Universities Support Holding HSC Exams in 2021

NSW Vice-Chancellors' Committee

The New South Wales Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (the Committee) fully supports the decision of the NSW Education Standards Agency (NESA) to give more time to HSC students to work on their major projects and to prepare for exams to reduce the impact of the current COVID-19 lockdown.

The Convener for the Committee, Professor Barney Glover AO, said the universities “appreciate that the disruptions caused by the current COVID-19 lockdown have impacted on students’ focus, therefore the need for certainty is paramount.

“As we said in 2020, our position is that proceeding with the HSC examinations in 2021 provides certainty to students, parents and teachers as well as universities.

The Convener emphasised that the universities understood the difficulties faced by students and explained that universities will respond with appropriate arrangements.

“As we did successfully in 2020 when the pandemic began for that year’s cohort of students, we will continue to work flexibly with NESA and the Universities Admissions Centre to ensure that admission processes can adapt in an equitable way to any changes in Year 12 assessments,” Professor Glover


Given that completion of the HSC is the preferred admission pathway into many universities, Professor Glover strongly encouraged students to remain committed to completing the HSC in 2021.

Professor Glover also reminded students that there are alternative pathways into university such as bridging and foundational courses to build up knowledge and skills lost during the pandemic.

“Universities look forward to welcoming this year’s graduating secondary students into courses commencing in 2022,” Professor Glover said.


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