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Industry and Community Project UAC – Uni Admission Centre – Reimagining University Admissions Project Outline Published Feb 2021 1 Contacts Project supervisor Office location Email Address Phone Consultation Hours Class location Dr Jinqi Xu FHEA Room 407, Level 4, H04, Merewether Building Jinqi.xu@sydney.edu.au +61 2 862 78766 By appointment HyFlex: Online via Zoom and Face-to-Face (TBA) ABS Learning Studio 3100 Class time Thursdays 9:00 – 12:00 About this Project Outline This Project Outline contains information specific to your Industry and Community Project. It is part of the Unit of Study Outline. Policies relating to attendance, submission and marking of assessments, and other matters, are in the Unit of Study Outline document. Project Description Background UAC is a not-for-profit private company that is owned by the NSW and the ACT universities. UAC is the largest tertiary admissions centre in Australia; processing applications for 26 institutions based mainly in NSW and ACT. We process over 80,000 applications for 2000+ undergraduate courses each year, approximately 50,000 of whom are current Year 12 applicants. UAC also leads the production of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for students in NSW. Equity of access to education is a core component of UAC’s mission. To meet this we also process applications for schemes designed to improve access to education: • Educational Access Schemes (EAS) – for applicants that have experienced significant education disadvantage in year 11 and 12 • Schools Recommendation Schemes (SRS) – for institutions to make early offers to current year 12s based on criteria other than (or in addition to) the ATAR UAC also processes applications for university’s Equity Scholarships (ES). UAC doesn’t set the admissions criteria for the courses we process; these are set by each of our institutions, but UAC has a key role in understanding the changing admissions landscape in Australia to ensure that we can respond appropriately to these changes. Current situation Currently university admission is predominantly a numbers game and the personal attributes of an applicant– critical thinking, digital literacy, problem solving etc are generally inferred from academic qualifications rather than specifically assessed as part of admissions. For a significant number of Year 12s whether they are offered their preferred course is determined by their ATAR. For many years concerns have been raised on the focus of the ATAR by senior secondary students to the detriment of a broader education. Educators are voicing their frustrations at the focus on a single number and feel it is narrowing their ability to serve the best interests of all students. They perceive that their role as educators, career guides and pastoral carers is being narrowed and distorted by a ranking score. Published Feb 2021 2 There is now a strong push for universities to admit students on broader criteria, while still ensuring that students are well prepared academically for university study. It remains incumbent on universities to admit students who are likely to succeed. Although it is predicted that the ATAR will continue to play a role in university selection processes, providers are wanting to assess a broader set of skills, capabilities and experience that a student has gained by the time they leave school. Current sector trends is for ATAR+ admissions. Project Scope UAC is seeking to broaden admissions so that the personal attributes of current Year 12 applicants can be considered alongside the ATAR to: • improve access for students from disadvantaged backgrounds • improve access for students whose ATAR may not be indicative of their true potential • decrease the focus on a single rank. Key questions to be addressed include: • How the current ATAR-based admission system works and how the key characteristics and attributes can be improved? • Are there any Australian providers who have successfully implemented ATAR+ admissions and can their system be scaled for the numbers processed by UAC? • How do the admissions systems of other similar countries work and are there lessons for Australia in those systems, including: o which aspects of our current system are worth retaining? o which aspects of international systems should not be considered and why? o which aspects of international systems may work in the Australian context? • What global trends may be relevant for consideration in an Australian context? • How will this be impacted by the growing interest in microcredentials? Students are encouraged to propose new models including whether any new technologies can be leveraged to improve outcomes. Students must consider the implications of any recommended changes to the equitable allocation of university places, ensuring no group is significantly advantaged or disadvantaged. Students must also consider the workload implications of any recommended changes for UAC, and whether there are any technologies that UAC can use to streamline processing. Interested stakeholders UAC UAC participating institutions Australian schools Year 12 and other senior secondary students Parents of those students Key perspectives that would add value Education Social Science Business Information Technology References: • • UAC website www.uac.edu.au UAC submissions and reports: https://www.uac.edu.au/media-centre/submissions-and-reports Published Feb 2021 3 • • • • Looking to the future: report of the review of senior secondary pathways into work, further education and training https://uploadstorage.blob.core.windows.net/public-assets/educationau/pathways/Final%20report%20-%2018%20June.pdf Nurturing wonder and igniting passion: NSW Curriculum Review https://nswcurriculumreview.nesa.nsw.edu.au/pdfs/phase-3/finalreport/NSW_Curriculum_Review_Final_Report.pdf mreview.nesa.nsw.edu.au/pdfs/phase3/final-report/NSW_Curriculum_Review_Final_Report.pdf Human Capability Standards https://www.workingfutures.com.au/human-capability/ Assessment of general capabilities https://www.acer.org/au/cari/projects/new-metric-projects/assessment-of-generalcapabilities Published Feb 2021 4 Project Schedule Key to colour coded activities Assessments due – submitted assessment tasks for grading Training Partner attendance Phase Week Preparation Theme Standard item Welcome and unit overview • 1 2 Introducing the Partner and the problem Understanding the brief 3 Different ways of doing 4 Working the brief Building ethical fitness 5 • • • • • • • Assessment/ Homework Overview of ICPU and semester program Introduction of project Expectations and challenges Get to know each other ‘Mapping ways of thinking’ Interdisciplinary groups Group formation Partner attendance Develop workable problem statement Librarian visit Research Design & Methods • Determining where answers are • Determining ways to gather the answers • How to make sense of the answers • Partner attendance 5 mins pitch and feedback • Refining the group’s focus with the industry partner Group Plan (20%) Semester Break 6 The importance of different perspective Refine the group plan Value of reflection PS must submit student research application to the EEE Ethics Officer by the end of this week. Individual statement activities 7 Individual Statement (20%) Levels of reflection • What happened? • Why it happened? • How I felt about it happening? Sharing with group members what was most educative in terms of project, working with others, working with yourself Published Feb 2021 5 Group Project time • • 8 Finishing 9 Group Project time Individual thinking time Group Project time Report writing • Report structure • Sketch the outline • Writing purposefully • Tone and style 10 Group project time 11 Partner attendance 5 mins pitch and feedback Refining the group’s focus with the industry partner Presentation skills and influencing for impact. Writing for impact Developing and delivering your presentation Group project time 12 Group Project Report Preparing for presentation Presenting for impact Completing project Presenting Booking a Presentation Rehearsal with Project Supervisor by appointment (feedback from PS) Employment readiness Group Final Presentations (feedback from partners) Group Presentation (10%) Group Project Report (50%) Finalization of Group Project Report (Editing, formatting, etc.) 13 Transferrable skills Inventory of project, soft, and personal skills • How those skills can be highlighted in your interview, CV and job application •

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