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Improving admissions transparency: TEQSA evaluative report released

9 October 2020

A new TEQSA report has found most Australian higher education providers have taken steps to improve the transparency of admissions information for prospective students.

TEQSA evaluated admissions information at 28 universities and 36 independent higher education providers that offer courses to Australian domestic students.

Overall, TEQSA found that there have been improvements in the transparency of admissions information, with 92 per cent of sampled providers having implemented changes to their admissions information.

The improvements follow recommendations from the Higher Education Standards Panel and agreement by the sector-wide Implementation Working Group that aim to provide prospective domestic undergraduate students with easily accessible, high-quality admissions information that allows them to compare both providers and courses to make informed choices.

TEQSA also identified several areas for further improvement within the sector. These include:

  • Providers needing to ensure that ATAR profiles are up-to-date.
  • The types of ATAR adjustment factors should be detailed more clearly and consistently.
  • Greater quality, consistency, and clarity of admissions information for the four applicant groups (Higher Education Study, Vocational Education and Training, Recent Secondary Education, and Work Life Experience).
  • The availability of course level admissions information on credit transfer, recognition of prior learning and advanced credit can be improved.

TEQSA Chief Executive Officer Alistair Maclean welcomed the sector’s work to improve the transparency of admissions information, but noted it was essential providers continued to focus on further improvements.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the need for clear and transparent information, with the increased demand from domestic school leavers for tertiary education and providers offering different entry options for students whose final year of schooling has been disrupted,” Mr Maclean said. 

“It is essential that transparent admissions information is made available for prospective students, and TEQSA encourages higher education institutions to make use of resources such as the Good Practice Note and checklist for providers available on our website.”

The Improving the transparency of higher education admissions report was developed by TEQSA as part of the sector-led Admissions Transparency Implementation Working Group (IWG)’s final implementation plan.

The report is based on a summative evaluation of admission transparency actions by providers against the Higher Education Panel’s admissions transparency recommendations and the IWG’s Phase Two Common Terminology and Information Sets.

TEQSA reported the results to the Minister for Education and presented the report at the Higher Education Standards Panel meeting in September 2020.

Further information