A RECORD number of students are on track to complete New South Wales Higher School Certificates in 2016, government figures have revealed.
A report from the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) on the 2016 HSC program said almost 70,000 students were on track to finish their HSC this year.
In the Richmond-Tweed region, 85% of 2661 students taking HSC subjects were on track to qualify in 2016, compared to more than 90% in previous years.
But Michael Charlton from BOSTES said the change reflected an increase in students completing their HSCs via "the compressed model” that allowed for part-time study over a two-year period.
The top 10 courses studied were English (compulsory); Maths; Biology; Business Studies; Personal Development, Health and Physical Education; Studies of Religion (compulsory in some private schools); Modern History; Chemistry; Legal Studies and Ancient History.
While many of these courses have remained in the top 10 for the past decade, there have been a few changes over time - the percentage of students undertaking Physics, for example, has dropped from 14% in 2006 to 12% in 2016.
Five years ago there were more students including Visual Arts in their HSC studies: 13.5% in 2011 compared to 11.6% in 2016.
The state's top five most commonly studied languages have not changed in a decade, including the order of popularity: French; Japanese; Chinese; Italian and German.
Agriculture also only accounted for 2% of all HSC students for at least a decade, despite popular cultural interest in farming and produce.
The five most popular VET courses in 2016 were Hospitality, Construction, Business Services, Retail Services and the Entertainment Industry.
Almost 10% of all NSW HSC students in 2016 were studying industry vocations such as waiting, wine-matching, coffee making, venue management and events coordination as part of their HSC instead of studying conventional courses in the creative arts or technology.