Media Release, Thursday 27 February 2003
The word is out on the streets; Urban Planning has joined Nursing and Teaching as one of the hot careers for Melbourne University undergraduates in 2003.
This year, the University of Melbournes clearly-in ENTER score for the four-year Urban Planning and Development degree, rose from 85.70 to 87.90. The popularity of the course was also reflected in the high percentage of undergraduate students who placed the degree as their first preference. First preferences rose by119 per cent, from 36 students in 2002, to 79 this year.
The new Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning Dean, Professor Ruth Fincher, attributed the rise in figures to the growing awareness of opportunities for planning degree graduates.
She said the shortage of urban planners provided excellent opportunities for students to obtain careers at the end of their course.
While she said it was difficult to attribute the increase in popularity to any one thing, she believed there was a growing awareness and knowledge of urban planning among parents and careers teachers.
Professor Fincher said the Victorian Governments highly publicised Metropolitan Strategy which documents the planning direction of Melbourne until 2030 had also helped to highlight the broader aspects of urban planning.
Throughout the 1990s, planning was very much understood as the exercise of development control on individual blocks of land. But now, the way that planning is understood has been broadened and rendered much more interesting as a potential career, she said.
I see the new Victorian Metropolitan Strategy as a real signal of the complexity of thinking about the development of the city as a whole and what an interesting area it is to work in.
The Bachelor of Urban Planning and Development offers professional studies in urban planning, leading to accreditation with the Planning Institute of Australia.
The program teaches urban planning as both an intellectual endeavour and a professional practice based on community obligation, a commitment to collective and diverse interests, and recognition of environmental and ecological constraints.
The course provides a strong focus of study that reflects the needs of the Australian and Asian professional planning markets.