Uncapping university places
From 2012 universities will no longer receive guaranteed funding for a set number of student places. Universities now need to compete for students and their funding depends on how many students they can attract. The Government is adopting an ‘uncapped’ system of funding that is based on university student demand. In the previous system of ‘capped’ places, universities that were low in demand were protected because each university was given a certain number of students regardless of who actually wanted to go there. The students turned away from those universities in high demand were generally given a place in one of their second or third preferences. Now, instead of the funding being allocated to the universities, it is going to be allocated to the students and they are entitled to spend it wherever they choose. It is argued that by allowing students more choice and greater chances of getting into the university they want, students will find the idea of university more attractive than they did before. For those universities in low demand, the difficulty of attracting students may increase as they are thrown into competition with other universities.
In theory, from 2012 universities will be able to enrol as many students as they wish in all faculties except for Medicine. For Medical students the funding and number of places will remain capped. Why are places in Medicine remaining capped? In the long run, doctors cost the Government money. The government has no problem with churning out engineers or lawyers left, right and centre, because after university they are independent. The Government wants to control the number of doctors that leave University because the Government still needs to provide them funds throughout their practicing years. To uncap the number of places in Medicine would greatly increase the number of doctors that graduate from university and hence drastically increase future government costs.
Score Validity To Potentially Change
The UMAT Consortium of universities is currently looking through the validity of UMAT scores. So far, a UMAT score was considered valid for two consecutive years, and in case a candidate sat the examination twice in a row, the better score could be used while applying in a specific university. However, the Consortium has not reached a final decision so far. It has been announced that the changes in policy, if any, will be declared in the official website before registration opens.
Net loss for plagiarist who copied his rivals
A provider of preparatory courses for students aiming to pass the UMAT medical and dental tertiary entry tests has been ordered to pay court costs after being found guilty of plagiarising a competitor’s practice tests and answers.
The case has shed light on the sometimes cut-throat competition for students among practice test providers, in which student internet forums can become battlegrounds and where some operators allegedly aren’t above anonymously promoting themselves while denigrating competitors.
The UMAT, developed by the Australian Centre for Educational Research, is widely used for school leaver entry into medical and dental courses.
There is a lively business in marketing practice tests to students, although ACER’s chief executive Geoff Masters said these were of limited benefit because it was “difficult to teach directly” for the UMAT.
Two practice tests, Icarus and MedEntry, are at the heart of a bitter Federal Court copyright dispute dating back to 2004.
Justice Susan Kenny found that Dallas Gibson, through his Icarus College business, plagiarised 800 questions and answers from rival MedEntry.
The court dismissed Mr Gibson’s counterclaims of plagiarism and defamation against MedEntry. In awarding costs last month, Justice Kenny said Mr Gibson’s conduct had been “reprehensible” and that there was a need for deterrence.
Mr Gibson had claimed that he bought the questions on a computer disk from an RMIT sociology student, Minh Van Tran, for $1500 in cash and was unaware they were pirated from MedEntry.
He then claimed that 160 of the questions had been plagiarised by MedEntry from his tests.
But Mr Tran could not be traced and the original disk had apparently been discarded, which left the judge unconvinced by Mr Gibson’s claims he wasn’t aware the questions were pirated.
The judge wondered whether Mr Tran had existed at all and dismissed Mr Gibson’s counterclaim against MedEntry as “unmeritorious” and “fabricated.”
In her decision, Justice Kenny accused Mr Gibson of “simply making up much of his evidence as he went along in order to support his copyright infringement cross-claim.”
Federal Court finds Dallas Gibson of Medical-Entrance guilty!
MedEntry has comprehensively won the Federal Court case against Dallas Gibson for breach of copyright and breach of the Trade Practices Act (Claim number VID1289-2004). The court found that Dallas Gibson flagrantly violated the Commonwealth Copyright Act. Dallas Gibson’s cross-claims against MedEntry were dismissed by the Judge as spurious.
MedEntry was awarded a significant sum in court costs. In addition, damages are yet to be pursued. This will result in Gibson becoming bankrupt for the fourth time.
The Judge was scathing of Gibson. Her Honour labelled him ‘dishonest’, criticised his qualifications as ‘slight’, described his conduct as ‘reprehensible’ and concluded that he ‘fabricated’ evidence’ (including letters) and was ‘prepared to mislead and tell untruths in order to secure business.’ Gibson is in contempt of the Court by criticising the Judge and by not complying with the Court’s orders.
A full text of the Judgement can be found on the Federal Court website: http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2008/995.html?query=medentry
Please click here for a summary and relevant extracts from the Court Orders. A full text of the Court Orders can be found on the Federal Court website:
Dallas Gibson of Medical-Entrance BANKRUPT
Dallas Gibson of Medical-Entrance/Eglobamed/Icarus is currently bankrupt. He has now been bankrupt on three separate occasions (1988, 2000 and now).
You can view the Federal Court ruling of his bankruptcy by clicking here . Alternatively, you can go to the Federal Court website (under Bankruptcy -> Court Events and Orders):
For evidence of his 1988 bankruptcy, please click here.
For evidence of his 2000 bankruptcy, please click here.
In addition to being sued by MedEntry, Dallas Gibson was sued by Middletons (his ex-lawyers – Claim U02414246) and by Doherty & Colleagues Solicitors (acting for Maxim P/L) in the Melbourne Federal Magistrates court. Grievances against this man and his practices run deep and are widespread – he has been sued by three separate entities in the last 2 years. He owes substantial amounts of money to numerous organisations, such as Middletons Lawyers, Maxim Electrical Services, PBB Forensics, Clik Pad and Deloittes.
Final Chance for University Open Days!
The following is a list of remaining open days for Universities that offer degrees requiring the UMAT for entry. Open days are great for prospective students to attend, in order to check out the University campuses, find out more about the degrees each institution offers and to meet current students and staff.
University of Newcastle:
- 20 August (Central Coast Campus)
- 27 August (Newcastle Campus)
- 1 September (Port Macquarie Campus)
University of New South Wales:
- 27 August (UNSW@ADFA)
- 3 September
University of Western Sydney:
- 28 August
Charles Darwin University:
- 28 August (Casuarina Campus)
University of Queensland:
- 21 August (Gatton Campus)
- 24 August (Ipswich Campus)
- 19-20 August (Bedford Park Campus)
University of Adelaide:
- 21 August
University of Tasmania:
- 21 August (Launceston Campus)
- 28 August (Hobart Campus)
- 21 August (Albury-Wodonga Campus)
- 28 August (Bendigo Campus)
University of Auckland:
- 27 August
Changes to UMAT results