UNSW provides new pathway for equitable access to university

UNSW Sydney has opened its early conditional offer round to Years 11 and 12 students as part of the UNSW Gateway Admissions Pathway and Program, providing a new pathway to university for students from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds and who attend targeted Gateway schools in NSW. The Winter program launched this week for Year 12 students, followed by the Spring program in September for Year 11 students.

President and Vice-Chancellor at UNSW, Ian Jacobs said the University is pleased to support Year 12 students studying for their Higher School Certificate (HSC), many of whom had a disrupted school year in 2020 due to the bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic.

“We hope that many students who experienced a lack of face-to-face learning this year will benefit from the personalised HSC support offered through the UNSW Gateway Winter Program,” Prof. Jacobs said.

“The Gateway program encourages peer-to-peer discussion and learning, helping students to build connections with each other and discover whether UNSW is the place for them to continue their studies.

“Year 12 students will also benefit from having an early conditional offer well before they commence their HSC, alleviating some of the stress caused by the disruption to students’ learning during this year.”

Chancellor at UNSW, David Gonski AC said the Gateway program is a continuation of UNSW’s longstanding commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

“It is essential that students from low SES backgrounds are actively encouraged and provided with access to a streamlined pathway to attend university,” Mr Gonski said.

“This pathway acknowledges not only the impact of financial disadvantage at an individual level, but also acknowledges and seeks to rectify the imbalance and structural barriers caused by educational disadvantage that negatively impacts access to university and post-school outcomes for young people in NSW.”

More than 1380 students have registered for the program, including 173 students from regional areas and 52 students who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

“I chose the UNSW Gateway Winter Program to hopefully help me in getting my momentum back and make studying a little easier. I have strong ambitions and plans but I feel like I need just a little support in achieving those goals,” Samantha Taylor-Monzer from Northlakes High School said.

The UNSW Gateway Winter Program is an online academic enrichment program funded by UNSW and the Federal Government’s Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) to support Year 12 students. It is delivered in partnership with non-government organisations The Smith Family, Public Education Foundation and Harding Miller Education Foundation, as well as commercial partners Cluey Learning and InspirED. UNSW ambassadors from equity backgrounds also play a key role in the design, development and delivery of the program.

The program is being held from 6 to 10 July and will provide students with opportunities to:

  • participate in intensive HSC revision and exam preparation workshops
  • discover faculty and degree choices available at university
  • take part in academic study and university preparation workshops
  • connect with UNSW’s ambassadors and find out their tips and tricks for surviving the HSC and staying on track
  • access a study hub and HSC subject revision delivered by InspirED
  • receive one-on-one assistance in applying for the UNSW Gateway early conditional offer pathway, placing them in the best position to submit a successful application.

UNSW will consider additional components alongside Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) when determining an early conditional offer to students’ preferred UNSW degree, as part of its Gateway pathway. This acknowledges that ATAR is only one component of student performance and that students at Gateway schools can demonstrate potential for university in a range of ways.

“An early offer from UNSW would be an absolute dream. It would help take some of the pressure off myself knowing that I have an offer from UNSW. UNSW has some of the best degrees in Australia, so I would be ecstatic if I got accepted,” said St Marys Senior High School Student Madalyn Hyde.

Students attending eligible Gateway schools who submit an application will also be prioritised for equity scholarships providing financial and mentoring support to help them attend university.

Gateway early offer admission pathway applications close on 3 August 2020. For more information on the program and early conditional offers visit gateway.unsw.edu.au

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