Submissions and reports

Improving Retention, Completion and Success in Higher Education: UAC response

01 Jul 2017

Admission is our strength. We already use our expertise in admissions to help universities and other providers admit tens of thousands of students every year. We have a suite of over 200 schedules that assess qualifications at all levels from all over the world and put them on a common scale that accurately predicts success in the first year of university.

The most obvious example of UAC’s expertise in this area is the calculation of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank - a numerical measure that ranks students according to their performance in their Year 12 qualification and translates it into a number that effectively predicts capacity for success at university. But there are hundreds of examples, and each of our schedules has been rigorously developed with extensive data and cohort analysis. We already make the link between the inputs (such as previous study) and the outputs (completion of degree) of tertiary study, and have the capacity to make further links with other inputs (such as different student attributes). 

UAC is also able to assess non-academic criteria and is currently working with our universities to help them admit teaching students based on personal characteristics deemed necessary for success as a teacher. UAC would like to build on these capabilities in the non-academic criteria as these kinds of contextualised admissions become more important to government and the sector. UAC can and does help get the right types of students into the right courses. 

Greater transparency of admissions will also help through the provision of consistent, comparable information which provides the framework for informed student choices. UAC has been very involved in the work of the Panel on improving transparency and looks forward to the outcomes of that work as embodied in the agreed implementation plan. Centralisation of this information will be critical to its success and UAC’s role as a central body will prove invaluable to students looking to make objective comparisons
between universities. 

The use of data is also important to the transparency agenda. UAC has a wealth of data that could be utilised now and expanded in the future to make the link between admissions transparency and retention and student success, not just for current UAC institutions but nationally.

Download the full submission [PDF]