Swinburne Uni dumps ATAR for popular degrees

swinburne university atar covid--19
Swinburne University in Melbourne has dumped the ATAR altogether for entry into a bunch of its degrees. Image: Shutterstock

Worried you aren’t on track to get the required ATAR for your degree of choice?

From 2021, Melbourne’s Swinburne University has announced you won’t need an ATAR at all to get into a bunch of its popular Bachelor’s degrees, including science and engineering. Instead students will be able to enrol with a letter of recommendation from their school, provided they meet minimum English requirements.

RELATED: Women who want to study engineering at UTS will now get 10 extra ATAR points

The move is designed to give students a better chance of getting into uni, even if their marks have been impacted by all the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For a while now, we’ve had options for every ATAR. We’re now taking it a step further, by adding an option that removes ATARs from the equation,” Swinburne University said when announcing the new early entry program this week, as reported in The Age.

While there have long been alternative pathways for students who don’t achieve the required ATAR, this takes it a step further by removing the competitive ranking altogether.

“ATARs have never captured a student’s real potential, and are a source of stress at the best of times let alone during a global pandemic,” Belinda Barnet, a senior lecturer at Swinburne University, said on Twitter.

Belinda isn’t the only one taking to social media to express her thoughts on the ATAR apocalypse, with #ATAR trending.

While some welcome a move away from the ATAR and even think it’s long overdue…

…others argue the ATAR helps level the playing field for students from different socioeconomic backgrounds:

Swinburne isn’t the first Aussie uni to relax or change entry requirements in response to the impact of COVID-19 – the Australian National University and University of Western Australia have both indiciated they will skip over 2020 altogether and instead accept students based on their Year 11 results.

The University of Technology, Sydney meanwhile flagged it’s U@University Academy as an existing alternative pathway to a degree.

What do you think of the move? Hit us up on socials or comment below and share your thoughts! 

Gemma Chilton

Author: Gemma Chilton

Gemma has a degree in journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney and spent a semester studying environmental journalism in Denmark. She has been writing about science and engineering for over a decade.

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