tertiary admission

NSW university offers 2015

20 January 2015


UACAs in Victoria, the traditional January main round of university offers in NSW, through the University Admissions Centre (UAC), is decreasing in prominence in the calendar. Offers through the year and direct offers are becoming increasingly the norm. This year, universities have made 46,507 offers through UAC ‘s main round, down 4,307 (- 9%) on last year. But the total number of offers to date is actually up a little, at 76,339, up 1,542 ( + 2%) from last year’s 74,792. So, main round offers through UAC are now about 62% compared to 68% last year and almost 100% four or five years ago.


Applications were down a little for this year (85,605 domestic applications vs. 86,800 for 2014 – a decrease of about 1.5%) but the “success rate” has obviously gone up (about 89% this year compared to 86% last year). Of course success is a relative term: many applicants would have not got their first preference of course at their preferred university.

This year also marks the end of a decades old tradition, with no newspaper publishing the offers – in Victoria, the Herald-Sun continues to publish an online supplement, which is quite useful.
And that’s all the information we have.


Victorian tertiary offers 2015

 20 January 2015


vtac2Over 69,000 applicants have received an offer, through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC), for a place at a Victorian university, some private higher education colleges and for some courses at TAFE institutes. .University offers totalled about 57,000 out of about 68,000 applications, meaning a “success rate” of 84%, compared to 85% in 2014 but way ahead of the 75% rate in 2009, the year that places began to be uncapped. The average Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for entry declined slightly, from 69.3 in 2014 to 68.1 in 2015.


The data need to be interpreted with a little circumspection: it’s very hard  to compare this year with past years and seek to extrapolate any future trend. We’re seeing quite significant changes in patterns and practices of application and selection. For example, an ATAR is now not relevant to 50% of university applications; it’s really now only relevant in respect of current Year 12 applicants.

In addition an increasing proportion of both applications and offers now occur outside the VTAC framework and the traditional January “main round” of offers. This year VTAC conducted a pilot of direct applications, allowing someone to apply directly to an institution for a single approved course, rather than through VTAC. In fact, VTAC actually accounts for somewhat less than 50% of offers these days.

So, on the face of it, there has been a marked decline, for example in “non year” (that is, mature age) applicants of 9% (and one assumes offers). Regional applications are down 10%. It might be surmised that this reflects concerns about prospective fee increases and “$100,000 degrees”. It may well be in part , but more likely changes in application and offer processes are a bigger part of the explanation.

That average ATARs have declined (down to 68.1 from 68.1 in 2014) will excite chatter about “declining standards”. There’s a wealth of commentary on this – check out The Scan archive – but basically, why is that any sort of  a surprise? The whole point of the reforms arising out of the Bradley Review process were to:

  1. increase higher education attainment in the general population
  2. increase higher participation by poorly represented population groups (low SES, regional, indigenous).

To the extent that you achieve one goal, all things being equal (for example, #2 isn’t achieved at the expense of some group) you also achieve the other. And the overall effect must be that, “on average”, a lower ATAR than had hitherto been necessary (or no ATAR at all) will get some more applicants into a university course than had previously been the case (though not into any university course at any university).

The Abbott government has expressly abandoned the former government’s participation and attainment targets and its proposed “deregulation” package remains (for the time being, at least) blocked in the Senate.

So we won’t really know the deep meaning of this year’s “main round” until the Commonwealth department publishes its “applications, offers and acceptances” report some time later this year.
And heaven knows what this portends for next year or those following. It depends very much on what finally emerges from the Senate.

Key facts and figures

The following information relates to VTAC applicants for undergraduate courses offered in 2014 by Victorian universities, TAFE institutes and private colleges.

Figures in brackets show changes from last year.


• Total applicants: 76,648 (-2.2%)
• Domestic applicants: 74,358 (-2.2%)
– Year 12 applicants: 48,405 (+ 1.9%)
– Non Year applicants: 25,953 (-9%)
• International (Year 12 applicants): 2,290 (-1.5%)


• 69,337 total offers issued to date (-3.1%) comprising:
– 57,943 main round domestic offers issued (-1.1%)
– 9,624 early round domestic offers issued (-13.8%)
– 1,770 international Year 12 offers issued (-3.1%)
• 64,643 individual domestic applicants with at least one offer to date (-2.4%)

The following information relates to domestic applications and offers.

