAC figures show that between 2009 and 2012 La Trobe University’s first preference applications have risen by 28 per cent – from 6,846 to 8,793, compared with a State-wide average rise of only nine per cent.

During that time the University has also increased the number of places in its early and main round offers, from 6,345 to 8,555 – an increase of 35 per cent. 

This compares with an overall increase of offers by all Victorian universities of 22 pc.

‘It’s an excellent and extremely pleasing result, in keeping with La Trobe University’s mission to increase higher education opportunities in Melbourne and throughout the State through our network of regional campuses,’ says Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Rosenberg.

He says very significant growth has taken place in Health Sciences and Education courses in particular over the past three years.

Allied Health courses are up 79 per cent. These include clinical areas like Audiology, Prosthetics and Orthotics, as well as Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Dietetic Exercise, Physiology, Speech Pathology, and Paramedic Practice which is based at the Bendigo campus.

Teacher Education courses on all campuses were up 179 per cent, from 265 offers in 2009 to 739 this year.

‘One reason for the dramatic growth in teacher education programs is that we have introduced primary and secondary teaching undergraduate programs at the Melbourne campus,’ Professor Rosenberg says.

And offers in Law courses are up 73 per cent - from 179 in 2009 to 309 this year.
The University has also experienced double-digit growth at all regional campuses: Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton and Mildura.

While the Melbourne campus has had the greatest increase in offers over the last three years – 36 per cent (from 4,538 to 6,154) – offers at Bendigo have risen 33 per cent (1,347 to 1,785).

Bendigo Campus Director, Dr Andrew Skewes, says local expansion plans mean that student numbers there are expected to exceed the milestone of 5,000 for the first time this year.

Albury-Wodonga offers have increased by 32 per cent (241 to 317) while the figure in Mildura was 12 per cent (151 to 169). At Shepparton, where a new campus building was completed last year, the increase was 79 per cent (68 to 122 offers).