ANU to Allow Entry to Students Based on Year 11 Results for 2021
By Declan Milton
ANU announced today that it will consider the Year 11 results of current Year 12 students applying to study in 2021. The University has recognised that the lockdowns now in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have caused “significant disruption” and “unprecedented challenges” for Year 12 students.
Prospective students were notified of the changes in an email sent at midday today. Approximately 2,500 early entry offers will be made to Year 12 students who wish to use their Year 11 results. ANU will use the current ATAR requirements in place to determine whether a student will be accepted. An ANU spokesperson told Observer that the University has “created methodology for each state based on historical Year 11 and 12 data.” They added that this methodology was used to develop the University’s New Admissions, Scholarship and Accomodations Model, and that they were “very comfortable with the outcomes.” Schmidt added that last year’s first year student cohort shows that Year 11 results are “highly indicative of the final ATAR”. Students who are not happy with their Year 11 results are able to apply the traditional way (unconditionally) using their Year 12 ATAR result later in the year.
ANU also revised the now compulsory service/co-curricular requirements needed to gain admission into the University. The University stated that activities completed in Years 10, 11 and 12 can be included, as they anticipate many students may not meet the requirements.
Students who want to apply for undergraduate programs which have subject prerequisites or assumed knowledge have been urged to remain in their respective Year 12 courses. The ANU stated that “we are looking at how we can support schools and students if they are missing subject matter relating to pre-requisites”. The University also encouraged students to apply to bridging courses if they do not meet the relevant criteria.
In a video statement released today, Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt told students that the measures were designed to “help bring certainty to your lives”. He stated that the pandemic has disproportionately affected students “from situations of social disadvantage”, and that the change will “minimize the amplification of disadvantage caused by the pandemic”.
Current Year 12 student Evie Hickson decided months ago that she would apply to the ANU and recognises that the “Year 11 submission is a good way to open up applications to more people”. Hickson added that “not everyone” would benefit from the change, as some students will not be happy with their current results or their Year 11 marks and “will still be aiming to pick [their marks] up despite what is happening”.
Claire Smith, who was an accelerated Maths student in Year 11, focused more on maths than her other subjects as it counted toward her ATAR. Smith said she does not believe that Year 11 marks are an “accurate representation of students intelligence and ability” as she admits she “slacked a bit in my other Year 11 classes not knowing this could detrimentally affect my university options”. Like Smith, Year 12 student Hannah Farrow believes that it places some students at “an incomprehensible disadvantage as some didn’t put in the necessary effort”. Farrow concedes though that as long as the ANU “takes into consideration and integrates Year 12 marks and co-curricular activities it could become a successful method to determine options this year”.
Both Farrow and Smith commended the University for extending the co-curricular recognition to Years 10 and 11 as in these years they had more time for voluntary participation. Smith stated that a student’s ATAR alone “does not tell the University much about the student and their skills”.
Lily Whitting, who has been interested in applying to ANU, flagged concerns over the transparency and fairness of the ANU’s calculations. Whitting said that schools have different Year 11 assessments “which will be different levels of difficulty as opposed to the HSC where everyone does the same test so you can compare fairly”.
ANU applications for 2021 are open now and close on 25 May. Results will then be released on 10 August. For those who are unsuccessful in their application, the ANU will “automatically reconsider” their application upon release of their final Year 12 mark.
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