University applications and offers

(Domestic applications and offers only)

67,914 first preference applicants (-1.6%)
• Total offers issued to date: 56,945 (-3.0%)
– 48,559 main round offers (-0.9%)
– 8,386 early round offers (-13.4%)
• 54,510 applicants with a university offer to date (-2.3%)

TAFE applications and offers

• 5,340 first preference applicants (-6.2%)
• Total offers issued to date: 8,461 (-4.4%)
– 7,450 main round offers (-2.9%)
– 1,011 early round offers (-13.9%)
• 8,401 applicants with a TAFE offer to date (-3.9%)

Private college applications and offers

• 1,245 first preference applicants (-3.3%)
• Total offers issued to date: 2,161 (-1.3%)
– 1,934 main round offers (+2.2%)
–  227 early round offers (-23.6%)
• 2,156 applicants with a private college offer to date (-0.8%)
Graduate entry teaching (GET) courses
• 3,754 applications (-14.2%)
• 3,142 offers (-16.8%)


Follow link to tables

Individual Victorian University Applications and Offers 2009-2015

  • First Preference Undergraduate Applicants
  • Early and Main Round Offers
  • Main round offers by the primary field of study
  • Average ATAR of VCE applicants by the primary field of study of their main round offer

Review recommends extension of demand system

 14 April 2014


The review of the demand driven funding system report has concluded that the demand-driven funding system, introduced as the keystone of the Rudd government’s “higher education revolution, has been a success and should be extended.

large_crowd_of_people_at_festiva_450The review of the demand driven funding system report has concluded that the demand-driven funding system, introduced as the keystone of the Rudd government’s “higher education revolution, has been a success and should be extended.

Commissioned by the government in November 2013 to examine the impact of the system on higher education provision, the report by former education minister David Kemp and the Grattan Institute’s Andrew Norton has 19 findings and makes 17 recommendations. It says:

The demand driven system is a policy advance that needs to be preserved and enhanced in the interests of student opportunity, institutional flexibility and economic productivity.

The key set of recommendations are that Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs), which are currently largely restricted to students in undergraduate courses at universities, be made available to students at non-university higher education providers and to students undertaking sub-degree (associate degree) and some postgraduate programs.

With university enrolments increasing by 22% from 2009 to last year, from 444,000 to 541,000, the review notes that the required Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for university entry has been reduced at most universities, in some cases below 50, which has led to the inevitable debate over university entry standards. The review panel found strong evidence that lower-ATAR students can achieve academic success, but also that they are at considerable risk of not completing their courses. Extension of CSPs to sub-degree programs would encourage “less–prepared” students into pathway programs, rather than directly into degree programs, and substantially improve ultimate outcomes:

A key to success in study is academic preparation. Outcomes for less-prepared students improve substantially if they first take a ‘pathway’ program, such as a diploma course. Some specialised colleges offer these programs, often with similar course content to the first year of university but with smaller classes and more personal support. Students who successfully complete pathway programs often do as well as, or out-perform, students with better original school results.

The report suggests the cost of the expansion could be funded by increasing student fees, decreasing government contributions, imposing a flat 10% loan fee on HECS-HELP.

It says that targets for attainment (40% of young people holding a degree by 2025) and equity participation (disadvantaged people making up 20% of students by 2020) adopted by the Rudd government should be dumped – which education minister has already flagged.

Ian Young, chairman of the Group of Eight universities, says the targets are no longer necessary anyway, because the attainment target will be reached anyway and the “vast majority of institutions are committed to (improved equity) outcomes.”

The report concludes that inclusion of private higher education providers and TAFEs within the demand driven system in their own right would give greater scope for new models of higher education delivery, and create more competition with the public universities.

The report has been generally welcomed by the university sector and non-university providers, with the Australian Council for Private Education (ACPET) describing it as a “victory for common sense” .

