Almost over: Max McLachlan takes time out with girlfriend Bonnie Dawson as he waits to hear from JCU Cairns that he has been accepted for a sports physiotherapy course. Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS
School leavers hoping to earn a place at university will find out tomorrow if their hard work in the classroom has paid off, with the first round of tertiary offers announced online.
More than 1300 aspiring students have chosen James Cook University’s Cairns campus as their first choice for tertiary study – a 15.3 per cent increase on last year’s applications. "This follows steady growth last year and significant growth in 2010, so these are very promising figures," JCU’s student and academic services director Julie Woodward said.
Prospective students have ranked their preferences for tertiary courses and submitted an application to the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre, which will send emails tomorrow to those that have gained placement. Applications for courses in the Far North match statewide trends, which show growing interest among recent high school graduates for health-related courses at university and other institutions.
JCU has recorded a 23.6 per cent increase in first-preference applications to study nursing at the Cairns campus. And more than 1300 applications have been received for the university’s dentistry course, which only takes 80 students at a time.
Smithfield State High School graduate Max McLachlan is among the Far Northern school leavers hoping to embark on a career in the health sector – turning his love of AFL into a career as a sports physiotherapist. While he’s waiting anxiously for tomorrow’s release of first-round offers, Max says the wait is not as daunting as the announcement of OP scores that came last month. "Because we know our OP scores, you have a pretty good idea about what you’re going to get into," he said.
QTAC, however, advises students to have a back-up plan. "It is important students have a plan B ready if they do not get their first preference," QTAC spokeswoman Pat Smith said.