In year 11, many kids undertake VET courses at TAFE. They study things intended to get them to the next level, perhaps Certificate 3 or 4 in something. It’s completely normal.
Being good at the HSC means being good at the summative test — list, state, identify, compare type questions etc. and a few long answers that require a bit of writing – repeating memory content and putting it into the model answer structures drilled into them by teachers.
The exam itself doesn’t indicate the full ability of the student in critical thinking, collaboration, research etc., For that they have course work, a very hit and miss affair as it’s teacher set and teacher marked. I am sure you know of courses where the assessment tasks are more tightly guarded than the Pope, and change about as often.
Hang on, course work? Isn’t that what they do at Open University? Sure is … so how come we offer IB or TAFE but not University. Do we actually think kids can’t do it by year 11? I hope not.
If a student undertook four Open University Australia Units in the same time period as Year 11 and 12, dropped the stress of doing more units than perhaps they should (to get the UAI to go to Uni) … they could start with Foundation Units.
So those who want to go to Uni, or think they do, might make more informed choices – and along the way will learn skills that can be applied to their HSC study.
What’s the worse that could happen? – find out they really didn’t want to study Linguistics and drop out? Students drop units in the HSC too – and that’s completely normal.
Only about 30% of students who complete the HSC go to University – so maybe it might increase the number of HSC students moving into Higher Education.
There are no age limits to Open University, just a cost – and if that is all that’s stopping kids bootstrapping their way into Uni, then the Minister should resign now.
What happens if they get stuck in their study? … well surely their teachers can help them in study time (which is often shush, read the book time).
The student is asking the questions, those questions are relevant to what they are choosing to learn from the vast array of courses on offer. Not just VET IT, Building or Hospitality.
In my high-school, we’d facilitate OUA courses. We encourage kids to feel confident about higher education, not scared shitless of failing the HSC.
Let’s face it, if you really want to go to Uni, it’s better to be prepared and motivated.
You’ll still get a UAI, but you could also enter University using a non-award pathway.