The National Tertiary Education Union expressed concern about the recommendation to open up CSPs to private providers, saying that “the adoption of a fully contestable market in higher education will threaten the financial vitality of our public universities because they have research and community service obligations, which do not apply to private providers.”
This concern was also expressed by Greg Craven, vice-chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, who said giving private providers access to government subsidies might prove to be problematic.

There is a basic psychological difference between a statutory body (university) ploughing money back into the enterprise and a private college whose modus operandi is to make a profit. Right or wrong, there are simply a different set of economic assumptions and if you are going to extend public funding you have to think that through.



RUN welcomes Demand Driven Review Report



RUN says uncapped system boosts equity in HE

The Australian     |    24 March 2014


With the review of the demand driven system due to report, regional universities have defended the uncapped higher education system from claims it is doing little to boost social mobility.

Go8 Equity scalesIn a policy note published last month, the Group of Eight said demand-driven higher education had done more for the privileged than the battlers. It said that while the proportion of low socio-economic status students had increased by around one percentage point between 2008 and 2012, the majority of the growth had come from people of medium or high SES.

The Go8 said just 12,000 of an additional 60,000 higher education students had come from disadvantaged backgrounds, suggesting those from the bottom 25 per cent of the wealth spectrum had claimed only 20 per cent of the extra places. And regional students’ share of undergraduate enrolments had dropped marginally.

But Regional Universities Network executive director Caroline Perkins challenged the claims, saying low SES students had comprised almost one-third of commencing domestic bachelor enrolments at the network’s institutions in 2012.

She said that while the Go8’s data showed that the medium and high SES groups had grown most strongly in raw numbers, the rate of growth had been highest among their low SES counterparts.

Perkins claims more recent data on applications and offers confirme the trend. Between 2009 and 2013, offers to low SES students applying through tertiary admissions centres had grown by 22% compared with 19% for medium SES applicants and 14% for high SES applicants.

Last year’s 2.2% increase in offers to low SES students was double the rise for medium SES and almost six times the growth for high SES, she said.

University of Southern Queensland vice-chancellor Jan Thomas said the notion that wealthier students had benefited more from the demand-driven system was “hardly surprising”.

(It) reflects a trend seen each time the Australian higher education sector has undergone a period of significant expansion. That advantaged students are better positioned to make the most of emerging opportunities than their relatively disadvantaged peers is hardly rocket science. The penny has still not dropped for many people in the sector that simply ‘opening the doors’ is not sufficient as a basis for broadening university participation.

She said more is needed, including school outreach, “just-in-time” support services, multiple access pathways, personalised learning and early identification of students at risk of failing.

Treating everyone the same simply serves to perpetuate advantage. Social justice requires individual needs to be met, which necessarily require resources to be directed unequally but equitably.

Go8 pushes for fee deregulation

The Australian | 21 January 2014

The Group of Eight says universities should be given the freedom to opt out of the government funding system and instead charge undergraduate full fees in selected courses.

Hits on this post suddenly surged (overall hits trebled in the space of a couple of hours) so we reposted it.  Joanna Mather suggested it might be related to a post on the website Talking Points based on an article in the UNSW student newspaper Tharunka.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Go8 logoAny universities opting out would have to forgo any government funding for the course. The move would open the way initially for the effective privatisation of prestigious courses that offer graduates highly paid careers such as law, and which could support higher fees in the face of competition from lower-cost government supported courses.

Such a policy was first recommended by the 2008 Bradley review but was never endorsed by the Rudd and Gillard governments.

In its submission to the review of the demand-driven system, the group has suggested that initially such a policy could be limited to law, accounting, economics and commerce, where the government subsidy is just 16% of the total funding, compared with an average 60% across all courses.

Based on an estimate that full fees would increase by about half the difference between international fees and the total current funding universities receive for a domestic student in such courses, the Go8 suggested that at the top end of the market student fees could increase by 56% from $9792 a year to $15,250.

The Go8 also wants the government to increase the supply of sub-degree places that would also be funded at a lower rate than bachelor degrees and be opened up to private and non-university providers. It argues such a move would lower government costs, promote diversity and provide alternative paths to universities.

