Consultation Draft VTAC Submission to the Higher Education Standards Panel - Document library ...

 
Consultation Draft VTAC Submission to the Higher Education Standards Panel - Document library ...
VTAC Submission to the Higher
Education Standards Panel
Consultation Draft
Consultation Draft VTAC Submission to the Higher Education Standards Panel - Document library ...
What is VTAC?
The Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) is the central office that administers the application
processes for places in tertiary courses, scholarships and the Special Entry Access Scheme at universities,
TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges predominantly in Victoria. VTAC receives, assesses and forwards
application and assessment information and supporting documentation to the selection staff at institutions.

VTAC is not a selection authority; does not determine the selection criteria used by institutions and; does
not decide who will receive an offer. All decisions about which applicants are offered a place are made by
the course selection authorities at institutions using tools and data provided by VTAC.

After selection decisions have been made by the course authorities at institutions, VTAC sends offer
messages to successful applicants on the institutions’ behalf.

VTAC also:

       provides secondary school students with comprehensive, up to date information on tertiary
        institutions and the courses they run;
       calculates and issues the ATAR for VCE students;
       co-ordinates sittings for Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT);
       provides telephone and online information and enquiry services for applicants;
       publishes a range of guides to tertiary study;
       provides timely information to assist applicants via its social media networks, blogs, Facebook and
        Twitter; and
       conducts information sessions for secondary school students and their parents, careers
        practitioners and adults returning to study.
       facilitates placement of current and former interstate students through the use of Automated
        Results Transfer System (ARTS)

Additionally, VTAC provides a full application, assessment and selection service to the consortium of
Australia-wide graduate-entry medical schools who use the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions
Test (GAMSAT) as a selection tool (the GAMSAT Consortium).

VTAC is not a government body—it is wholly owned by participating universities, and the TAFE sector in
Victoria and is funded by participating institutions and processing fees paid by applicants.

VTAC services 62 higher education institutions including universities, TAFEs and private providers.

VTAC’s overall comments and suggestions
VTAC has always endeavoured to provide as much helpful selection information as possible to the
institutions, the media, the community and most importantly, to the next cohort of prospective applicants.
This work has occurred over 20 years with VTAC and institutions working closely with the various public
stakeholders in devising a data set that is not only useful for prospective applicants, but accessible to a new
audience each year.

We welcome the chance to enhance our own transparency in presenting selection information in a cost
effective and timely manner. We wish to offer some suggestions we believe will help smooth the passage of
these reforms to provide the desired level of transparency in admissions; to adequately consult, prepare
and develop new processes and methodologies; and to communicate changes to stakeholders.

We note with concern, that while the Tertiary Admissions Centres (TACs) will play a major role in
developing, implementing and communicating the outcomes of any decisions made, no funding has been
allocated for this work. VTAC is a not-for-profit unincorporated institution which is wholly owned by
member university, TAFE and private providers in Victoria. Our funding model is cost recovery from
applicant fees and member fees. We cannot raise applicant fees in the short-term, and our institutions are
unlikely to be willing to increase their funding of us for the implementation of these changes. The only way
we can deliver on the HESP requirements is with government funding.

VTAC suggest:

    1. That the timelines for implementation be adjusted to allow for adequate consultation with
       stakeholders. This will ensure that the processes, templates and publications can be effectively
       delivered and communicated.
    2. That the Tertiary Admissions Centres (TACs) be allocated responsibility and funded to:
           a. Facilitate cross-border applications
           b. Develop and prepare institutional and course templates
           c. Collect, collate and publish institutional and course data on the new national platform
    3. That the draft templates be reviewed to ensure they meet the needs of the institutions and most
       importantly, the applicant groups, ensuring consistent information is provided for each of the four
       identified groups of applicants.
    4. That a funding submission from the TACs, either individually or jointly, be favourably considered by
       the HESP and the Department. This must realistically cover all costs of implementation of the
       reforms.

Consultation Question 1
Is the proposed approach likely to be effective in increasing transparency and public understanding of how
contemporary admissions to higher education work?

VTAC doesn’t believe that the effort and costs proposed in creating, implementing and publishing the
template-style data for all higher education institutions and all undergraduate degrees will provide a
significant increase in transparency or public understanding of how contemporary admissions to higher
education work. The proposed templates have an undesirable focus on the ‘accounting’ aspects of
institutions and degrees rather than promoting the content of courses, the types of delivery, the quality of
courses, work experience and study abroad opportunities and career outcomes. These are the primary
focus of students when considering courses (VTAC usability and student experience surveys).

Tertiary Admissions Centres (TACs) already work very closely with their institutions to ensure that
information provided is well-communicated, accurate, current and respects each institution’s autonomy in
selecting students. It is VTAC’s view that the proposed consistency of information presented in the
suggested templates will not meet the needs of all states and will result in a very costly, time-consuming
and quickly out-dated duplication of information – one set that the TACs have developed over many years
and in consultation with their institutions and school and careers stakeholders, and one set mandated by
the government through the HESP process.

Consultation Question 2
How achievable are the proposed implementation timelines, including commitments to deliver a ‘best
endeavours’ version of the proposed information sets to inform students applying to enter study in the
2018 academic year?

