As part of today’s Higher Education Summit as presented by The Australian Financial Review in Melbourne, Education Minister Simon Birmingham is expected to present a report that indicates students from poorer families may be disadvantaged by issues of clarity regarding university entrance.
The report, titled Improving the transparency of higher education admissions, was commissioned by Senator Birmingham after data shows universities had been undercutting ATAR cut-offs for courses as a way of boosting admissions and concludes that information regarding university entrances was ‘confusing, ambiguous, misunderstood and unevently distributed’.
‘It is not always clear when a cut-off is truly a minimum entry rank, when an ATAR figure includes bonus points, or how providers apply bonus points,’ the report says.
‘Many propsective students assume they will only be admitted if the achieve a certain ATAR, when this might not be the case.’
According to The Australian Financial Review, Senator Birmingham will tell today’s summit that “there should be greater clarity and uniformity in the information available to students”.
The Education Minister is also expected to raise the issue of ballooning debt in the HELP students loan scheme, which has grown to $50 billion, of which some 25 per cent is unlikely to be recovered.
University peak body, Universites Australia acknowledges the need for universities to “improve information accessibility and comparability,” according to the group’s CEO, Belinda Robinson.