Go8 submission to the Review of Demand-Driven Funding

Group of 8 Newsletter March 2014

Go8 news

Demand Driven Funding and Equity

Demand driven funding was implemented in conjunction with a national target to have 20% of undergraduate higher education enrolments coming from low Social Economic Standing (SES) students by 2020. While the share of both commencing and total undergraduate enrolments from low SES students increased by around one percentage point between 2008 and 2012, the majority of growth (80%) during this period still came from students of medium or high SES background.

To read more of this article and the March newsletter, please click here.

Brazilian students experience a different kind of summer in Australia

In 2010 the Group of Eight signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Brazilian Government to host students under its Science Without Borders (SWB) program. SWB aims to send thousands of Brazilian university students to leading international higher education institutions to promote growth in the fields of science, technology and innovation.

Over the Australian summer break, Go8 universities provided a range of programs for SWB students to participate in.

To read more of this article and the March newsletter, please click here.

Go8 sponsors AIEA conference

For the fourth year in a row the Group of Eight (Go8) was a sponsor to the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) conference held in Washington DC in February 2014.

The AIEA is a membership organisation of institutional leaders engaged in advancing the international dimensions of higher education. The conference attracts over 800 senior university staff from around the world.

This year the conference focused on the importance of intellectual capital in the 21st century and the role of universities in preparing students who are global citizens.

The conference is an excellent opportunity for the Go8 to raise its profile in the US and beyond as Australia’s research intensive universities.

Go8-DAAD Joint Research Cooperation Scheme – a good case to make

The Go8-DAAD Joint Research Cooperation Scheme is a joint initiative of the Group of Eight (Go8) universities and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The DAAD is Germany’s national agency for the support of international academic cooperation. It is one of the world’s largest and most respected organisations in its field. The scheme supports exchanges for Go8 researchers to spend time at partner universities in Germany and vice versa.

The scheme aims to:

  • foster research collaboration of the highest quality between Australian researchers from Go8 universities and German researchers; and
  • result in research outcomes and the exchange of skills and knowledge of mutual benefit to Australia and Germany.

Projects are funded within a framework of well-defined research necessitating collaboration between Australian and German researchers. Particular preference will be given to projects that include exchanges between early career researchers.

Since 2008 these projects have achieved extraordinary results and this relatively small program can be considered to be very successful in terms of academic outcome and impact. The total amount mobilised by this scheme up to now is about $A 7.64m in 180 joint projects. One of these projects focused on cognitive ageing and depression.

Dr Karen Mather from UNSW Australia has provided us with feedback about her own experience with the program.

To read more of this article and the March newsletter, please click here.

Research with Impact

The delicate science of bubbles

Associate Professor Raymond Dagastine
The University of Melbourne
Future Fellow 2009
Field of Research: Physical Chemistry
Project Title: Fundamentals and applications of dynamic interfacial forces in soft matter

Knowing how bubbles bounce apart and fuse together could improve the stability of ice-cream and champagne, improve waste water treatment, and increase efficiency in the mining industry, says Associate Professor Raymond Dagastine, ARC Future Fellow from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Melbourne.

Associate Professor Dagastine is part of a team of chemical engineers, chemists and mathematicians undertaking research to measure the force between bubbles made from different gases colliding at various speeds. More specifically, Associate Professor Dagastine is developing theories and nanoscale experiments to predict and measure the interactions between droplets and bubbles that underpin the innovative applications of foams and emulsions.

This area of research focus has a direct impact on a large range of applications such as microfluidics, mineral and pharmaceutical processing, as well as product formulation in personal care products, pesticides and foods.

To read more of this article and the March newsletter, please click here.

Russell Group Signs Hefei Statement

The Russell Group of 24 leading universities in the UK has become a signatory to the Hefei Statement.

The Hefei Statement outlines the characteristics of contemporary research universities, including the pursuit of excellence, a commitment to research training and the right to set priorities on academic grounds, among others.

