Year 12s: Will COVID-19 affect your chances of getting into uni?

The coronavirus has disrupted pretty much everything we do, and school hasn’t been spared. Almost all Australian students have had time away from classroom learning over the first half of 2020. So, will it affect your chances of getting into uni?

Hand raised for question

The final year of school is a stressful and demanding period for students at the best of times. Year 12s working towards their ATAR in 2020, though, have faced a huge challenge on top of the usual strains and anxieties that come with big exams, important assignments and major life moments.

We’re talking, of course, about the coronavirus. It’s brought about necessary restrictions on so much we once took for granted and that’s changed simple things like visiting friends’ houses, going to parties and, of course, being alongside classmates at school. 

But not all of the impacts on Year 12 students have been social. At a time when you’ve no doubt wanted everything to go as smoothly as possible, there could hardly have been a larger distraction. And, apart from taking your mind off your studies, it’s changed the very nature of the way you’ve studied.

If you’re wondering whether such a significant worldwide phenomenon may affect your results, you’re being completely reasonable.

Universities have been thinking about it, too.

How universities are responding

The ATAR is a ranking or score that universities use as a kind of fence in front of their courses. It makes sense, then, that they’d be worrying about the validity of those scores in this massively disrupted year. And they’ve started to publicly talk about how they’ll approach this situation

Very recently, Swinburne, for example, removed ATARs as an entry requirement for bachelor degrees in select fields of study. It’s a bold move… although, we have to say, it’s not unprecedented.

You see, the vast majority of undergraduate subjects offered through Open Universities Australia (OUA) don’t have ATAR barriers in front of them. And they never have.

At OUA, we’ve always had an open-door policy

Our open-door policy is an opportunity for you to do undergraduate subjects without having to worry about your previous scores or experience. But it’s not just a great way into tertiary study; it’s a great way into a full degree from a leading Australian university. 

Door open

Here’s how Open Access can work:

1. You enrol in one (or more) of the many ‘open enrolment’ subjects offered through OUA – these select undergraduate subjects don’t require an ATAR.

2. If you find you’re enjoying online uni, you’ll probably start passing your subjects!

3. Time to start thinking about a full degree? What about entry requirements? For lots of degrees through OUA those subjects you just passed are the entry requirements.  

4. Got your eye on a course? Time to talk to an OUA student advisor about the credit you can get for the subjects you’ve already completed and whether you need to complete anymore to officially start the degree of your dreams.

It’s kind of like a test. But in two different ways.

While you’ve been testing out whether OUA works for you, you’ve been going through a test of your own. And we think passing that test is more meaningful than an ATAR score could ever be – this year or in any year.

We’ve always believed high-quality education should be available to everyone, regardless of their ATAR or study history. So if you’re worried about how COVID-19 may affect your results, rest easy. We can help.

If you want to find out more about our open-door policy, there’s a great little video here. You can also speak with an OUA student advisor by calling 13 OPEN (13 67 36).

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