Greetings, Rob. Of course your dad was part of my American Studies experience too. I intend to add my two-cents support to the beleagured Christchurch folk, as a great deal of ignorance seems to be prevailing.
When I started at Waikato 12+ years ago (when it was Film and Television Studies) I sometimes had to defend what I did, from folk asking "why study film and television?". My usual (short) response was "Because it is there!". Then I would go into my longer justification. I no longer get asked such questions, partly because Screen and Media Studies has been the salvation of my Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences + our students getting really good jobs + benefiting greatly from the growth in NCEA Media Studies. It could be the same for American Studies.
Surely that figure of 76% tertiary take-up can't be right--where does it come from?
I hope I don't come across as too much of a snarling mongrel.
The figure of 76% came from a management ahem, briefing powerpoint. I think Iceland was next, on 72%. But I don't know what the definition of tertiary study was.
The meeting was looking at strategic positioning for the university. What students we wanted to attract, where the demographics were moving, class sizes, with a marketing perspective. There was considerable discussion of capping numbers and the implications around that.
It's a striking number, but googling around I can't find any data on those numbers at all- let alone confirmation. NOt even sure where to start looking.
I'm not even sure what 'tertiary take-up' means in relation to that. Take up is normally used in relation to loans and whatnot - % of people eligible for a loan that take it. How do you measure take up of participation, given that people can enrol at any point in their life?
76% only makes any sense if read as the proportion of final-year school leavers who go on to spend some time (however short) in some form of post-secondary education. (Like Kyle, I am uncertain whether this should be limited to immediate takeup, though I don't see how any final figure would be possible otherwise.)
Of course, that ratio would be fairly meaningless, since a sizeable proportion of secondary students don't complete the final year and so aren't included; and conversely, this figure certainly doesn't tally with successful completion of a tertiary course of study (even allowing the dubious equation of "post-secondary" & "tertiary").
Census data on "highest educational qualification" from Statistics NZ: in 2001 (sorry, that's the most recent I have immediately to hand), ca. 40% of NZers aged 20-49 had some "post-secondary" qualification, with little variation within that age range; the rate peaked at 43% for 35-39yo, then fell gradually to around 20% for 60-64yo, 15% for 65+. About 2/3 of this category consists of vocational certificates.)
Just a bit of historical perspective on the tertiary take-up rate: in the early 1980s we had the lowest in the OECD - about 25%, from memory.
There was a concerted push at that time to try to get the rate up. It was, of course, helped by the surge in unemployment which began in the mid-late 1980s.
I was in Leonard Wilcox class on 9/12 - He didn't expect anyone to turn up but we all did - thinking AMST might make sense of things.
Come to think of it. Screw University for the time being. This plonking along on Public address has got me up and running. I'v landed my first magazine deal at 35 cents a word for 2000 words.
This forum reminds me of when I used to go to Auckland university for the intelligence by proxy. I really like how intellectual opulence rubs of.
I do think my little bit of formal academic training has sensitized my antenna. But 35c a word, that's what's rubbed off for me from here, and reading Trisan Jones books