We are making applications simpler for students

Photo of student using laptop.

A recent report from the Higher Education Standards Panel has put forward a list of recommendations to make the application process easier and more transparent for our prospective students.

The report, Improving the Transparency of Higher Education Admissions, includes recommended changes to the way the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and other academic requirements are presented.

It also proposes clearer, easier to understand information about the wide range of different application and assessment pathways into higher education for school leavers, mature age students and others interested in pursuing higher education.

Meeting these requirements

All higher education providers are expected to publish on their websites by August 2017:

  • Information about their institutional admissions policies, consistent with the whole-of-institution information set outlined at Appendix C of the report.
  • Information about the admission requirements of each course or appropriate cluster of related courses offered by the institution, consistent with the course information set outlined at Appendix D of the report.

ACU is on track to have updated available via the course browser by 31 August.

Important changes to terminology

One of the most important aspects of the project is the standardisation of terminologies across ACU and all Australian universities. Of special interest to ACU are:

  • Adjustment Factors – previously known as ‘bonus points’. From 2018 they will be limited to a cap of 12 points at ACU.
  • ATAR Thresholds – from this year we will stop talking about entry thresholds in terms of cut-offs and clearly-ins/outs. Where an ATAR is a requirement for entry, we will be using the following terminology:

1. Lowest ATAR to which an offer was made (in the [previous] year) excluding adjustment factors.

2. Lowest ATAR to which an offer was made (in the [previous] year) including adjustment factors.

3. Minimum ATAR/Selection Rank for consideration in an intake (note: this does not guarantee entry).

4. Guaranteed ATAR/Selection Rank – a score that will guarantee acceptance into a course as long as you satisfy any other criteria listed, e.g. English language proficiency.

Project background

In October 2016, following extensive consultation with higher education and secondary education stakeholders, the Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP) released its report. The recommendations were accepted by the Australian Government. The Implementation Working Group then released the Implementation Plan in July 2017.

The implementation is being overseen by the Provost. Two working groups are currently underway – a working party to review the presentation of information in compliance with the new requirements; and a bonus points working group to review adjustment factors in light of the transparency in admissions requirements.

For further information please contact Kathryn Blyth, Academic Registrar on Kathryn.Blyth@acu.edu.au.

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