It’s not over for the ATAR

The ATAR is not what it was. Last year university lobbies and government advisory bodies worked hard to end the way it was used and abused to make university entry opaque and status-bound. They did a pretty good job with a range of rules and reforms rolling out now. But yesterday CMM reported a new Mitchell Institute analysis detailing practical problems and philosophical failings with the entry score scheme. It generated enough attention for Universities Australia to reiterate it’s established position.

“The national data shows very clearly that an ATAR has become less important as a path to an offer as our universities have developed a broader set of assessment tools. What is not often well understood is that there are now a number of pathways into university,” UA chief Belinda Robinson said.

It could mean that ATAR attention increasing yesterday was something of a dead cat bounce. But it probably doesn’t, at least if the federal government’s new cap on places continues. If that happens universities will need a way to ration entry into courses, like, um the ATAR.


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