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Transparency for higher education

 

 

The Federal Government says higher education students will have access to clear, consistent and transparent admissions information from next month.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the admissions transparency implementation plan would help students choose the right course for them.

He said the plan had been developed by a higher education sector working group in conjunction with government to ensure students, parents and schools have better access to consistent and comparable information from universities.

“Students need to be given clear and accurate advice, but too often the information on offer has been complex, confusing and inconsistent. That doesn’t do anyone any favours,” Mr Birmingham said.

“Some institutions already meet the benchmarks laid out in our plan but this will ensure all prospective students can get the necessary information and support to succeed at their studies and complete their qualification.”

The plan sets out the timeframes to implement the recommendations of the Higher Education Standards Panel handed down in October 2016. By 2019, it’s anticipated the full range of proposals will be put in place, following extensive consultation with the higher education sector.

The admissions transparency plan includes:

  • adoption of common admissions terminology and definitions
  • redefining ATAR-related thresholds and indicators so these are more robust
  • a common sector-wide approach to the publication of information on institution and course admission polices
  • more common and streamlined approaches by tertiary admission centres in each jurisdiction
  • a new national admissions information platform

Chair of the implementation working group, Professor Kerri-Lee Krause, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost at Victoria University said the extensive collaboration between the Federal Government and higher education sector showed that everybody was focused on how best to support students.

“Higher education providers and their representative organisations are fully committed to improving both the availability and comparability of information on admission requirements and processes,” Professor Krause said.

“The plan also respects the autonomy of institutions to determine their own entry requirements and market themselves in ways tailored to the needs of their prospective students.”

Mr Birmingham said this was a successful example of government working effectively with higher education providers to deliver outcomes that benefits students and the sector as a whole.

“I recognise the timeframes will be challenging for some providers but the Turnbull Government is committed to working with the sector to make implementation a success,” he said.