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ATAR not the only admissions pathway

13 August 2018

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has stressed the diversity of Australian universities’ admissions pathways, saying that a prospective student’s ATAR score is just one of many ways of measuring their preparedness to study.

The Higher Education Standards Framework, which all universities must meet in order to be registered with TEQSA, requires students admitted to a course of study to have both the academic preparation needed to succeed, and no known limitations that would impede their ability to complete a course.

TEQSA CEO Anthony McClaran said that while a prospective students’ ATAR score was one way of measuring their preparedness to study, it was not the only indicator of someone’s ability to succeed, especially for older or mature-aged students.

"The background and life experience of students entering higher education has changed dramatically in the past decade, and as student cohorts alter, so do their entry pathways", said Mr McClaran.

“While recent school leavers continue to rely heavily on ATAR scores to enter higher education, it is only fitting that prospective students with professional experience in a relevant industry can use this to show their preparedness”.

“Around half of students entering university study are not classified as recent school leavers, and often come to their study with a wide variety of previous qualifications and life experience”.

TEQSA is currently working with the higher education sector to implement the Australian Government’s admissions transparency measures which aim to present all undergraduate students with consistent and comparable information to guide future study.

This work includes the introduction of increased information regarding ATARs, such as the highest and lowest ATAR to receive an offer in the previous student cohort, and the student profile of those admitted to a course.

The agency is now in the process of reviewing data regarding admissions to teaching degrees nationally to determine whether the universities who have admitted students with low ATAR scores have met the requirements of the Higher Education Standards Framework.


Media enquiries

Raphael May, Assistant Director, Communications: raphael.may [at] teqsa.gov.au, 0437 143 012 or (03) 8306 2536.