Do high school students need mathematics to prepare for the academic numeracy demands of university?

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Taylor, JA & Galligan, L 2005, 'Do high school students need mathematics to prepare for the academic numeracy demands of university?', in P Clarkeson, A Downton, D Gronn, M Horne, A McDonough, R Pierce & A Roche (eds), Proceedings of Building connections: research, theory and practice: 28th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Group of Australasia Inc, Melbourne, Vic., MERGA, Sydney, NSW.


High school students across Australia traditionally take at least one mathematics subject in their senior years of study. These subjects are seen as necessary for success at university and an important part of a students? well rounded education. Similarly statements are often released relating the importance of mathematics in the changing technologically based world. Yet more and more universities have removed the mathematics entry requirements from their courses and few universities list numeracy as an attribute of one of their graduates. Currently in Queensland, the majority of students planning to study at university still choose to study mathematics in their senior years, although there have been significant decreases in the number of students studying calculus inclusive mathematics courses. But will students still opt to study mathematics at all if universities do not include it as a prerequisite? This round table discussion will present preliminary results of research into the current status of mathematics entry requirements in Australian universities and the academic numeracy demands of courses for which senior mathematics is not an entry requirement. We aim to investigate, through discussion, how to determine what mathematics is required for university study, to answer the question What are the numeracy demands of university study?