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University Entry to Be More Equitable


Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith today said that students from western and south-western Sydney will have a better chance of securing a university place this year under a new agreement between the NSW Government and the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Stuart Ayres said the NSW Government and UAC have agreed on a more equitable way of distributing bonus points and places for university entry.

“Students from socio-economically disadvantaged areas, Aboriginal students and those from remote rural and regional schools have been under-represented in tertiary education,” Stuart Ayres said.

“The NSW Government is addressing this imbalance through a new measure that identifies schools whose students deserve to have automatic access to benefit from UAC’s Educational Access Scheme (EAS).

“The EAS may provide participating students with either several crucial bonus points that can make the world of difference, or access to an allocated place.

“Public schools in the Penrith that will benefit include:

Kingwood High School  and

  • Cranebrook High School

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said the socio-economic measure will be the Family Occupation and Education Index (FOEI), which was developed by the Department of Education and Communities and is used to distribute needs-based funding to public schools.

“Forty-two schools are new to the list and the total number of schools eligible will expand to 270 across the State, including 81 in the west and south-west of Sydney,” Mr Piccoli said.

“Approximately 1000 more students from public schools in the west and south-west of Sydney will have access to the program this year, as compared to last year, with a total of over 11,000 students from these regions attending identified schools.”

Mr Rod Nesbitt, Principal of Kingswood High School said the school is pleased that UAC has recognised that students from Western Sydney, in particular Kingswood High School, are sometimes disadvantaged, for a variety of reasons, when applying for courses at universities.  The EAS will allow students from Kingswood High School to gain some bonus points to help them get into courses where they previously were unable to gain enrolment.

The Managing Director of UAC, Andrew Stanton, said universities had welcomed the cooperative consultation process that developed the new methodology.

“This new list ensures that universities are able to continue the EAS process introduced eight years ago to automatically generate an EAS application for students attending these schools who apply through UAC,” said Mr Stanton.

The EAS also accepts applications from individual students whose schools are not on the list, but who have experienced disadvantage. Details can be obtained from the UAC website




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Stuart Ayres - Member for Penrith

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