Top students promised a spot at U of Newcastle

University courts high achievers with guaranteed places in many courses. By Antonia Maiolo.
Students who achieve an ATAR score of over 90 will be guaranteed a place at the University of Newcastle, under a scheme the NSW institution recently launched.
The majority of undergraduate courses offered at the University of Newcastle are eligible for the High ATAR Guaranteed Offer Scheme, including radiation science and biomedical science – a popular stepping stone to medicine and dentistry.
The university, which boasts one of the top engineering schools in the country, is also including its range of single-degree engineering courses within the scheme. Some highly selective degrees, such as law, medicine and physiotherapy are not included, whilst some degrees have additional entry requirements.
Newcastle deputy vice-chancellor professor Andrew Parfitt said the new scheme could help reduce the anxiety levels of students.
“We know that high school students can be very anxious as they await their acceptance letters, so this guarantee will take the uncertainty out of the process for high-achieving school leavers,” Parfitt said. “Students today are putting a lot of pressure on themselves to get into specific courses, mostly without an alternative plan if they are not accepted into the course they want. Gaining a place at a university [in the top 3 per cent], such as ours, has become highly competitive.”
He said the scheme was introduced to encourage high-achieving students to attend the University of Newcastle.

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