The University of Otago is planning a ''significant''
change to the way it selects health science students for
The change, which would be introduced in 2015, would mean
students who indicated they had a preference for one
particular programme - for example physiotherapy - would be
given preference over those who did not give a preference.
The change would not apply to dental and medical students,
but would affect how students were chosen for medical
laboratory science, radiation therapy, pharmacy and
This was a departure from the present situation, whereby
students were offered places in programmes based on exam
Academic and international deputy vice-chancellor Prof Vernon
Squire said at this week's council meeting the change would
likely result in increased student performance.
''It's observed that ... students who choose only one
programme do better because they are more passionate,'' Prof
The fact admissions were based on exam results also made the
University of Otago a ''riskier proposition'' for students.
Students would receive ''lots'' of information about how the
new system worked and would have until ''quite late on'' in
the academic year to choose their preferred programme.
They would able to select more than one programme, or not
specify a favoured programme, but this would put them at a
disadvantage to those who selected only one.
The change would not apply to international students, who
were chosen separately.