VTAC consider the timelines are too tight for adequate consultation with stakeholder groups in the
development of the information sets, and too tight for consultation and communication of the outcomes of
the changes to the information available.
The success of any scheme depends on the confidence of the consumers. With the proposed 2017 July and
August timelines and the ‘best endeavours’ approach, we are concerned that rather than a consistent
approach to the release of new templates and information sets the initial release will be rushed; provided
without any clear strategy for communication to consumers; required to be implemented without
appropriate risk management planning for changes to existing and long-standing infrastructure platforms.

Publication dates are set in consultation with both our higher education partners and our school
stakeholders.

VTAC’s publishing portal has been open for some months now for institutions to complete their institution
and course entries for publication on our website and mobile application in late June.

Careers Practitioners in schools have already begun intensive work with their year 12 cohorts educating
them how to read institution and course information and to search for courses that meet their interests,
talents, skills, career aspirations and anticipated ATARs.

Careers expos are being held across Australia now. The VCE Expo has already been held. To change the
manner in which institution and course information is presented to prospective applicants at this point of
the year would cause confusion.

The suggestion to supplement already published content with newly structured content in a PDF is not
useful. Administering the dissemination of course information requires an agile approach; with courses
being added and cancelled all the time, maintenance of a PDF is impractical.

VTAC doesn’t believe there is yet a suitable agreed template for the proposed information sets. Adoption
of the New South Wales template does not meet the needs of all states. Analysis of published information
across the five TACs show that there are several data items missing from the proposed template and there
are other data elements specific only to NSW that are not relevant to one or more of the other states.

A suggested approach to overcome the shortfalls in information presented in the proposed template for
course information is provided in Appendix A. This template considers the variables across all states in line
with the objectives of this review.

Consultation Question 3
If there would be difficulty in delivering the commitments proposed, what could be changed to make them
achievable?

We believe it would be possible and desirable to use the 2017/2018 selection period to further consult to
ensure the best practice information set can be delivered for 2018/19.

The data already collected by the state TACs about their institutions and courses is well-known within each
state and to arbitrarily impose the data set of another state will not be well-received.

A better process is to allow time and funding for the Tertiary Admissions Centres to work together to devise
an information set that is acceptable to each state, their institutions, their applicants and other key
stakeholders such as careers practitioners and parents. The success of this project ultimately depends on
effective consultation in its development, and communication about its delivery.
Consultation Question 4
Do you have any comments on the proposed four broad groupings to describe the basis of admission for
applicants to higher education?
a       Recent secondary education
b       Previous higher education study
c       Previous vocational education and training (VET) study
d       Work and life experience

Broadly speaking VTAC considers these groups to be appropriate, however it is worth noting that:

       VTAC’s experience is that current year 12 students have some difficulty in identifying themselves
        correctly.
       Based on usability testing and surveys, consumers of tertiary education don’t see themselves as sub
        categories of applicants, they perceive themselves as either current year 12’s or non-year 12
        applicants (mature age).

The production of different sets of data for different ‘cohorts’ of applicants would need to be considered in
terms of equity, bearing in mind that the data could feed the perception that its ‘easier’ to get into a course
as one type of applicant than another. The TACs and institutions work hard to dismiss the fallacy that being
‘mature age’ alone is enough to get an individual into any course.

Consultation Question 5
Do you agree that the proposed approach to Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) thresholds is
reasonable (i.e. replacing use of the terms “cut-off and “clearly-in” with functional terms describing the
lowest ATAR made an offer in the relevant period?). What issues or difficulties, if any, might this raise?

VTAC do not agree with the proposed approach to replace “clearly-in” with a long description of the ATAR
being inclusive or exclusive of bonuses or adjustments.

We are concerned that the ATAR is spoken of as if it were part of the process of selection or an outcome of
selection when in fact it is, and has always been, only an input to the selection process. It is never adjusted
or bonused – the ATAR is the ATAR; is the ATAR. It cannot be modified in the course of selection.

Below is explanatory information about the clearly-in and the published percentage below the clearly-in
which VTAC argue should be kept and adopted across Australia as the most transparent and readily-
understood snapshot of the previous year’s selection data for courses.

VTAC’s unique method of publication of Selection Data
VTAC does not publish “cut-offs” for courses that select on ATAR. VTAC publish for each course, ATAR data
that shows for the most recently-completed main offer round either:

       The clearly-in equivalent ATAR
       RC – indicating that the course selected applicants using a Range of Criteria
       NP – indicating that the course selected on ATAR but that the clearly-in ATAR was not published
        due to fewer than 10 offers being made to year-12 applicants).

Clearly-in ATAR
Selection data is published to give an indicative measure of the chance of an offer into courses for school
leavers (referred to in this document as Current-Year-12 (or CY12)) whose educational history contains only
an ATAR. Even though data is produced from CY12 applicants only, it should contain sufficient depth of
information for the general public to understand how ATAR plays into the selection for a course.

Publication of Clearly-ins
A Clearly-in is systematically calculated from a subset of applicants, the current school leavers, thus a
subset of applicants. VTAC defines this group with categories. The categories used for clearly-in data are:

       Current Victorian school leavers
       Current interstate school leavers
       Current IB school leavers

Data is calculated after each simulation of the January and February rounds of the Main Intake. Round 1
offerees contribute to the January data and Round 1 to Round 5 offerees contribute to the February data.
Round 1 data is published on the VTAC website at the same time as offers are released to applicants.

It is essential that the clearly-in data be informative and useful in advising applicants about current
selection decisions and future course selection.

To have a Clearly-In published, the course must use ATAR as the primary selection decision for CY12
applicants.

