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International Perspectives on Higher Education Admission Policy

A Reader


Edited By Virginia Stead

The promise of this admission policy reader arises from the embodiment of research from 58 authors, six continents, 20 time zones, 20+ first languages, and a broad array of research methodologies. Four sections aggregate key themes within the text:
(1) National Perspectives on Higher Education Admission Policy;
(2) Theoretical Approaches to Higher Education Admission Policy;
(3) Applicant Recruitment and Student Support Services in Higher Education; and
(4) Diversity and Equity in Higher Education Admission Policy Implementation.
This book's global chorus of professional experience, investigation, and insight is unprecedented in its breadth and depth, illuminating a rare swath of challenges and opportunities that Internet-sourced international higher education makes visible. Although each chapter is an independent research report, together they generate a new landscape for admission policy orientation, exploration, and activism. The sheer range of policies and organizational infrastructure will alert all readers to many complexities within the admissions process that remain invisible within single or multiple but similar cultural and political contexts.
Many of these authors have demonstrated courage along with their intellectual acumen in tackling politically sensitive, culturally taboo, and personally dangerous topics within their research. Theirs is a moving testimony to the global quest for fairness within the world of admission policy implementation and to the power of access to higher education. Together, we are determined to advance equitable admissions praxis within all institutions of higher learning and promising futures for all students.
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35 University Admissions in Australia: Multiple Pathways to the Same Destination


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University Admissions in Australia

Multiple Pathways to the Same Destination

Daniel Edwards


The undergraduate population in Australian universities is a diverse group. A mixture of age cohorts and relatively large numbers of international students, as well as an increasing variety of entry pathways mean that examining policy and practice in admissions to university in Australia is very interesting while at the same time substantially complex. This chapter offers a background on the Australian university student population in order to highlight this diversity, and then explores different approaches to admissions within the university sector. Exploration of admissions policies and outcomes in Australia is timely. In recent years an emphasis on growth in the university sector, driven by government policy, has pushed enrolments in the system to new levels. Rapid expansion has led to widespread discourse about the extent to which quality and quantity can go hand-in-hand in universities.

This chapter begins with an exploration of the characteristics of the student population and the characteristics of the 40 universities in Australia. It then returns to the expansion-focused, national-level policy changes implemented in the past few years referred to above. This context setting facilitates the subsequent discussion of the policy and practice in admissions.

The chapter explores admissions processes in Australian universities beginning with the most common pathway (taken by school completers), and then exploring a range of alternative admissions pathways, including provisions...

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