2020 university admission pathways and COVID-19

Mother and daughter sitting at kitchen bench

COVID-19 has changed everything, including the university application process for students in Year 12.

If your child has been planning to start university in 2021, they’ll need additional information about how to apply to university. Find out what you and your child need to know about the temporary changes to admission to university.

Parents have been managing a lot of uncertainty for teenagers in the 2020 school year. Their final year of high school has been affected by COVID-19, with social events cancelled and academic milestones shifted. One area where questions have persisted is what’s going to happen to those students who are planning on attending uni. All the normal activities leading up to applying for university have been up-ended by coronavirus restrictions.

Guidance for parents and caregivers on university admissions in 2020

Murdoch University has developed an alternative pathway for students graduating from high school in 2020. The Year 12 Uni Entry Safety Net allows high school graduates to apply to Murdoch using their Year 11 ATAR subject results, and applications are now open.

The new admissions pathway has been designed to reassure WA high school leavers that their university career will not be delayed or disadvantaged by the global pandemic. Murdoch understands children may experience difficulties in their final year of studies through no fault of their own.

The Year 12 Uni Entry Safety Net takes into account the study time children missed due to government restrictions. As a consequence, they may not perform as well on the Year 12 scores as they would have otherwise. Students can be admitted to their chosen course if either their application under the Year 12 Uni Entry Safety Net or their final ATAR score meets the University’s entry requirements.

Students applying to university using the Year 12 Uni Entry Safety Net will be considered for admission as long as they meet their course requirements.

Year 12 ATAR in 2020 is still vital to university success

All students are strongly encouraged to do their best on the Year 12 ATAR exams. The safety net is exactly that – a way to give your child support if their grades come up short because of COVID-19 restrictions that forced them to study from home. If your child didn’t get good marks on their Year 11 ATAR, they will still be able to use Year 12 ATAR results to apply. In addition, sitting the test is good preparation for university study.

Murdoch will introduce academic diagnostic testing for undergraduate students in 2021 to support students affected by COVID-19. 

Other pathways to university

If your child hasn’t performed on their ATAR tests as well as they would have liked, or struggles with testing in general, there are several ways for them to still attend university in 2021. Enabling pathways are designed to help students build the skills they need to become eligible for undergraduate coursework.

Many of the courses do not have fees, and some of them don’t require an ATAR at all. Examples include:

  • OnTrack – 14-week university enabling course qualifies your child to apply for any undergraduate degree at Murdoch University that has a Selection Rank of 70. 
  • FlexiTrack – 10-week online course qualifies your child to apply directly for any undergraduate degree at Murdoch University that requires a Selection Rank of 70.
  • Media Portfolio – creative students can enrol in an Arts course based on their creative aptitude. ATAR results are not used to determine your child’s eligibility for admission to Murdoch but they will be required to present a portfolio of work. Students can apply mid-year during year 12 – even before TISC applications are open – all the way up to the week before uni starts in February.

Visit the Enabling Pathways page to find the best alternative pathway for university admission and compare all the different programs available.  

2020 will go down in history as a year of massive change. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to impact your high school student’s plans for uni.

If your child is graduating from Year 12 in 2020, applications are now open for them to apply direct to Murdoch using their Year 11 ATAR subject results.

Posted on:

19 May 2020

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