The clearly in represents the point at or above which all applicants for a course selecting primarily on
ATAR, were made an offer into the course. Students with ATARs lower than the clearly in ATAR may be
selected if other factors, such as bonus points have been added to create a higher system rank for that
applicant.

Because selection data is not predetermined, careers practitioners, parents and students are all advised
that the data sitting beside course information is based on last year’s data and should be used as a guide
only.

VTAC selection data forms part of the information on each course published on the website. It is also made
available to the media for publishing and comment and made publicly available on the VTAC website.

The table below shows published Clearly-In data for a selection of courses (de-identified).
Definitions

% below is the number of CY12 applicants who received an offer and who had an ATAR that was below the
clearly-in value. These applicants have received consideration for completion of cognate subjects (subject
bonuses), or personal qualities or circumstances (e.g. bonuses through the Special Access and Equity
Scheme (SEAS)).

Total offered is the number of applicants who were offered in this course for the round including both
current year 12 and non-year -12.

Giving the proposed prominence to the clearly-ins, cut-offs and derivations such as the median with and
without bonus points seems at odds, with the communications from TACs, institutions and governments
that the ATAR is simply one tool used as part of the selection process.

Additionally, using the clearly-in or cut-off and various forms of selection rank data as the primary indicator
for selection, has the potential for a national platform to be used as an informal “comparative ranking”
system, similar to the My School website, with the incorrect idea that the selection rank (clearly in/cut-off)
is an indicator of the quality of a course. This could potentially lead parents and other influencers to
interpret the clearly in or cut-offs as an indication of quality of course content, rather than the reality of
supply/demand/popularity.

The underlying message throughout the document is that by publishing different forms of selection rank
data, that applicants will know what to expect. How will this expectation be met? Clearly-ins/cut-offs are
not prescriptive, but historical and depend on supply, demand and the quality of applicant. There can be
fluctuations based on popularity of courses – is the emphasis proposed with the different variations on
selection data inadvertently suggesting what might be, rather than what was?

Consultation Question 6
Do the proposed “information sets” meet the need identified by the Higher Education Standards Panel for
comparability of the information available from different providers about the requirements to be admitted
to study at each institution and each course that they deliver?

VTAC does not believe it is possible or desirable to adopt the information set that may work in another
state. A collaborative approach to devising an information set should be the aim of the Panel who we
suggest, should task and fund the group of TACs to deliver.

The stated goal is goal to assist students to make better informed decisions about the most appropriate
course for their needs in the benefits and accountability section. VTAC are concerned about the lack of
usability testing that has been undertaken by the panel to ascertain if the proposed changes meet the
needs and expectations of our stakeholders. The suggestion to launch and then review is fraught with the
possibility of customers losing confidence in the product. VTAC’s extensive experience is that the more data
you provide without appropriate education/explanation the more confusing it becomes for applicants and
their influencers, their parents and careers teachers.

The presentation of admissions information has always been negotiated between institutions their TACS.
The current data sets and presentations have been developed over years of consultation and usability
studies with universities and TAFE providers, parents, the school communities, VCE students and adults
returning to study. What evidence is there to suggest the proposed model is in fact what the community
wants; will it be user friendly; and meet the needs of students, careers practitioners and the broader school
community?

What VTAC currently publishes
VTAC publishes information about courses available in Victoria in a variety of ways designed to best reach
prospective applicants, whether current year-12 or other applicants. Publication of details about courses
and admissions procedures is done according to templates that ensure that each course entry is formatted
in a consistent manner, contains all relevant fields and is easily comparable to other courses. VTAC’s
publications include:

       On-line CourseSearch. This publication contains detailed information about every course that
        institutions wish to include.
       On-line CourseLink. This is a tool specifically to assist Careers Advisors.
       The VTAC Mag. A print publication that includes helpful information about tertiary study, selection
        of VCE subjects, selection of courses that may be pathways to careers as well as profiles of students
        and some helpful advice for applicants. In addition, all VTAC institutions are profiled in the VTAC
        Mag but no course information is provided.
       A VTAC App for mobile tablets and other devices. In addition to providing detailed course
        information, this provides a subscription service for obtaining regular updates to course
        information. Course information is accessible both on and off-line.
       Publications to assist years 10 and 11 students planning for applications including:
             o VTAC Gazette – a monthly update to policy updates and changes to courses.
             o VICTER – a planning tool for year 10 and 11 students
             o CHOICE: VCE studies and the ATAR – a snapshot of the tertiary system with examples
             o On-line course and pre-requisite planner which assists years 10 and 11 students create VCE
                 programs and identify courses for which they will be eligible in future years.
   Publications for current year-12 applicants including:
        o ABC of Applying
        o ABC of Scaling
        o ABC of Offers
   Video tutorials showing processes and answering common questions.
    (https://www.youtube.com/user/vtacmedia)
   VTAC website (www.vtac.edu.au) through which all the above-listed resources can be accessed.
   Selection Data is published at the conclusion of the main offer round in February. This data is also
    included in publication of course information for the following intake as below:

   VTAC reinforces these publications with structured information sessions for secondary school
    students and their parents, careers practitioners and adults returning to study. There is also
    support in the form of customer service personnel who are available to answer questions during
    business hours.
   VTAC currently includes all selection requirements within each published course entry.
    Publications are mainly on-line through a variety of electronic media to facilitate wide access to
    impartial, comprehensive advice on tertiary course offerings in Victoria. With the recent
    development of the VTAC mobile App, this information is now also available off-line.
   Adequate support tools are provided to the key stakeholders who work with students in each state;
    the careers practitioners. Victoria find this group of professionals, key in disseminating information
    and education students on their options and how to interact with VTAC processes.
   VTAC has a very close relationship and excellent feedback loops both with the Victorian Curriculum
    and Assessment Authority (VCAA) and Careers Education Association of Victoria (CEAV).
Consultation Question 7
Does the proposed approach set out in the draft implementation plan adequately inform prospective
students about admission options or pathways that do not use ATAR? If not, how might this information be
improved?

