Universities expand entry options

Universities expand entry options

Several Australian universities are offering flexible and expanded admission options to help students overcome the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Curtin University has worked closely with Western Australia’s Tertiary Institution Service Centre (TISC) to open its Year 12 applications three months early. The University will start accepting applications on May 18.

High school leavers will be able to apply to Curtin and receive an offer for a range of courses based on their predicted ATAR, calculated from Year 11 results. Additionally, the University has introduced the ‘Access Curtin’ program.

Open to mature aged learners, the alternative admission program allows applicants who meet English and any specified prerequisites to be considered for a place in courses that have a 70 ATAR requirement. Applicants are also required to pass two units within the first four units to progress.

Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said these options will not replace the standard pathways, but will instead serve to provide support for future students in these challenging times.

“We understand this is a very stressful period for the graduating cohort of 2020 and for those planning to return to study and we want to do everything we can to provide as much support and flexibility as possible for them,” she said.

“We’ve worked with TISC to enable students to apply early so they can focus on their studies with the reassurance that they can take advantage of a range of entry and application options into Curtin.”

James Cook University (JCU) is also granting early offers based on academic performance and feedback from the student’s school.

“There are many courses in which we are confident we can assess students accurately and fairly, based on a recommendation from their school that covers academic performance, motivation, talents, passion and capabilities,” Future Students Manager Regina Blackburn said.

“In these courses we are able to make an early offer, giving students greater certainty,” she said.

Applications are open until 15 November. Successful applicants will receive an offer within 48 hours, and if there are conditions the students need to meet in the remainder of the school year, these will be clearly outlined.

Guaranteed admission

JCU will also offer guaranteed admission based on the students’ ATAR from the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) in August.

“Students who receive an ATAR of 90 or above will be guaranteed entry into most JCU courses, whether or not they have studied the required subjects at high school,” Blackburn said.

“Applicants with an ATAR of 73 or above will be guaranteed entry into most JCU courses, but will need to meet the course subject prerequisites.”

Students granted early offers and guaranteed admission can choose among a range of courses, including business, law, science and allied health degrees.

Meanwhile, high school leavers from regional and rural Queensland will receive two bonus ATAR points from QTAC in support of their applications in what the University calls ‘Regional Preference Scheme’.

According to Blackburn, the program is open to “domestic applicants who live in postcodes 4306 through to 4895.”

Bonus points are also available for Year 12 students who have studied mathematics, science, and languages.

“Our aim with these programs is to make students’ lives easier, not more complicated,” she said.

“Applying under these programs doesn’t tie you to a decision. If you change your mind, there are the usual paths for doing that.”

Interested applicants can visit Curtin’s and JCU’s official websites for the complete details.