Mid-level maths should be made a pre-requisite for students looking to enrol in science, engineering or commerce degrees according to a new ten-year plan for mathematics in Australia, launched today by the Federal education minister.
Currently only 14 per cent of Australian universities require science students to have studied intermediate mathematics in Year 12.
The plan, developed by the National Committee for Mathematical Sciences, makes a dozen key recommendations including increasing professional development for out-of-field maths teachers and a new national mathematics research centre to link industry and research. It also highlights an urgent need to address the low participation of women and rural Australians in the mathematical sciences.
National Committee member and Director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute Professor Geoff Prince said the plan was developed to outline the challenges and opportunities for the future of maths in Australia.
We know that 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations will need science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills, and that maths is at the heart of this skill set. If we’re not preparing our teachers and students the way we should, Australia will be left behind by the rest of the world,” Professor Prince said.