ATAR no barrier to achieving university success


UTS:INSEARCH will continue admitting students to its diploma courses based on an HSC subject average rather than an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

“There are lots of good students that may miss out on a direct offer to study their preferred university course because of the impact scaling has in determining their ATAR,” said UTS:INSEARCH Dean of Studies, Professor Tim Laurence.

“Our approach allows many students the opportunity to still achieve their study and career goals.”

In 2014, UTS:INSEARCH changed its admission requirements to use a student’s HSC subject average, which is calculated on their best four HSC subject results for non-VET subjects, including English.

“Some students do well in several HSC subjects, but this success may not be reflected in their overall ATAR if their results are scaled down. This can happen if students have studied subjects that are heavily scaled due to the number of enrolments in the subjects, or the subjects’ perceived degree of difficulty.”

UTS:INSEARCH offers diplomas in business, communications, design and architecture, engineering, information technology and science. By completing one of these diplomas and achieving the required Grade Point Average, students can be fast-tracked into the second year of their university bachelor degree at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).

“The approach to admissions which we introduced last year is working for students,” Professor Laurence said. “We are seeing that students admitted using their HSC subject average are performing on par with previous ATAR-selected groups of students, which is good news.”

“Over the past ten years, we have had thousands of students who have applied themselves to their studies by drawing on the wide range of support we offer at UTS:INSEARCH. It is extremely satisfying to see our students complete their diplomas and go on to succeed at university,” said Professor Laurence.

What should students do now?

Associate Dean of Studies at UTS:INSEARCH, Sally Payne understands the stress a household can experience as students await the release of their HSC results, ATARs and university offers. Not only has Ms Payne been a Program Manager and Lecturer in IT before being appointed Associate Dean, she also has a daughter who completed the HSC this year.

“It can be a really challenging time, especially if students are worried about whether their ATAR is high enough to get directly into their preferred degree,” Ms Payne said.

“The best thing for students to do now is to research options and learn about alternative pathways into the degree they want to study,” she said. “Choosing a diploma at UTS:INSEARCH is a valuable option which may help you successfully transition into second year at UTS.”

Finding their way to UTS

Diploma of Engineering student, Shallu has found her time at UTS:INSEARCH to be very worthwhile and it has helped her to develop more confidence in her academic abilities.

“Since studying at UTS:INSEARCH I feel my confidence has increased,” Ms Shallu said.

“I would recommend UTS:INSEARCH because our teachers give us more attention. It feels like I’m in a family that listens to me and understands me.”

UTS:INSEARCH Diploma of Design graduate, Carlos El-ters, is now at UTS studying his Bachelor of Design in Architecture. He found UTS:INSEARCH offered students another way to get into university, while providing an enjoyable education experience.

“I aimed to get into UTS first, but just in case something happened, I knew I had UTS:INSEARCH as a backup,” Mr El-ters said.

He found the class environment to be very interactive, enjoyed meeting lots of people and appreciated class sizes of 20 students. “I really enjoyed the teacher-student interaction at UTS:INSEARCH, as you get a lot of opportunity to talk with your teachers because the classes are so small.”

Where to find out more

To find out more about studying at UTS:INSEARCH and share real students’ experiences, got to, follow @UTS_INSEARCH on twitter or call 1800 896 994.

Free information sessions are being held on 22 January, 29 January and 12 February 2015 in Sydney at the UTS:INSEARCH campus. These sessions are an opportunity for potential students and their parents to meet staff and students, tour the campus and ask questions about courses and studying at UTS:INSEARCH.

Published in The Indian Sun, Sydney

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