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 to be launched today by the 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.
The plan was developed after extensive consultation with mathematical scientists in schools, universities, government agencies and industry.
The formal launch by the minister Simon Birmingham at Parliament House will be followed by an expert panel featuring former chief scientist Professor Ian Chubb, assistant science minister Karen Andrews, director of reSolve: Mathematics by Inquiry Dr Steve Thornton and QUT statistics professor Kerrie Mengersen. The panel will be moderated by Sydney University professor and author of ‘Mathematics and Sex’, Dr Clio Cresswell.
The call for maths pre-requisites comes after the University of Sydney announced that it will require two-unit mathematics for 62 of its courses.
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