This is a snapshot of universities in Western Australia.
BEST IN AUSTRALIA
88.4% of Notre Dame undergraduate students were satisfied with the overall quality of their learning experience according to the Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching (QILT).
91.1% Were positive about their skills development.
76.6% found full time employment
Notre Dame is a Catholic University but you don’t need to be Catholic or Christian or even religious to go there, and the fees are comparable with other universities.
The point of difference is that Notre Dame does have a spiritual, values driven, caring approach to teaching and learning which underpins their interactions and decision making. That’s why they are topping the QILT ratings.
It is quite a small university with 10,000 students and the vast majority of them are domestic students.
The university is in beautiful renovated old buildings around Fremantle.
Pastoral care and support developed for international students has been made available to help regional and remote students to settle in. The only shortcoming is the lack of Notre Dame student accommodation but the student support services people will help students to find accommodation to meet their needs.
Curtin is by far our biggest university with over 50,000 students. It seems like a city with business centres, shops, gyms, accommodation and bands and food trucks, art galleries and theatres.
I think undergraduate students could have a ball at Curtin, but the sheer size of of the place can be daunting. You need to actively work at getting engaged with the Curtin community, both social and academic, to make the most of your Curtin experience.
Curtin knows this and has invested in providing plenty of help for new students and for students with special needs, but it is up to you to seek it out.
Because of the size of the university there are many opportunities available for students to extend their experience, in Australia and internationally.
Curtin is part of a knowledge precinct in Bentley with CSIRO, Tech Park and the Pawsey supercomputer in the area. Staff and students actively seek to engage with industry to get knowledge and experience and do industry based research. It is number 2 in the world for Metals and Mining Engineering programs. This industry focus underpins the feel at Curtin.
Curtin seems exciting, dynamic and very cosmopolitan with lots of international students and with campuses in Malaysia, Singapore and Dubai as well as the one at Bentley and in Kalgoorlie.
ECU – Edith Cowan University
The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching ranks ECU as the top public university in Australia for undergraduates’ student experience. You can feel the quality of the experience when you contact ECU for information. They get back to you. They try to help.
ECU started as a college for teacher training and gradually expanded its courses with WAAPA being one of the first ventures into new areas. Now WAAPA has a reputation as one of the BEST performing arts learning academies in the world.
ECU’s more recent expansion has been into engineering with significant investment into new facilities, international learning opportunities and strong demand for graduates.
ECU is pretty big but students are on the Mt Lawley and Joondalup campuses so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
The buildings are great examples of design with some of the coolest architecture in Western Australia.
ECU is manageable and there is a strong student centric management focus which means students get help to succeed. There are many alternate pathways into ECU including the UniPrep program and experienced based entry.
People who didn’t think they could get into uni and succeed can are supported to thrive at ECU.
Murdoch has recognised that the world is changing and that there is a disconnect between education and where jobs are emerging. It has introduced “adaptive expertise” as a learning spine being introduced across the university.
They are focusing on adapting traditional courses with the application of technologies. So History + STEM could result in machine learning that unearths previously unknown information about cultures. Journalism + STEM, as seen in the use of drones, is revealing what is happening in emergency or war environments.
Murdoch has a strong focus on getting girls into engineering. They have engaged with schools and support in industry to lift the number of girls entering this field which delivers 25% of the world’s CEOs.
Murdoch has the biggest percentage of international students in WA.
They are teaching students to think globally, to seek ways to apply technology to their work and to work collaboratively.
UWA – University of Western Australia
This is our oldest university. Many industry, political and community leaders in Western Australia went to UWA which gives strong links between UWA and leaders across the State.
The UWA campus is beautiful with Winthrop Hall being the most recognised symbol of “a university” in WA. The gardens, theatres and art gallery and its role as the initiator of the Festival of Perth make UWA a hub of culture.
UWA has positioned itself as the university for high academic performers and many high achieving school leavers identify UWA as their first preference.
CQU – Central Queensland University
This is a new comer to Western Australia and it is working hard to attract students from their traditional university pathways with courses in sonography and echocardiography which are new to WA.
The main campus is located near the bottom of William Street near Elizabeth Quay and they have set up study hubs in Busselton, Broome, Geraldton and Karratha. These are often on TAFE campuses.
Many of the students are mature aged, external students who make use of online learning, occasional face to face contact and phone calls to fit their learning around their work and other demands.
Although there are 20,000 students at CQU, they are spread across Australia and numbers in WA are still quite small.
Still not sure what to do?
Go to the university open days
Contact the university career advisors. They are paid to help you.
Contact me. I will be able to point you in the right direction for help.
Director of In Focus Careers Careers Resources Hub for West Australians.
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCASA) is THE mob that makes up the rules about WACE. The first place to find information about Year 11 and 12 is in the official Year 10 Information Handbook which SCASA puts out.
