Expert opinion on the new Course Seeker Guide

The feds released the new Course Seeker Guide this week (CMM yesterday) so CMM asked Sebastion Marx for an expert assessment.

Course Seeker, the Australian Government’s latest foray into the realm of university recruitment was released this week.
Expectations in recruitment circles were not high – especially after government-led admissions transparency changes left many prospects drowning in tokenistic jargon when well-known descriptive terms were removed.

The promise was a one-stop shop to compare the nation’s degrees on the basis of entry score, delivery mode and duration. (Course Seeker would also make a great platform to compare degrees on cost as well, should fee deregulation ever find a friendly senate.)
In terms of providing a basic degree search engine – Course Seeker meets the bill but still needs work on search terms. A good illustration of this is how a search for geology might encourage prospects to pursue careers in veterinary science, dentistry and medicine before a BSci program even appears on the list.

To improve the service, Course Seeker might consider introducing a major/minor search, to assist prospects find the appropriate program for them. Displaying information on majors more prominently is also important for the many Australian degrees with dozens of options.

Course Seeker is let down by the reliance on data gained through admissions transparency. The designers have opted to publish the lowest unadjusted entry score without any context, despite individual institutions arriving at them differently. Some institutions have very specific admissions schemes for prospects in very specific situations. Some universities give out as many as 12 adjustment points – others cap at five. Without context, the final score is worthless.

Course Seeker’s decision to use unadjusted scores was misinformed and creates the sort of confusion that transparency was meant to prevent.

Sebastion Marx is a domestic university recruiter at the University of Queensland.


to get daily updates on what's happening in the world of Australian Higher Education