Please see Appendix A for a suggested approach to ensuring each of the four identified groups receive
consistent and targeted information about each course.

Victoria has found careers teachers to be the greatest significant influencers for parents and students.
Without their support, it is difficult to initiate change. By investing in their education, the community’s
understanding of the tertiary education sector and its information data sets will be better understood.

Consultation Question 8
Any other feedback you wish to provide on the draft implementation plan and the commitments it outlines
is very welcome.

Interstate mobility
With regard to interstate mobility, VTAC’s data shows that there is minimal mobility across the states in the
current-year-12 space. Of students who applied in Victoria with an interstate address (about 7% of all year
12 applicants), and who were made an offer from a Victoria institution; only 25% subsequently enrolled in
the offered course. These were predominantly from one of three groups:

    1. Those applying from an address close to the borders
    2. Those applying to Go8 universities
    3. Those applying to high-demand courses such as Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry

Data from the Graduate Entry Medical School Admissions System (GEMSAS) shows that 85% of applicants
for graduate-entry Medicine are willing to move interstate to study medicine. For this cohort of mobile
cross-border applicants, there is a national admissions centre (GEMSAS) operating now. GEMSAS services a
very different cohort to those serviced as core business by the state-based Tertiary Admissions Centres.
These are typically younger, applying for first degrees and applying for less specialised degrees than the
high-demand degrees such as Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Law and Engineering. For no other
cohort of applicants is there an identified need for a national admissions system.

Applications are made to the TAC of the state in which the desired institution is situated. Application fees
for current-year-12 applicants are typically between $30 and $50 so there is not a huge cost to those few
applicants who wish to apply to institutions in other states. There are no systematic or policy barriers to
prevent applicants from applying in multiple states.

Risks
       The consultation paper is premised on the assumption of agreement. What processes are in place
        where agreement cannot be met?
       That funding for the TACs to implement and communicate the changes will not be forthcoming.
TAFE sector and private providers
The HESP Implementation Working Group’s approach is very university-specific. Tertiary Admissions
Centres are also owned by and provide services for the TAFE and private sectors. Publications include
degrees offered by non-university institutions who are not mentioned in the consultation draft. VTAC is
part owned by the TAFE sector in Victoria who will not wish to fund changes that are only for universities.
TAFE courses are treated no differently when it comes to clearly-ins and selection data publications.
Should the changes proposed be implemented, there will be a considerable amount of work needed to
ensure the new terminology and information sets are able to also be used by TAFEs.
VTAC’s comments on the proposed template:

                      The University of VTAC
                                                                 Nursing

Essential requirements to enter this course

    Prerequisites:
    Working with children Check
    Police Record Check
    Heavy lifting required.

Entry options – what does this heading mean? What is it trying to communicate to students?

A.       Recent Australian Year 12 students (within the past two years)
         This section is about last year’s selection standards, not the entry options. Entry options is about the entry point i.e. early
         offer, main offer, January offer etc.

         Lowest selection rank ATAR to which an offer was      Lowest adjusted selection rank ATAR to which an offer
         made in 2017                                          was made in 2017
         What is the objective of supplying the                Is this intended to be what we currently call
         lowest selection rank? Is there any concern           the clearly in or cut-off?
         that this will create a false hope?

         Minimum ATAR required for consideration in 2018 is                 55

         Here we are to include any admission requirements that may apply in addition to ATAR requirements such as early offer
         schemes for which there is a minimum ATAR threshold – this is a good idea, but not mixed in with selection standards of
         past.

         Here we are to include requirements to pass an interview or audition – two points I would like us to consider.
         1. Is the minimum ATAR required as an entry point; or is it a selection requirement (or interstate equivalent)?
         2. Is it possible to pre-empt and quantify standards for auditions, folios, interviews etc?

         ATAR related adjustments

         Details of the types of bonus points and other ATAR-related adjustments commonly available to applicants are set out in
         the institution’s general admissions policy at [hyperlink to whole-of-institution information set].
         In Victoria these are all mandated for inclusion in the course entry.
          Subject bonus statement (or interstate equivalent): We don’t see any issue here for Victoria.

         ATAR range for those offered places in 2017 (or current year to date, whichever is the most relevant).

