At this point of the year students and their families are beginning to make decisions about courses and qualifications for 2017. As part of that process, parents have passed on to us some comments they have heard at dinner parties and the like about NCEA, IB and CIE and selection for medical schools. Our experience is that students who do well in any of the three qualifications are recognised by both New Zealand and international universities when they apply for entry to medical schools. Both the universities and our students report that our IB and NCEA students are very well prepared for first year success, and that this is reflected in acceptance success rates.
So what is the data around this? Over the last few years we have consistently averaged around 14 or 15 students gaining selection to medical schools both here and overseas. This represents around 10% of our graduating cohort. The girls gaining acceptance have done so with both NCEA and IB. That is an exceptionally high rate of placement; the equivalent for some of our large state secondary school would be between 40 and 60 students gaining med school places! Given the size of our Year 13 cohort we are disproportionately represented in entry to New Zealand and overseas universities. Increasingly our students are looking to study medicine in Australia and we have some very interesting data about our students’ success with these programmes. In 2015, for example, Monash University offered 11 places to New Zealanders – three of the 11 places went to St Cuthbert’s students; only one other NZ school had three students accepted and that school has a Year 13 roll three times our Year 13 roll. A similar pattern is evident at the University of Sydney where our students gained two of the 30 fiercely contested places available for both Australian and international students.
Interestingly, just on 50% of our graduating cohorts in the last three years have gone on to STEM based tertiary courses. This is significantly higher than the averages for girls in both single sex and co-educational environments and reflects the impact of girl-centred learning approaches, teaching strategies and girl-centred environments. Coupled with Scholarship results which place us at the top of the country on roll size this provides a great platform for our girls’ next steps – whether that is to med school or to any one of the interesting and diverse studies our students move on to.