There is a consensus in the literature that mathematical ability contributes to student success in tertiary education. More importantly, mathematical skills are necessary when successfully completing mathematics- and/or science-based degrees. Social sciences such as psychology and economics require statistical skills which also require knowledge of mathematics. Even business students such as marketing and accounting students need the necessary mathematical skills to successfully complete their degrees at university. This paper suggests that student success in a core business subject is dependent on their mathematical aptitude, attitude and type of secondary schooling whether government or non-government schools. There is urgency for universities to recognise that high failure rates are due to insufficient mathematics exposure in secondary schooling and remedial classes might not be enough. Specifying a minimum (maths, e.g. 2unit) requirement for entry and/or providing bridging programmes to ensure students have the necessary basic mathematical skills would increase student success in quantitative units.
Stenberg, L., Varua, M. E., & Yong, J. (2010). Mathematics aptitude, attitude, secondary schools and student success in quantitative methods for business subject in an Australian Catholic university experience. Paper presented at the 39th Australian Conference of Economists. Sydney, NSW, 27-29 September.