         Across all offer rounds                   Excluding adjustment factors                 Including adjustment factors (optional
                                                                                                and only if relevant).
         Lowest ATAR to receive an offer           We are unsure what value this will           We are unsure what value this will
                                                   be to next year’s applicants.                be to next year’s applicants.
         25th percentile ATAR to receive an        Without totals to provide the                Without totals to provide the
         offer                                     context, how will this help students         context, how will this help students
                                                   in their decision-making process?            in their decision-making process?
         Median ATAR to receive an offer           Without totals to provide the                Without totals to provide the
                                                   context, how will this help students         context, how will this help students
                                                   in their decision-making process?            in their decision-making process?
         75th percentile ATAR to receive an        Victoria used to provide this but            Victoria used to provide this but
         offer                                     found that it caused more                    found that it caused more
                                                   confusion, replaced it with totals           confusion, replaced it with totals
                                                   and percentage for context. Happy            and percentage for context. Happy
to bring back, but not without                  to bring back, but not without
                                                      context.                                        context.
           Highest ATAR to receive an offer.          Interesting but we’re not sure how              Interesting but we’re not sure how
                                                      this will be useful for applicants?             this will be useful for applicants?

            Other admission options

            (For applicants who will be selected on a basis other than ATAR)

            [Information on other application pathways that may be suitable for recent secondary students, especially those who do not meet or
            are not required to meet specified ATAR requirements.
            o Pathway 1 – e.g. pre-selection schemes
            o Pathway 2 – e.g. Indigenous admission scheme
            o Pathway 3 – e.g. disability admission scheme
            o Pathway 4 – e.g. elite sports or artistic performance admission scheme
            o Pathway 5 – special consideration (for students whose ATAR achievement has been compromised by specific situations
            beyond the applicants’ control).]

            A few notes from the Victorian perspective: schemes such as SEAS are not an alternative scheme; it supports applicants in the
            traditional manner. An applicant granted SEAS will have bonus points added to their system rank and they will never know they received
            an offer because of ‘special consideration’. Some of these schemes work in conjunction with the ATAR – while others don’t. I would
            suggest that the working party consider this in their deliberations. Otherwise it could lead to a two-tier selection cohort.

B.          Applicants with previous higher education study
            [Information relevant to people who have undertaken recent or previous higher education study since leaving school, including academic credit
            transfer arrangements and any required additional criteria (e.g. interview or audition).]
            What about minimum GPA’s?
            What about mentioning whether the study needs to be relevant or equivalent to secondary studies?
            What about pre-requisites?

            Completed bridging or enabling course
            [Information relevant to students who have completed a bridging course to develop knowledge in a specific field or discipline that is a
            prerequisite to this course and students who have completed an enabling or foundation course to prepare them for further university
            study.]

C.          Applicants with previous vocational education and training study
            [Information relevant to people who have undertaken recent or previous vocational education and training (VET) study, including
            formal RPL arrangements etc.]

D.          Applicants with work and life experience
            Information relevant to people applying not on the basis of prior education participation, including admission via the Special Tertiary
            Admissions Test or any other admission tests, or on the basis of relevant professional or employment experience.]

Bridging and enabling courses
[Information on any relevant bridging courses to provide potential students with the skills and knowledge required for this course.]
[Information on any relevant enabling or foundation courses.]

Advanced standing/academic credit/recognition of prior learning (RPL)
You may be entitled to credit for prior learning, whether formal or informal. Formal learning can include previous study in higher education,
vocational education, or adult and community education. Informal learning can include on the job learning or various kinds of work and life
experience. Credit can reduce the amount of study needed to complete a degree.
For further information about credit and recognition of prior learning please see [Link to further information about advanced standing, RPL] or
contact [contact details for relevant credit arrangements]. [A list of formal RPL agreements that lead into this course could be included or linked to at this
point.]

Where to get further information
[Directions and links to other relevant information – e.g. the institution’s homepage, the relevant tertiary admission centre/s, the Quality
Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) website, the National Admission Information Platform (when available).]

Student profile
The tables below provide data on undergraduate students that commenced in this course in the most recent full year of intake, including students
admitted through all offer rounds and international students studying in Australia.
[See notes - Numbers less than five masked to maintain privacy. Where necessary, an additional cell should also be masked to prevent derivation]

                                                                       Most recent full year of commencements
Primary basis of admission                                             Number of students                         Percentage of all students
Recent secondary education
         Students admitted solely on the basis of ATAR
          (including adjusted ATAR, e.g. with bonus points)
     Students admitted where ATAR was one of several
           factors considered (e.g. portfolio, audition, additional
           test, early offer)
          Students admitted on the basis of other criteria and
           ATAR was not a factor (e.g. special consideration,
           audition alone, schools’ recommendation scheme)
Previous tertiary education
          Students admitted on the basis of earlier higher
           education study (includes a bridging or enabling
           course)
          Students admitted on the basis of earlier vocational
           education and training (VET) study
Work and life experience
    Students admitted on a basis other than the above
Total domestic students
Total international students
All students                                                                                           100%

How to apply
[Provide information on how to apply for courses (with links to further information as appropriate).

