Vice President | Christian Flynn

The Vice President has a similar role to the President. They are also involved in co-ordinating student appeals. Their focus is on internal education matters such as faculty policies and information services.


Admissions Changes - Have your Say!

You may have noticed the ongoing discussion this year about admissions changes at ANU.

The ANU is at the point of making some decisions, and ANUSA needs your input to ensure we’re advocating for the best decisions for students!

(To get the basics on what is going on, take a read of my last blog on this topic: https://anusa.com.au/about/executive/anusavice/2017/03/31/Admissions-what-is-really-happening/)

The University has put out a Green Paper, with 4 proposals on how to admit students, and 4 models of how to consider co-curricular activities. The full Green Paper is available here.

But if you don’t like reading formal tables from the university, here’s my summary of the proposals being made:

Proposal 1: National

  • The top three students at every secondary school in Australia get an offer

  • ANU maintains an ATAR floor of 75 with 5 EAS bonus points. There will also be ATAR thresholds for specific programs

  • There will be an additional co-curricular threshold students need to meet to be eligible for the offer

  • Three questions that came out of the last student consultation on this topic:

    • How do we know that schools are ranking students fairly?

      • Answer: The ANU will create guidelines for schools for how to rank their students, so that there is equivalency across all schools.

    • Who has responsibility to engage with this system? Does the student have to apply or does the school manage the offer, or the ANU?

      • Answer: The onus is on ANU to approach schools and be effective in reaching schools nationally.

    • Will this ruin our academic standards?

      • Answer: Nope! Students will get an unconditional offer to ANU, but a conditional offer for their course - if for example they wanted to do PhB Science but get an 80 ATAR, they might get into a Bachelor of Science to start, and later be able to transfer if their marks are high enough.

  • This is the university’s prefered model, at this point in time


Proposal 2: ATAR+

  • ANU adds bonus points to a student’s predicted ATAR for co-curricular achievement, and for educational and personal disadvantage

  • Base ATAR floor of 80 after bonus points remains.

  • This is essentially what we currently do, except with co-curricular requirements added in. It doesn’t seem to enhance diversity in any way.

  • It does not set a new national standard

  • The university does not prefer this model


Proposal 3: Thresholds

  • Applicants have to achieve an academic threshold, and an co-curricular threshold

  • This is very similar to the current model, and doesn’t set a new national standard

  • The university does not prefer this model


Proposal 4: Reserved Places/Affirmative Action

  • There are specific targets for number of places to be filled by students from low ICSEA schools (low-SES students) and Indigenous Students

  • The ATAR floor and co-curricular thresholds remain

  • There are really interesting questions here regarding whether or not students admitted under this scheme will feel empowered and like they belong (there has been research that suggests students admitted as part of quota systems feel their admission is symbolic, rather than a sense of achievement)

  • The university does not prefer this model, as it has high risks


Co-curricular Proposal 1: Skills

  • Co-curricular activities (including part time work, family responsibilities, sports, arts, academic competitions etc) are mapped to skills that they develop.

  • The skills are:

    • • Resilience
      • Self-Awareness
      • Inclusion & Awareness of Diversity
      • Communication
      • Community & Global Engagement
      • Personal & Social Responsibility
      • Leadership & Understanding Organisational Behaviour
      • Mastery of technical skill or expert knowledge

  • There would be two levels of engagement with co-curricular activities - participation, and further involvement (eg. coaching, representation to a national or international level etc).

  • To meet the threshold, an applicant would need to meet a certain number of skills through the activities they participate in. The number of required skills would need to be determined through modelling.

  • Students don’t have to tell us what skills they’ve gained, as that would privilege students coming from schools with career counsellors etc. Rather, the ANU maps activities to skills for students.

  • The co-curricular activities included will include things like work and carer responsibilities to try to avoid bias towards high socio-economic students who have greater access to extra-curricular activities. ANU is working with the Smith Family to try to minimise this bias.


Co-curricular Proposal 2: Activities

  • Instead of a list of skills, there would be a list of activities. Students need to reach a threshold of activities, rather than a threshold of skills

  • Again, there would be two levels of involvement - participation and higher involvement.

  • Once more, there is an expanded definition of what co-curricular means, including part time work and caring responsibilities.

  • A potential disadvantage of this system is if you have less access to different activities, it might be harder to reach the threshold, whereas one activity could potentially gain you multiple skills particularly if you devoted a lot of time to one particular activity.

Co-curricular Proposal 3: Bonus Points

  • Co-curricular activities are ranked, and then translated into a certain number of bonus points added to an ATAR.

  • Students with a higher level or number of activities receive more bonus points

  • Does not enhance diversity, as students with more access to co-curricular activities are likely to get higher points


Co-curricular Proposal 4: Co-curricular with Equity substitution

  • Students can satisfy the co-curricular component of the admissions criteria either through co-curricular achievements OR through proof of disadvantage.

  • Disadvantage includes educational disadvantage (like being from a low-ICSEA school) and/or students’ personal situation (including things like health issues).

  • This would be based off data from Education Access Scheme


Have your say!

Do you have thoughts or questions about these proposals? Contact Eleanor Kay on sa.vicepres@anu.edu.au or fill out the following form to have your say: https://goo.gl/forms/Avz1pEqhYFytlgwn1 


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