Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the sector was working with state governments, schools and its own Tertiary Admissions Centres (TACs) to ensure Year 12s have a clear path to university in 2021.
“It’s not in anyone’s interest – neither the students, their parents, the schools or universities – to stop students from moving on,” Ms Jackson said.
“Australia needs as many of our Year 12s as possible to get a university education so they can contribute to Australia’s economic recovery as our future skilled workers, researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators.”
Ms Jackson said ATAR is only one method of entry into university.
“Every year, universities and TACs use a wide range of methods to assess and admit students – in addition to the ATAR,” she said.
“For Year 12 students, these include assessment of a student’s results across Year 11 and 12, especially in the subjects most relevant to the degree the student has applied for. Universities can review portfolios of students’ work and take extra-curricular activities into account.”
“Where appropriate, universities use aptitude tests. All universities offer a variety of bridging, foundation and enabling courses to prepare students for university, providing another pathway.”
“Also, universities will offer catch-up sessions where needed.”
Ms Jackson acknowledged the admissions process will look different to previous years, but the commitment to fairness, consistency and transparency would remain.
“We do not underestimate the challenge, but we are well placed to adapt – by expanding and extending the tried and tested admissions processes we use every year.”