Notes and observations

          The entries are very data heavy and don’t support current reading behaviours of scanning. It is as though the
           data sets have been created for statistical purposes and not for user consumption. While much of the
           information is important, we would suggest a different approach and some minor changes to how
           information is presented and what data is presented.
                o The proposed structure doesn’t provide a consolidated view of all the requirements for each
                    applicant group.
                o Entries need clear headings.
                o Information needs to be scannable.
          Data sets:
                o Historically VTAC used to put the selection data at the top of each course entry. Applicants told
                    VTAC in usability studies undertaken in 2015 and again in 2016, that the selection data had too
                    much prominence and that they wanted to read about the course and make decisions and then
                    consider the selection standards.
                o We are unsure how useful providing the median selection rank is for applicants – is there some
                    research to support that this will be useful; how is it envisaged the median will be useful?
                                                             th                       th
                o What is the purpose of providing the 25 percentile and the 75 percentile. VTAC used to provide
                           th
                    the 75 percentile, but feedback from applicants was the data was useless, they and careers
                    practitioners and parents indicated that it was more useful to know the selection rank AND the
                    percentage of offers below the selection rank, in conjunction with the number of year 12 offers
                    compared with the total number of offers.
                o Since adapting these recommendations, parents and applicants in focus groups have indicated a
                    greater understanding of how to interpret the data.
How it might work
  Caveat: this would have to be discussed
   with OTHER TACS AND THEIR member
   institutions. The nomenclature of the
headings could be further refined to address
  all states’ needs. Compromise would be
  paramount, but it is achievable, without
  compromise to the readability of course
                 information.
Introduction

The following suggested format incorporates the information outlined in the HESP consultation paper.

The consultation paper is a good starting point. VTAC’s greatest criticism is not the concept of
standardisation, but the emphasis on data and the data-centric presentation of information.

Based on the usability studies undertaken by VTAC, course entries need to be a combination of the two sets
of data.

    1. quick glance reference.
    2. detailed content.

Information needs to be scannable and classified by headings that make sense to the applicant. The
headings in this document are suggestions only, but speak the language of the student, the applicant and
their influencers, their parents. After undertaking an assessment of all states course entries, there are more
similarities than difference.

In 2015, 2016 and 2017 VTAC conducted usability testing on its own course entries. The main comments
received in 2015 were associated with the language and ensuring the language was plain, clearly laid out
and comprehensive.

BACHELOR OF PRETEND NURSING
South Melbourne 12345671 (CSP); 12345672 (DFP); 12345673 (IFP)
Full time; Part-time; Online; 3 years’ minimum duration.
COURSE OUTLINE

MAJOR AREAS OF STUDY

SELECTION OVERVIEW

SELECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR AUSTRALIAN YEAR 12 STUDENTS

SELECTION REQRUIEMENTS FOR APPLICANTS WITH PREVIOUS HIGHER EDUCATION STUDIES

SELECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLIANTS WITH PREVIOUS VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
TRAINING STUDIES

SELECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS WITH WORK AND LIFE EXPERIENCE

FURTHER INFORMATION

LAST YEAR’S SELECTION INFORMATION
Apply through VTAC
BACHELOR OF PRETEND NURSING
South Melbourne 12345671 (CSP); 12345672 (DFP); 12345673 (IFP)
Full time; Part-time; Online; 3 years’ minimum duration.                                               Apply to institution

COURSE OUTLINE (OPTIONAL)

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rhubarb, Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb,
rhubarb, rhubarb, Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb,
rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb,
rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb,
rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb,

Sub-heading if applicable: as deemed appropriate to enhance the course information.
Sub-heading if applicable: as deemed appropriate to enhance the course information.
Sub-heading if applicable: as deemed appropriate to enhance the course information.
Sub-heading if applicable: as deemed appropriate to enhance the course information.

MAJOR AREAS OF STUDY

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rhubarb, rhubarb,

SELECTION REQUIREMENT SUMMARY

 Example of a course with a minimum ATAR
 Recent Aust. Year 12        Applicants with previous            Applicants with previous        Applicants with work and life
 students within the past    higher education studies            vocational education and        experience
 two years                                                       training studies.
 Minimum ATAR required for   Entire educational history:         Certificate or Diploma course   Mature age consideration
 consideration is 55              Prerequisites or              relevant for selection.         scheme
                                   equivalent
                                  GPA
 Prerequisites               Alternative entry program           Alternative entry programs      Alternative entry programs
                             including bridging or enabling      including bridging or other     including bridging or enabling
                             courses                             types of enabling courses.      courses.
                             Completed VET programs (if          Studies equivalent to           Work experience equivalent to
                             applicable), credit transfer, RPL   prerequisite fields of study.   prerequisite fields of study.
                             etc.
                                                                 RPL arrangements, pathways,     STAT (if applicable) or other
                                                                 credit transfer etc.            test if applicable. (30%)
 Interview (30%)             Interview (30%)                     Interview (30%)                 Interview (30%)
 Portfolio (30%)             Portfolio (30%)                     Portfolio (30%)                 Portfolio (30%)
                                                                                                 Form (10%)
SUMMARY OF OTHER FACTORS CONSIDERED AS PART OF SELECTION

Recent Aust. Year 12 students   Applicants with previous       Applicants with previous       Applicants with work and life
within the past two years       higher education studies       vocational education and       experience
                                                               training studies.
Form (optional) – (10%)         Form (optional) – (10%)        Form (optional) – (10%)
Alternative pathways            Alternative pathways            Alternative pathways          Alternative pathways enabling
                                                                                              programs
Access and Equity schemes       Access and Equity schemes      Access and Equity schemes      Access and Equity schemes
    Regional location             Mature age                     Mature age                     Mature age
    Under represented              consideration                   consideration                   consideration
     school                        Regional location              Regional location              Regional location
    Indigenous access             Indigenous access              Indigenous access              Indigenous access
    First in family               First in family                First in family                First in family
    Medical or disability         Medical or disability          Medical or disability          Medical or disability
     consideration                  consideration                   consideration
                                                                                                    consideration
    Difficult circumstances       Difficult circumstances        Difficult circumstances
                                                                                                   Difficult circumstances
    Financial disadvantage.       Financial disadvantage.        Financial disadvantage
                                                                                                    Financial disadvantage
Subject bonus

SELECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR AUSTRALIAN YEAR 12 STUDENTS

This section is relevant to current year 12 students and students with no other qualifications who have been out of
school for no longer than two years.

