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LIBERTARIAN/CONSERVATIVE DIGEST AND COMMENTARY FROM AN ACADEMIC PSYCHOLOGIST in Brisbane, Australia. My academic publications are widely read
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University to admit students in 2021 even if they don't get an ATAR score this year due to coronavirus disruptions
Almost any scholastic aptitude test is a better filter for tertiary success than final exam results anyway. Just an IQ test would exclude most of those unlikely to succeed. Even parental income or parental attainments would make a good rough filter
A whole lot of factors can influence final High school marks so they have never been an efficient entrance criterion. They are used because they are seen as "fair". Good riddance to them as long as some other filter is used to keep out those unlikely to cope at university.
I suspect that they will in fact accept anyone who applies and can pay. That would be most unfair to the less able
Another Australian university has announced it will accept year 12 students impacted by the coronavirus lockdown even if they don't obtain an ATAR score.
Swinburne University will offer an ATAR-free pathway to its most popular courses for all students that finish high school in 2020.
Students will be able to enrol in bachelor degrees such as business, science, design, arts, engineering and media, with just a recommendation letter from their high school confirming they meet the minimum English requirements.
In normal circumstances there are a limited number of places for each university course and students' ATAR scores determine whether they will secure an offer of enrolment in their chosen field of study.
Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Chris Pilgrim said although the transition from high school to university is always challenging, year 12 students have 'faced a year like no other' and deserve a shot at university even without an ATAR.
'We know that students in 2020 continue to rise to the occasion and achieve exceptional results, and that completion of VCE remains of utmost importance, Professor Pilgrim said.
'But we also understand it has been a unique year of study for many and we want to support students to continue their studies into 2021.'
Universities across Australia are experiencing a massive decline in profitability as the number of international students plummets due to COVID-19 border closures.
Foreign students make up about one third of Swinburne's total revenue and their absence this year means the university expects to see a deficit of $51million.
In 2021 and 2022, they've flagged losses totalling $101million.
Overall, the Australian university sector is bracing for a $16billion retraction over the next four years.
'We guaranteed them over $18 billion worth of funding as part of our COVID-19 package, and we'll continue to talk with the sector about increases in demand and how we best can meet those,' education minister Dan Tehan told ABC Radio National.
'We'll continue to work with the sector to make sure that this demand can be met ... Understanding, of course, that there are, huge, huge demands on the Budget at the moment, and we've got to make sure that everything we do is done in a very sustainable way.'
'We have to remember, that the international education sector provides 250,000 jobs to this nation, and we want those jobs back as we grow our economy, as we come out of the coronavirus pandemic,' Mr Tehan said.
Swinburne will begin offering university places for 2021 as early as August.
By JR on Friday, June 19, 2020
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