Students whose final year of school has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic have been granted some reprieve with Border universities announcing new, non-ATAR based ways they can qualify for courses.
On Monday, La Trobe University, which has campuses in Wodonga and Melbourne, revealed Year 12 students could gain an ATAR-equivalent score by studying a first year La Trobe subject online for free, or by completing three to six micro-subjects from the university's free online Tertiary Preparation Program.
Similarly, Charles Sturt University in Thurgoona will allow students to submit their Year 11 results and school recommendation to enrol in university, as well as offering early entry through the Charles Sturt Advantage program.
La Trobe deputy vice chancellor Jessica Vanderlelie said secondary students had in particular been hit hard by the extraordinary challenges of 2020.
She said the university wants Year 12 students to continue to aim high and work hard to achieve a good ATAR, they also recognise COVID-19 had disrupted many people's studies.
"We recognise that ATAR score isn't always the best measure of student potential," Professor Vanderlelie said.
"We want to give every student an opportunity to follow their passions - particularly in a year disrupted by COVID-19."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Professor Vanderlelie said La Trobe's new entrance pathways would give students a taste of university-style learning.
To achieve an ATAR-equivalent score, Year 12 students can complete a single first-year La Trobe subject in July or November, or complete three to six micro subjects in July, September, November or January.
Acting CSU Vice-Chancellor John Germov said the pandemic had impacted high school students with many Year 12 students wondering how it will affect their future plans of attending to university.
"At Charles Sturt University we want to make sure everyone has the best opportunity to secure a place in their preferred course and reach their future goals," he said.
Professor Germov said the university was expanding its participation in the Schools Recommendation Scheme.
He said the scheme, administered through the Universities Admission Centre, and takes into account a student's Year 11 results and their school's rating of their potential.
He said students must apply through UAC.
Professor Germov said the university's early offer program, Charles Sturt Advantage, also considered a student's "soft skills" such as their emotional intelligence, communication skills and resilience, in addition to their results.