The current state of Australia’s maths education has been described as being in crisis. Low student enrolments at university, lowering of interest at schools, retiring of experienced maths teachers who aren’t being replaced, teachers at schools forced to teach beyond their knowledge level… the system is indeed in a dire state. The only way to make a difference is at the Federal level, and for the Government to make the study of the mathematical sciences more appealing.
Well, this has finally happened! In a speech a few weeks ago, Julia Gillard, the Deputy Prime Minister, said:
“To address the shortfall in critical disciplines, fees for new students studying maths and science will be reduced by approximately 50 per cent. We will pay 50 per cent of the HECS-HELP repayments of maths and science graduates for five years, where they choose to work in a priority maths or science related occupation.“
This is indeed very welcome! You can read her speech here.