It was originally signed by four of the world’s leading research university associations – the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Consortium of China 9 Research Universities (C9), the Group of Eight Australia (Go8) and the League of European Research Universities (LERU) – at the annual meeting of the C9 universities in Hefei, China, in October 2013.

In a press release, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said, “We are pleased to sign up to the Hefei statement as we want to work together with other university groups overseas, who are also signatories, to promote the fundamental principles of world-class research universities across the world, and to influence the development of higher education and research policy with this in mind.”

A copy of the Hefei Statement may be downloaded here.

Calendar of Events

To see our Calendar of Events and more of our March newsletter, please click here.

Teacher education needs a “lick of paint” – Craven

20 February 2014

Higher education and school experts to advise on improving teacher education

Minister for education Christopher Pyne has appointed Australian Catholic University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Greg Craven, greg-cravento chair an eight-member Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group.

Reporting later this year, the group will undertake extensive public and stakeholder consultation while focusing on three key areas:

  • Pedagogical approaches: the ways teachers teach their students, and the different ways teaching and learning can occur;
  • Subject content: how well teachers understand the content of subjects they are teaching; and,
  • Professional experience: opportunities for pre-service teachers to put theory into practice through quality in-school learning experiences.

The other appointees to the group are the Grattan Institute’s school education program director, Ben Jensen; the Melbourne University dean of education, Field Rickards; the chief executive of Independent Schools Victoria, Michelle Green; the president of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, Kim Beswick; the University of Wollongong’s deputy vice-chancellor, Eeva Leinonen; the principal of Eastern Fleurieu School in South Australia, Trevor Fletcher; and the deputy principal of Haileybury independent school in Victoria, John Fleming.

Surprisingly there are no appointees from the public education system – the largest employers of teachers.

Craven, a longstanding critic of the worth of ATAR scores, saying that university cut-offs lack transparency and are “as easy to rig as a bush picnic race meeting”.

Following his appointment Craven said that “generally speaking”, he  doesn’t think it’s too easy to become a teacher.

The selection issues have been somewhat distracting and the real issues are how can we improve it, which is about melding theory and practice, and subject content with the practice of teaching it.

Craven said Australia’s education system is “not a shambles but it deserves to be improved”.

I think it’s like any house.  You can always improve the painting in the bathroom and you can always find the things that need to be looked at.  We know for example we haven’t got enough science and maths teachers.  We know for example we haven’t got enough language teachers.

Generally speaking, Craven’s views seem to coincide with Pyne’s who described ATARs as “a blunt instrument”:

About half the people who go to university these days don’t enter on the basis of their Atar score so it’s a very glib line to simply say we have a minimum cut-off of ATAR scores [and] somehow that will fix every problem. That’s not the problem.

There are many people with low ATAR scores who, given the appropriate support both before they start university and during their university training, can be excellent professionals and teachers, so I’m not obsessed with ATAR scores and I think it’s just an easy way of giving a line off without actually addressing the fundamental issues in the teaching profession.

But, rather curiously in the circumstances, Craven did cop a serve  from the Australian Education Union’s federal president, Angelo Gavrielatos,  who said Craven headed a university that had some of the lowest entry scores in the nation for teaching degrees and was therefore “part of the problem, not the solution”.

Gavrielatos called for tougher entry requirements, more rigorous assessment for training teachers, more classroom experience prior to graduation, and an ongoing focus on professional learning and development throughout their careers.

Victorian 2014 tertiary applications and offers

17 January 2014


Key facts and figures


The following information relates to VTAC applicants for undergraduate courses offered in 2014 by Victorian universities, TAFE institutes and private colleges.

Figures in brackets show changes from last year.


  • Total applicants: 78,358 (-0.7%)
  • Domestic applicants: 76,032 (-0.7%)
    • Year 12 applicants: 47,498 (+ 1.7%)
    • Non Year applicants: 28,534 (-4.4%)
    • International (Year 12 applicants): 2,326 (-2.1%)
    • 71,571 total offers issued to date (+0.4%) comprising:


–         58,585 main round domestic offers issued (+1.2%)

–         11,159 early round domestic offers issued (- 3.1%)

–         1,827 international Year 12 offers issued (-2.1%)

  • 66,242 individual domestic applicants with at least one offer to date (+0.5%)
  • 69,052 first preference applicants (+ 0.7%)
  • Total offers issued to date:  58,703 (+1.6%)

The following information relates to domestic applications and offers. It does not include international applications and offers.

