FedUni preference increase

The former Monash University Churchill campus is poised for an increase in enrolments for 2014 as the newly formed Federation University.

FedUni Australia has seen a 37 per cent increase in first preferences to programs this year at its Gippsland and Ballarat campuses.

Official figures reveal the former University of Ballarat campus had a 40 per cent increase in first round preferences, while the Gippsland campus had a respective 28 per cent increase.

This represents more than 1600 first preferences for the university by prospective students and 4400 students have placed FedUni in their first three preferences.

FedUni Gippsland campus head Harry Ballis reported the campus had already received 400 acceptances from direct offers before the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre offers were released on Friday.

“With the significant increase in the number of VTAC preferences, there is every likelihood that the campus will commence its inaugural academic year as part of FedUni with strong enrolments,” Dr Ballis said.

Dr Ballis said early figures pointed to a strong number of applicants in business, education and nursing – which remain popular programs on the campus.

“This year we’ve had more than twice the number of VTAC applicants relative to last year looking to study nursing at Gippsland,” he said.

Other dramatic increases in VTAC preferences are in science and arts.

More prospective students than ever are expressing interest to study science at Gippsland – especially in medical bioscience and veterinary bioscience.

“These early indicators should be music in the ear of teachers and industry leaders in the community, who have been campaigning to promote the study of science,” Dr Ballis said.

The university has also had increased interest in arts disciplines, with more students wanting to study criminal justice, psychology and community welfare and counselling.

Dr Ballis said the most significant trend was that more students were looking to study on-campus, while in the past the Churchill campus had an equal number of applications to study off-campus as on-campus.

“This year on-campus applications outnumber those for distance education almost four to one,” Dr Baliis said.