Different pathways lead to success
Many pathways may lead to higher education but our high expectations of students at the University of Adelaide remain the same.
University study demands a high degree of academic rigour, coupled with a genuine commitment to learning, an insatiable hunger for knowledge and a determination to succeed.
A core strength of our University is the quality of our graduates, who emerge from a rich but challenging academic environment to successfully meet these demands.
As the education sector becomes more and more student-centric, with a far greater degree of flexibility in curriculum, structure and assessment, universities have responded by adapting their entry points to recognise students from a wider variety of backgrounds.
This sector-wide policy shift to broaden access over the past 20 years is aimed entirely at creating opportunity for all those with potential and motivation - it is certainly not about lowering standards of entry. Indeed, as the student market has become more competitive, academic standards have risen to match student, employer and community expectations.
Academic rigour and preparedness for tertiary study will always be essential components of a meaningful university experience.
Historically, the student journey to our University was quite linear. Until the 1940s, it involved a Public Examinations Board established under the University's statutes, which served primarily as an exclusive assessment panel for the University. The options for potential students at this time were much more rudimentary than today - work, apprenticeship or university.
Today, multiple pathways to university reflect the diversity of the education system and the growing interest in skills development. Recognising different learning styles has seen a greater emphasis on tailoring more individualised plans to prepare students for further study and work.
TAFE articulation, foundation studies programs such as those offered at Eynesbury and Bradford Colleges, International Baccalaureate, STAT tests and accelerated learning initiatives are all well-established examples of how universities have embraced the notion of participation through alternative pathways. However, all students must still satisfy our requirements, which are firmly based on developing outstanding graduate outcomes.
No matter what pathway a student chooses, there are plenty of open doors but no back doors or short cuts to study at Adelaide.
Offering different entry points simply ensures that we don't preclude potential students who might not have followed the traditional or mainstream education pathways.
As an integral part of the local community, we believe the journey to higher education should be equitable but rigorous and directly responding to community need.
PROFESSOR JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President