University applications and offers

–         49,016 main round offers (+2.1%)

–         9,687 early round offers (-1.1%)

  • 55,820 applicants with a university offer to date (+1.9%)
  • 5,693 first preference applicants (- 16.2%)
  • Total offers issued to date: 8,852 (-7.2%)

TAFE applications and offers

–         7,677 main round offers (-5.5%)

–         1,175 early round offers (-16.8%)

  • 8,746 applicants with a TAFE offer to date (-6.9%)
  • 1,287 first preference applicants (+ 11.4%)
  • Total offers issued to date: 2,189 (+5.9%)

Private college applications and offers

–         1,892 main round offers (+7.3%)

–         297 early round offers (-2.3%)

  • 2,174 applicants with a private college offer to date (+5.5%)
  • 4,378 applications (-10.2%)
  • 3,777 offers (-4.7%)

Graduate entry teaching (get) courses

·         4,378 applications (-10.2%)

·         3,777 offers (-4.7%)

Overall university applications and offers – 2009 to 2014

Domestic undergraduate applicants

The following figure shows the changes in first preference university applications and the number of applicants with university offers since 2009, when the Commonwealth Government signalled the removal of the caps on undergraduate university courses. The figures are as at the January main round each year. It does not include second and supplementary round offers in February.

The following figure shows the number of applicants who have received an offer for a university course by the end of main round, as a percentage of the number of applicants with a first preference for a university course.  A small number (<200) of those receiving an offer for a university course had a first preference for a TAFE or Private College course.

Individual Victorian university applications and offers 2009 – 2014

First Preference Undergraduate Applicants





Change from

Change from 2008/09

Australian Catholic University






Deakin University






Federation University Australia[1]






La Trobe University






Monash University






RMIT University






Swinburne University of Technology






University of Melbourne (The)






Victoria University












Early and Main Round Offers





Change from

Change from 2008/09

Australian Catholic University






Deakin University






Federation University Australia






La Trobe University






Monash University






RMIT University






Swinburne University of Technology






University of Melbourne (The)






Victoria University












Offers by field of study

Number of Main Round Offers by Field of Study

The following information relates to domestic undergraduate main round offers, from Victorian based universities only.

Main round offers by the primary field of study

Field of Study



% Change

Natural & Physical Sciences




Information Technology




Engineering & Related Tech.




Architecture & Building




Agriculture & Environment












Management & Commerce




Society & Culture




Creative Arts








The following information only relates to domestic VCE year 12 applicants with a current year ATAR.  It excludes IB students, non-year 12 applicants and international year 12 applicants.

Average ATAR of VCE applicants by the primary field of study of their main round offer

Field of Study




Natural & Physical Sciences




Information Technology




Engineering & Related Tech.




Architecture & Building




Agriculture & Environment












Management & Commerce




Society & Culture




Creative Arts




Food, Hospitality & Personal Services








[1]     Previously the University of Ballarat.

[2]     Total includes Australian Maritime College, Charles Sturt University and Central Queensland University, even though they are not listed.

[3]     Total includes Australian Maritime College, Charles Sturt University and Central Queensland University, even though they are not listed.

Submissions to review of demand driven system

19 December 2013

Submissions to the review of the demand driven system initiated by education minister Christopher Pyne closed on 16 December 2013.   University sector submissions support its retention and an extension to sub-bachelor places to create pathways for less academically prepared students.  Submissions also propose readjusting fees, including a mechanism to allow full fees (IRU).

ua logoThe introduction of the demand driven system and the removal of almost all caps on undergraduate places appears, on balance, to have been a positive reform for both students and the nation. All indicators suggest that maintaining the demand driven funding system will bring profound benefits for national productivity, social equity, institutional quality and students.  Not including sub-bachelor courses in the demand driven funding system, however, could be creating a distortionary effect by encouraging individuals into undergraduate study when better suited to an enabling programme.


