Maths entry requirements

The FYiMaths project identified widespread interest in the approach to specifying requirements for mathematics prior knowledge for entry to mathematics-dependent degrees in Australia, and how these impact on student learning. The network has raised of awareness of the problems being created by ‘assumed knowledge’ entry requirements through a National Forum, press and academic articles, data collection of entry requirements and submissions to government and peak bodies.

Since 2014 the FYiMaths network has contributed to ongoing public debate on mathematics entrance requirements:

  • On 1 Feb 2016 the University of Sydney announces that from 2019 students will need to have passed the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) two-unit Mathematics subject to enrol in any engineering or IT bachelor degree, nearly all science bachelor degrees, and bachelor degrees in economics, commerce, pharmacy and veterinary science. Read more: in the AFR article. This decision was informed by the evidence published and presented by mathematics educators active within the FYiMaths network.
  • On 29 January 2016 an article on the impact of university entrance requirements on students in the AFR ‘Universities to blame for the maths crisis among high school students‘. Data quoted in the article was collected through the FYiMaths network.
  • In November 2015 Deb contributed to an article in AMSIs Update about the impact of removing prerequisites.
  • In August 2015 we had an article published in International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology (IJMEST) providing an overview of the issue.
  • In June 2015 we conducted a brief survey as part of our continuing efforts to provide greater understanding of the statements concerning prior knowledge of mathematics for mathematics-dependent degrees in Australian universities and whether this knowledge is required by way of prerequisites or assumed knowledge.
    • We have collated the data and supplemented it with information from institutional webpages, where data from some institutions was missing or incomplete.  The results are available here and were also published in the Discipline Profile of the Mathematical Sciences 2015 (AMSI).
  • In early 2015special issue of the Int. Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education highlighted the impact of maths entry requirements from a range of perspectives.
  • In early 2015 Deb King and John Rice briefed Universities Australia on the impact of removing maths pre-requisites from university entry requirements.
  • In February 2014 we organised a national forum in conjunction with the Institute of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education at The University of Sydney. This forum brought the issue to national attention.
  • During 2014 the issue continued to receive attention with the release of a communique from the forum and subsequent response from the government.