Demand for Flinders University’s Extension Studies Program, offered to high-achieving Year 12 students, has increased significantly this year.
The program aims to enrich educational opportunities for outstanding senior secondary students in South Australia by allowing them to enrol in a first year university subject while completing Year 12.
A record 54 SA students are undertaking the program at Flinders this semester, up from 36 students in Semester One 2013, with 42 students enroled in Semester Two subjects, up from 33 students last year.
Running alongside school-level Year 12 subjects, the program gives students the opportunity to study one topic per semester from a variety of subjects including languages, sociology, history, media, psychology, mathematics, philosophy, health sciences, chemistry, physics, biology and business. Students who successfully complete the course earn credit towards both their SACE/IB and their university degree (if the degree structure permits).
The most popular subjects in 2014 are physical sciences with 14 enrolments, psychology (13 enrolments), medicine (eight) and chemistry (seven).
The Australian Science and Maths School has the highest number of program participants this year, with a total of 37 students enroled across Semester One and Semester Two subjects, followed by Sacred Heart College (27 enrolments) and Aberfoyle Park High School (10 enrolments).
Flinders University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Andrew Parkin, said enrolments could increase further as some students are yet to decide whether to undertake a topic in Semester Two or focus exclusively on their school-level Year 12 studies.
Among the many benefits of the program, Professor Parkin said Extension Studies students have the opportunity to explore a particular topic in greater detail and gain access to the University’s services and facilities, including state-of-the-art research laboratories and high-quality teaching staff.
“All Extension Studies subjects are delivered at the Bedford Park campus, allowing students to experience the many wonderful facets of university life including lectures, tutorials and on-campus social events,” Professor Parkin said.
“The program is delivered in a nurturing environment where students are supported by their school teachers, peers and University faculty,” he said.
“As University study tends to be autonomous and flexible, with more onus on students to undertake their own reading, research and writing, the program provides a unique pathway for Year 12 students to develop their independent learning skills, in preparation for the next phase of their education.”
Of the 69 students who completed the 2013 Extension Studies Program, 71 per cent were offered a place at Flinders, including five offers for the Bachelor of Arts Enhanced Program, three for the Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), two for the Bachelor of Medical Science and two for the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Clean Technology).
Flinders student Caitlyn Hoey studied two Extension Studies history subjects while completing Year 12 at Aberfoyle Park High School in 2012.
Now in her second year of a double degree in Laws and Legal Practice/International Studies, she said the program is an invaluable introduction to tertiary studies.
“It was really good because by the time I started my degree I knew where to go, where to park and how to access student services,” Ms Hoey, 19, said.
“It’s a great way to break the first year nerves and find out all the information you need without being here full time,” she said.
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