Further work on higher education admissions transparency

At the request of the Minister for Education and Youth, the Higher Education Standards Panel is leading work to extend the availability of high-quality information on admission requirements for higher education courses.

This follows the Panel’s work in collaboration with higher education providers across the sector and tertiary admission centres between 2016 and 2018 to improve the information available to prospective domestic undergraduate students. The new work will extend these specifications to cover postgraduate courses and information aimed at prospective international students.

A key aim of the Panel’s 2016 recommendations was to ensure students can access and readily compare information about all of the course options and admission pathways into higher education. This is particularly important for prospective students who are the first in their family to consider higher education, those facing disadvantage or other challenges, who may have limited access to professional career advice or face challenges finding out about the full range of options that are available to them.

Panel Chair Professor Steve Chapman, Vice-Chancellor of Edith Cowan University, said the new work is intended to deliver benefits for prospective students by ensuring information about course offerings and admission requirements is easy to find, comprehensive and – importantly – readily comparable across different courses and providers. “This will not be a compliance exercise or an increase in regulatory burden”, Professor Chapman said. “Rather it seeks to extend the benefits already delivered to domestic undergraduate students through clearer information, to postgraduate and international students.”

The Panel has established a new advisory committee on admissions transparency to undertake this work, led by Panel Deputy Chair, Professor Kerri-Lee Krause, Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Avondale University. Professor Krause noted that, as with the earlier work to implement the Panel’s 2016 recommendations, the new effort will be sector-led and firmly grounded in principles of a student-centred approach to deliver benefits for both students and providers. “If students get the right information to make the best possible choice of course and provider, they have the best chance of succeeding, completing their qualification and going on to a great career”, Professor Krause said. “That’s the outcome we want for students but also for the Australian community and the economy”.

As part of the new work, the Minister has asked the Panel to consider whether any other changes are needed to the earlier specifications to reflect experience since 2018, as well as any developments in admissions practice, in particular in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information about the new advisory committee is available on the Higher Education Standards Panel webpage.