Selection criteria
Minimum ATAR: 55

Prerequisites: English (any); Mathematics – (study scores may also be included)

Interview: Indicate whether compulsory or optional. Include what the interview is about, how to arrange the interview, what
percentage of consideration the interview will contribute to selection; or provide a link to the institutions’ website. Does the HESP
want institutions to put their bonus points and indicate the assessment algorithm here too? i.e. 10%, 20% etc?

Portfolio: Indicate whether compulsory or optional. Include what is required in the portfolio, how to arrange for its presentation
and what percentage of consideration the portfolio will contribute to selection; or provide a link to the institutions’ website. Does
the HESP want institutions to put their bonus points and indicate the assessment algorithm here too? i.e. 10%, 20% etc?

Form: Indicate whether compulsory or optional. Include what is required on the form, i.e. work experience, motivation for doing
the course. Include how to submit the form and what percentage of consideration the form will contribute to selection; or provide
a link to the institutions’ website. Does the HESP want institutions to put their bonus points and indicate the assessment algorithm
here too? i.e. 10%, 20% etc?

Subject bonus: This is where the course will outline any bonus points for applicants who have undertaken certain studies and/or
achieved a standard. For example: A study score of 35 in Biology, any English, Health and Human Development or any Mathematics
equals 3 aggregate points per study. A study score of 30 in Biology, English other than EAL, Health and Human Development or any
Mathematics equals 2 aggregate points per study. Overall maximum of 12 points.
Alternative pathways
This is where the alternative entry schemes will sit, so that this group have all the info in the one place. For example: VVV schools
program – available to students currently or who have previously studied at an approved school for further information go to
www.vtac.edu.au/vvv

SUGGESTION: We would also like to suggest that this is where bridging information could sit. Because even though the student is in
year 12, if they don’t make the cut, it would be useful for them to know about alternatives for getting into this course in later years
or down the track.

Access and equity schemes:
This is where The University of VTAC offers a range of access and equity schemes to support your current application. These
schemes

   Living and location: mature age consideration; Indigenous access scheme; First in family; To find out more about eligibility or
    how to apply refer to www.vtac.edu.au/SEAS
   Medical or disability condition: This is where information about the requirements would be included.

Historical selection outcomes from [year of last selection period]
Course code          Selection rank at       Lowest selection rank to   Lowest selection rank      % of     Year 12   All offers
                     which everyone          receive an offer (no       to receive an offer with   offers   offers
                     received an offer       bonuses applied)           bonuses applied.           below
Campus               81.3                    72.00                      81.3                       68%      150       220
Campus 2             78.9                    69.99                      78.9                       78%      85        90

SELECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS WITH PREVIOUS HIGHER EDUCATION STUDIES

This section is relevant to people who have undertaken recent or previous higher education studies since leaving
school.

Selection criteria
Prerequisites: English, Mathematics or higher education equivalent.

GPA minimum: (optional).

Interview: Indicate whether compulsory or optional. Include what the interview is about, how to arrange the interview, what
percentage of consideration the interview will contribute to selection; or provide a link to the institutions’ website. Do HESP want
institutions to indicate the assessment algorithm here too? i.e. 10%, 20% etc?

Portfolio: Indicate whether compulsory or optional. Include what is required in the portfolio, how to arrange for its presentation
and what percentage of consideration the portfolio will contribute to selection; or provide a link to the institutions’ website. Do
HESP want institutions to indicate the assessment algorithm here too? i.e. 10%, 20% etc?

Form: Indicate whether compulsory or optional. Include what is required on the form, i.e. work experience, motivation for doing
the course. Include how to submit the form and what percentage of consideration the form will contribute to selection; or provide
a link to the institutions’ website. Do HESP want institutions to indicate the assessment algorithm here too? i.e. 10%, 20% etc?

Alternative pathways
This is where the alternative entry schemes will sit, so that this group have all the info in the one place. For example: bridging or
enabling programs.

Access and equity schemes:
This is where The University of VTAC offers a range of access and equity schemes to support your current application. These
schemes

   Living and location: mature age consideration; Indigenous access scheme; First in family; To find out more about eligibility or
    how to apply refer to www.vtac.edu.au/SEAS
   Medical or disability condition: This is where information about the requirements would be included.
Advanced standing/academic credit/recognition of prior learning (RPL)
You may be entitled to credit for prior learning, whether formal or informal. Formal learning can include previous study in higher
education, vocational education, or adult and community education. Informal learning can include on the job learning or various
kinds of work and life experience. Credit can reduce the amount of study needed to complete a degree.

For further information about credit and recognition of prior learning please see [Link to further information about advanced
standing, RPL] or contact [contact details for relevant credit arrangements]. [A list of formal RPL agreements that lead into this
course could be included or linked to at this point.]

Historical GPA data for applicants with higher education studies
Course code          Average GPA for 2016      Average GPA for 2017    No. of     Year      All offers
                                                                       this       offers
                                                                       group      to this
                                                                       who        group.
                                                                       applied?
Campus               6.95                     6.9                      75         45        220
Campus 2             6.20                     6.10                     22         3         90

SELECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS WITH VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING STUDIES
This section is relevant to applicants who are currently competing or have already completed a Vocational Education
and Training course and have no higher qualification.

