Posted on Fri 31 Mar 2017 at 4:29 PM by Eleanor Kay
As has been discussed in media articles and in online forums, the university is proposing changes to the admissions process here at ANU.
ANUSA has been invited to sit on the Project Reference Group for the changes to the admissions process, to ensure that as changes are proposed, discussed and decided, students’ opinions are represented.
The project is in its early stages, so there are many questions to which there are not answers yet. However, this post is intended to explain the key concepts being proposed, so students can be aware and can provide feedback or ask questions where necessary.
Essentially, what is being proposed is an entire change to the current admissions process, to create one application system through which student can apply for their course at the ANU, as well as their accommodation and any scholarships. By combining these 3 application processes into one, it is hoped that there will be increased efficiency and transparency for future students, so that students can make their decision to come to the ANU with full knowledge of what this decision means.
Furthermore, this application process is proposed to occur much earlier in the year, with applications open through March till May and offers released in July, to ensure adequate time for students to make an informed decision and to be supported in the lead up to their admission, as well as time for the ANU to ensure that demand for accommodation is being adequately met.
Due to this shift to earlier in the year, ATAR will no longer be as important for offers, as students will be compared based off earlier school grades, such as their year 11 marks. Moreover, to reflect the engaged nature of the ANU student body, students will be asked to communicate what extra-curricular activities they have engaged with while studying at high school.
There is a deliberate effort being made to ensure that these extra-curricular requirements do not disadvantage students from low-SES backgrounds, and activities such as part time work and carer responsibilities are likely to be included in the extra-curriculars that are considered. Moreover, scholarships are likely to shift to being more needs-based (in contrast to merit-based), so that students for whom the financial costs of moving to the ANU are too high can access assistance so that they are able to attend and actively participate on campus. The Smith Family (the leading Australian organisation providing support for young Australians in need to ensure they can participate in education) is involved in the project in an effort to ensure that the changes made increase the accessibility of ANU education.
The plan is to implement the new system in 2019 for students who start in 2020. The regular UAC application process will still be available to students for some time, as the ANU undertakes the transition to the new system.
In the first phase of this project, the only students that this will apply to are domestic undergraduate applicants who are completing Australian Year 12. Eventually, the university hopes that this system will be the main application system for all students entering the ANU.
- ANU’s current system requires students to complete three separate application process for their admissions, scholarships and accommodation respectively. By combining the three into one, it is hoped that new students will find the system more efficient.
- The current ATAR system is flawed, and often privileges students from wealthy schools in large cities where achievements of high ATARs are more accessible due to resourcing. In moving away from this system on which our admissions are currently solely based, there is a desire to ensure that ANU is accessible to all students, and in so doing increase the diversity of our student body, rather than restrict it.
This project presents opportunities but also raises a number of concerns. ANUSA will endeavour to ensure that the concerns of students raised throughout the process are adequately addressed.
How can you communicate concerns, or find out more? Contact Eleanor Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org - your feedback will be really helpful in ensuring that the student perspective is adequately represented throughout this process.