In a recent press release, the University of Western Australia has announced it will be introducing a paid parking reward scheme for its top performing students.

 

In an effort to incentivise and foster academic excellence, the scheme will see excelling students being rewarded with campus parking benefits.  

 

In a statement released today, the Executive Dean of Education, Professor Toohey said, “We’ve been looking to offer practical benefits to our top academic performers for some time, to be on par with international Universities who have introduced merit incentives. Parking is a request that has come up time and time again from our students.”

 

The question that remains is why the University has to incentivise academic achievement and whether this confirms suspicions that course completion rates are at an all-time low. Although UWA sits at 91 in QS World University Rankings®, academic performance has fallen. Undergraduate drop-out rates are currently at 51 per cent and have been steadily increasing over the past few years.

The Dean stated, “we aim for this scheme to foster academic success and make our high performing students feel valued. After all, they are the ones working exceptionally high standards and helping boost the University’s academic achievement ranks.”

 

Although it’s not entirely clear how the scheme will play out practically, there are indications that it will be a merit-based system awarded to students who consistently obtain High Distinctions across their units. Additionally, it is not evident what, if any, alternative rewards will be offered to the license-less students who catch public transport.

Updates to come.