Prerequisites: English, Mathematics or Certificate IV or above equivalent.

Interview: Indicate whether compulsory or optional. Include what the interview is about, how to arrange the interview, what
percentage of consideration the interview will contribute to selection; or provide a link to the institutions’ website. Do HESP want
institutions to indicate the assessment algorithm here too? i.e. 10%, 20% etc?

Portfolio: Indicate whether compulsory or optional. Include what is required in the portfolio, how to arrange for its presentation
and what percentage of consideration the portfolio will contribute to selection; or provide a link to the institutions’ website. Do
HESP want institutions to indicate the assessment algorithm here too? i.e. 10%, 20% etc?

Form: Indicate whether compulsory or optional. Include what is required on the form, i.e. work experience, motivation for doing
the course. Include how to submit the form and what percentage of consideration the form will contribute to selection; or provide
a link to the institutions’ website. Do HESP want institutions to indicate the assessment algorithm here too? i.e. 10%, 20% etc?

Access and equity schemes:
This is where The University of VTAC offers a range of access and equity schemes to support your current application. These
schemes

   Living and location: mature age consideration; Indigenous access scheme; First in family; To find out more about eligibility or
    how to apply refer to www.vtac.edu.au/SEAS
   Medical or disability condition: This is where information about the requirements would be included.
Advanced standing/academic credit/recognition of prior learning (RPL)
You may be entitled to credit for prior learning, whether formal or informal. Formal learning can include previous study in higher
education, vocational education, or adult and community education. Informal learning can include on the job learning or various
kinds of work and life experience. Credit can reduce the amount of study needed to complete a degree.

For further information about credit and recognition of prior learning please see [Link to further information about advanced
standing, RPL] or contact [contact details for relevant credit arrangements]. [A list of formal RPL agreements that lead into this
course could be included or linked to at this point.]

Historical selection history for applicants with Vocational and educational studies
Course code          No. of this group who applied?                Year offers to this group.                All offers
Campus               37                                            20                                        220
Campus 2             8                                             1                                         90

SELECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS WITH WORK AND LIFE EXPERIENCE
This section is relevant to individuals who have completed year 12 three or more years ago or who have never completed year 12
and have no other formal qualifications listed above.

Mature age consideration: All applicants applying under this category must complete the relevant form. This might be
an access and equity program or something else.

STAT: All applicants must register and sit the STAT. Further information about the STAT is available from here [insert
URL]. Is this where the institution will indicate what percentage of consideration the STAT will contribute to the
applicant’s selection?

Interview: Indicate whether compulsory or optional. Include what the interview is about, how to arrange the interview, what
percentage of consideration the interview will contribute to selection; or provide a link to the institutions’ website. Do HESP want
institutions to indicate the assessment algorithm here too? i.e. 10%, 20% etc?

Portfolio: Indicate whether compulsory or optional. Include what is required in the portfolio, how to arrange for its presentation
and what percentage of consideration the portfolio will contribute to selection; or provide a link to the institutions’ website. Do
HESP want institutions to indicate the assessment algorithm here too? i.e. 10%, 20% etc?

Form: Indicate whether compulsory or optional. Include what is required on the form, i.e. work experience, motivation for doing
the course. Include how to submit the form and what percentage of consideration the form will contribute to selection; or provide
a link to the institutions’ website. Do HESP want institutions to indicate the assessment algorithm here too? i.e. 10%, 20% etc?

Access and equity schemes:
The University of VTAC is committed to supporting applicants in their endeavour to study. As a result, the University offers a range
of access and equity schemes to support your current application. These schemes include:

   Living and location: mature age consideration; Indigenous access scheme; First in family; To find out more about eligibility or
    how to apply refer to www.vtac.edu.au/SEAS
   Medical or disability condition: This is where information about the requirements would be included.

Historical selection history for applicants with work and life experience
Course code          No. of this group who applied?                Year offers to this group.                All offers
Campus               25                                            3                                         220
Campus 2             15                                            2                                         90

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
[Directions and links to other relevant information – e.g. the institution’s homepage, the relevant tertiary admission centre/s, the
Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) website, the National Admission Information Platform (when available).]

COURSE SELECTION PROFILE
The tables below provide data on undergraduate students that commenced in this course in the most recent full year of intake,
including students admitted through all offer rounds and international students studying in Australia.

[See notes - Numbers less than five masked to maintain privacy. Where necessary, an additional cell should also be masked to
prevent derivation]

                                                                     Most recent full year of commencements
Primary basis of admission                                           Number of students        Percentage of all students
Recent secondary education
         Students admitted solely on the basis of ATAR
          (including adjusted ATAR, e.g. with bonus points)
         Students admitted where ATAR was one of several
          factors considered (e.g. portfolio, audition, additional
          test, early offer)
          Students admitted on the basis of other criteria and
           ATAR was not a factor (e.g. special consideration,
           audition alone, schools’ recommendation scheme)
Previous tertiary education
          Students admitted on the basis of earlier higher
           education study (includes a bridging or enabling
           course)
          Students admitted on the basis of earlier vocational
           education and training (VET) study
Work and life experience
    Students admitted on a basis other than the above
Total domestic students
Total international students
All students                                                                                   100%
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