The IRU supports continuation of the demand driven funding to allow its full potential to be realized.  The system supports universities to be IRU logomore flexible and creative in responding to demand for their services necessitating changes in the approach to teaching and learning which challenge traditional models of the past half century.  It has led to a valuable increase in enrolments which will flow through into a more skilled and educated workforce and society and it has assisted universities widen access to improve opportunities for people from backgrounds currently well under-represented to gain the skills and knowledge they need to prosper.  The IRU proses that consideration be given  to a single maximum student charge set up to the current highest maxima (which would involve fee increases for the majority of students and explore  permitting universities to opt  out of the Commonwealth funding system in certain disciplines to operate on a full fee paying basis for all students in that discipline.


ATN logo

The demand driven system (DDS) is supported by the ATN primarily as it is delivering greater numbers of domestic student commencements in the fields of education that  industry requires. ATN universities have responded to the DDS through increased domestic student commencements in the fields of science, engineering, IT, creative arts and education by upwards of 20%. There has also been moderate growth in the fields of health and commerce and management. These students will be entering the workforce from 2014/2015. The ATN is supportive of limited extension of the DDS to sub-bachelor and postgraduate places in response to labour market needs and national skill priorities.  This may also avert the bachelor level as being the most attractive entry point to higher education for students who are less prepared for university.   The ATN proposes a 10% increase in fees.


The student demand driven system provides a vital framework for increasing the participation in higher education by regional Australians so RUN Logothat the regions have similar higher education attainment rates to capital cities. It has produced a sharpened focus for universities to develop their product portfolios and innovate in response to demand and markets. The Regional Universities Network (RUN) strongly supports the continuation of the student  demand driven system for bachelor places, and extend ing the demand driven system to  sub-bachelor places so that universities can provide pathways and preparation for less well prepared particularly low socio-economic status (SES) students.



The NTEU does not support a reimposition of caps on the total number or allocation of government supported student places between individual universities. Nor does it support an allocation mechanism based solely on market principles and would be opposed to any further deregulation of the current funding mechanism, including lifting the caps on HECS fees or making funding more contestable by opening it up to private non-university providers. It argues that the potential benefits flowing from the DDS could be substantially improved and the substantial risks (for all stakeholders, including the government) associated with its implementation ameliorated through a flexible but coordinated approach to the allocation of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs).


Teacher training “at the crossroads”

The Age    |     1 March 2013

Universities in Victoria have been accused by school principals of allowing teacher-trainees to graduate despite failing their final practice rounds in schools. For most student teachers, this is in the fourth year of their bachelor of education degree.

Around Australia, school leaders and state governments have been highly critical of education faculties that lower entry standards to admit too many students and then fail to provide the training and classroom experience they need.

This year, more than 100,000 Australians are undertaking education degrees and diplomas in the nation’s higher education institutions – up by 10,000 since 2009. An estimated 25,000 will graduate this year, a majority holding a bachelor of education or a postgraduate diploma.

Yet fewer than a third of the students hoping to become teachers will ever complete their degrees, while principals say that of those who do, and end up in front of a class, many are often ill-prepared for the constant demands of the job.

A position paper being prepared by the Victorian Principals Association  is expected to propose that:

  • The education department play a greater role in setting consistent teaching standards in teacher training institutions, with an increased emphasis on developing classroom literacy and numeracy skills.
  • The department organise campaigns to attract high-quality school leavers and “change of career” aspirants into the teaching profession.
  • Training institutions be required regularly to align their course content with the teacher standards set down by Victorian Institute of Teaching and this must also be aligned with departmental strategies.
  • Applicants wanting to enrol in a teaching course should face an interview in which an experienced school principal would be on the interview panel while teacher training institutions would set a minimum entry score for bachelor of education courses.
  • Teacher training include a mandatory time in schools in the first month of the course.
  •  The department introduces an internship system or extended “apprenticeship” type training in which prospective teachers would work in schools for one year learning on the job.