University of Newcastle offering ATAR adjustment in recognition of COVID hardship

University of Newcastle’s Ourimbah Campus

The University of Newcastle is providing increased support for HSC students this year, including five ATAR adjustment points, in recognition of the extraordinary challenges they have faced in education since the start of last year.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky, said the University was committed to supporting Year 12 students’ aspirations of pursuing higher education.

“We know this is an extraordinarily challenging time for Year 12 students, their families and their teachers and we’re here to support them,” he said.

“We want Year 12 students to know that if they’re planning to study at the University of Newcastle next year, they’ll still have every opportunity to do that.

“We’ll make sure our processes are adjusted to take account of the delayed exams recently announced by the NSW Government.

“It’s important to remember there are many pathways into the University of Newcastle and all of these will continue to be available, despite HSC exams being delayed to November.

“These include the Schools Recommendation Scheme, ATAR-based admission, Year 12 Spotlight Program and our renowned Enabling programs.

“We are also introducing pathways in the form of new Diploma programs, in areas such as Business, Education, Engineering, Science, Built Environment, Arts, and Social Sciences.”

Zelinsky said the University was engaging closely with high schools and would continue to do so over the coming weeks to make sure they had the information they needed.

“We have strong relationships with the more than 170 high schools across our regions and much of the support we have developed for Year 12 students is in direct response to the feedback from principals and teachers,” he said.

“We’ve already increased our support for Year 12 students in the lead up to their HSC, through programs like Uni&Me that offers the opportunity to connect with a University of Newcastle student ambassador to plan their transition from school to university.”

University Pro Vice-Chancellor College of Human and Social Futures, Professor John Fischetti, said Year 12 students and their families may benefit from practising positivity each day.

“Human brain wiring includes more than 100 billion neurons, which, especially in young people, can be changed by stimulation – good or bad,” he said.

“The unanticipated time that we now have with our children is tough and stressful, but it is also amazing.

“We are there to see them struggle, we are there to help them succeed.”

Fischetti said while the HSC is an important milestone, it is not the “be all end all”.

“All options for your amazing futures are available after the HSC,” he said.

“Those may involve taking a slightly different path to enabling programs or to a degree that is related and through which you may apply to transfer into later on based on your success.

Fischetti said learning from home was helping students develop “future-focused skills”, including the skills to deal with ambiguity, critical thinking and taking more ownership of their own learning journeys.

“Some students are actually thriving given the ownership they are getting in their own learning and the flexibility of learning from home,” he said.

Students may be eligible for a range of adjustment points through various schemes, including the Educational Access Scheme, Year 12 Adjustment Points Scheme, Regional and Rural Adjustment Points Scheme and the Elite Athletes Admission Scheme.

The University will also offer the COVID points scheme to this year’s HSC students where school leaver applicants will be offered an additional five adjustment points in recognition of the extraordinary challenges they have faced in education since the start of last year.

The points will be applied automatically via the Universities Admission Centre to students who preference the University of Newcastle.

Media release, Sep 2
University of Newcastle