Adelaide changes fee-based entry for 2004

Thursday, 31 July 2003

The University of Adelaide is making fee-based entry more accessible, giving South Australian students greater opportunity to attend one of the nation's most prestigious universities in 2004.

Adelaide has offered fee-based places to Australian students since 1998, with fee-based entry available in all of the University's undergraduate degree programs except Medicine.

From 2004 South Australian students who take up a fee-based place will have the same opportunities to study at the University of Adelaide as international students currently do - with the same cut-off scores for entry. (Previously, cut-off scores for Australian fee-based students were higher than those for international students.)

South Australian fee-paying students will also benefit from discounted fees compared with their international counterparts (international students are provided with a range of services that are not necessary for locals).

In addition, the University of Adelaide will offer scholarships for fee-based places, with up to 10% of all Australian fee-based places supported by scholarships to improve equity of access to university study.

Benefits for Students

The advantage of fee-based places is that students who meet the required cut-off score are guaranteed a fee-based place in the degree of their choice. With HECS places, because of limited supply and high demand there is no guarantee that students who meet the cut-off will automatically be accepted into their chosen degree program.

Students who enrol in a fee-based place will free up HECS places for other students who need them.

Vice-Chancellor Professor James McWha says many bright and capable students in South Australia are currently missing out on university study under the HECS system. This is because the cut-off scores for entry merely reflect the supply and demand for HECS places, rather than the required academic standards.

"We know that there are students who achieve excellent results at Year 12, but many of them cannot make the high cut-off scores required for some degrees. Even if they do meet those cut-offs, there is no guarantee they will gain entry to their chosen degree because of the limited HECS places available," he says.

"We believe that talented students who have the desire to go to university, and the ability to successfully complete their studies, should not be disadvantaged simply because they do not achieve the HECS cut-off, or because of a lack of HECS places.

"Fee-based places will enable students who meet our academic standards to bypass the HECS system, giving them the opportunity to study the degree of their choice, while at the same time freeing up HECS places for students who need them."

New Scholarships

Professor McWha says the University of Adelaide is committed to equity of access, and already offers scholarships to worthy students who are studying in HECS places.

In addition to those scholarships, the university will provide new scholarships to support up to 10% of Australian students who take up a fee-based place at Adelaide.

"These scholarships will be reserved for students with high academic standards who also meet the criteria for financial need," Professor McWha says.

"This is just one of the many ways in which the University of Adelaide is working to improve the accessibility to university study for bright students in South Australia.

"Offering more opportunities for study means that we are offering more South Australians a future in their chosen field of interest."


A fee-based place means that the student is responsible for the real cost of the degree. Under the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) enrolment system, students contribute to their course by making the relevant HECS payment to the Commonwealth Government, which subsidises their place. In the fee-based system, the student pays a set fee for their program directly to the university.

The number of fee-based places is separate to the number of HECS places, which are set by the Federal Government. For instance, an increase in the number of fee-based students at the University of Adelaide will not have an impact on the number of HECS places, which remain constant.

More information about fee-based entry to the University of Adelaide can be found at this website:

A full FAQ is available for fee-based enrolment:


Contact Details

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762