Every Year 12 cohort has its peculiarities but this is the first in a long time that has had to take on their final year while in lockdown.
Unsurprisingly, that experience has coloured their world view, Swinburne Uni reports there has been an uptick in interest in Health Science courses and an elevated level of concern about futures and finances.
Swinburne polled 285 Year 12 students and first-year university students, or ‘lockdown learners’, to understand how COVID-19 has impacted their study and preferences, as well as to determine how future students approach their university preferences.
For almost half (47 per cent) of Victorian Year 12 students, COVID has changed their views on enrolling in university in various ways; either stating that it has changed quite a bit or significantly.
Some are more interested in enrolling in university now rather than later because lockdowns have put their gap year plans on hold, others cite concern over finances and final marks achieved in Year 12 as barriers to further study.
One-third of Year 12 students say COVID-19 has increased their interest in health sciences and science-based courses, and away from lockdown-affected disciplines like hospitality.
One-third of first-year university students say they are more worried about being able to get a job after university since the pandemic and three-quarters of Year 12 students believe studying at university will make them more employable and 78 per cent of first-year students would like to have guaranteed work after study.
Parents are the key influence in helping Victorian students in forming their choices and behaviour around university education.
Another effect of lockdown is that very few students wish to complete their university studies in an online only format in 2022.
A mixture of online and on-campus is preferred and 44 per cent of Year 12 students wish to attend university on campus – more than first year university students at 23 per cent.
8 out of 10 (81 per cent) of current first year university students in Victoria are excited or extremely excited to re-joining the student body on campus after the last round of lockdowns in Victoria.
Swinburne has launched the virtual open day Swintopia, take a look at https://swintopia.swinburne.edu.au/