Oz student skills put to the test

October 15, 1999

Melbourne

Australian university students are in for a testing time, with about a third of universities expected to take part in initial trials of the federal government's new graduate skills assessment.

The GSA is a new national initiative to test Australian university students' generic skills, such as written communication and problem solving.

The test, proposed by the federal education department, DETYA, will be voluntary, offering assessment at entry to, and exit from, university.

Results could be used by universities keen to get a measure of the "value" added to their students by their time at university.

The test is being developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research, a private non-profit organisation, on behalf of DETYA. The GSA should be operational by late 2000, with trials planned for March.

Mike Gallagher, head of DETYA's higher education division, said that it would be up to institutions whether they report their overall performance. Material girl: many Thai students are turning to prostitution to pay for designer goods

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