If you can’t find the information you need or if you are unclear on anything contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STEP 2 Hear Your Dream
You need to have some idea about what career direction you would like to take.
Many schools have the Career Voyage program that will help you to nail down a career direction for the near future. If you don’t have access to Career Voyage at school you can do the quiz at a Jobs and Skills Centre.
I have done this Coggle brain storm of a bunch of places you can check out to narrow down what you like.
For years ATAR results were the short cut that universities used to choose their students. Things are changing. Competition between universities has heated up and they are looking at many alternative pathways that:
enable more students to go to university
ensure students don’t fail when they get there.
Universities are looking for alternative pathways more than schools and parents.
TAFE has always been flexible with its pathways to learning than universities and there is a huge range of possible pathways offered.
Job Prospects for Young Job Seekers
Last year the Career Development Association put on a webinar delivered by Ivan Neville, from the Commonwealth Department of Employment. He said….you really need to get a year 12 qualification, or equivalent, to get a job…..
But there isn’t much difference in employment outcomes between a degree (3.6%) and a Cert III (4.1%).
The opening of university entry to a wider audience had resulted in a shift towards degrees and away from vocational education since 2008.
There are now stronger job outcomes for apprentices and trainees than people with degrees.
Step 4 Check Course PRE-REQUISITES
There are lots of courses that have RECOMMENDED subjects, but not so many have definite PRE-REQUISITES that MUST be done as a WACE subject in order to get into a course.
There are lots of pathways into further study and your WACE pathway is just one of them.
The most direct pathway is however, to take subjects that the universities are looking for. So, once you have narrowed down a career direction to take, check out the TISC University Admissions Handbook. It identifies what WACE subjects you should take to keep your options open.
The Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) is the minimum WACE requirement reading, writing and numeracy. It is usually done in 10 but there are more opportunities to sit the Assessment in Year 11 and 12 and even AFTER Year 12.
Prospective TAFE students who do not meet these standards can:
sit a TAFE Admissions literacy and/or numeracy test administered by Training Sector Services;
be referred to a TAFE college for a Learning Area Assessment; or
enrol in a course that does not have literacy or numeracy requirements, including foundation skills, equity courses and Certificate I
Step 5 Contact Your Career Advisor
Tap into the knowledge and experience of your career advisor.
If you don’t have access to a specialist career advisor at your school, go to a TAFE college Jobs and Skills Centre or private careers consultant to be sure your next step is the right one.
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(South Metropolitan Government High School.)
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If you have ever tried to take a class on an excursion you know how hard it is. The maths staff complain that they need the students to do a test on that day. The front office staff complain that you haven’t finished the paper work. The students don’t bring in their money.
It doesn’t seem worth the effort.
School systems aren’t set up to support learning out of school grounds.
As the boundaries between schools, universities and registered training organisations (RTOs) become more porous there is a need for schools to become more agile in their approach to learning.
Unis and RTOs have these 5 systems in place that support flexible learning.
They specify what they are aiming to achieve and who is responsible within each organisation. They also have a time and reporting stipulations and they have identified standards that support strategic goals.
Universities and VET training providers have management systems in place to guide off campus learning. The management process includes how the project fits into strategic targets and learning outcomes.
There are generic equal opportunity, privacy, duty of care and occupational health and safety laws designed to protect students, workers and volunteers. Once these standards are in place they provide the framework for all excursions.
Universities and RTOs organise their finances so that there are staff who take responsibility for flexible learning arrangements. This is not the task of the academic staff. Financial management will be determined by school funding models and may include costs associated with the off campus activities.
Universities and RTOs have IT systems that capture and share information without the need for duplication.
Want to know more?
Email me for a copy of the How to set up a school – industry partnership framework.
Some speakers had chosen to specialise by doing a PhD, some were doing research in hospitals, while others had gone into management or were working on international committees.
One had used his science PhD as a pathway to found Exodus Space Systems which is developing systems for settling the solar system!!
There were presentations on biomedical science and biomedical engineering with some exciting and crazy talk about mechatronics and 3D printing of organs. The future for engineers in the health industries is changing at a dizzying pace.
Speakers in the various presentations across the Open Day made a few key points:
In order to get a broad understanding of the health industry speakers recommended that you choose a broad range of subjects in your first year which maximise your choices for specialisation. They suggested that you maximise your flexibility through a strong focus on maths and sciences that give depth as well as breadth.
One of the key underpinning skills mentioned by one speaker was the development of strong communication skills. She said that her capacity to formulate a reasoned argument quickly was a direct outcome of her science degree.
The need for communications skills was reinforced by others who mentioned the need to negotiate for clinical or resource priorities as well as the need to explain your decisions to patients, politicians and the public.
The message was that good communication skills would be your gateway to a range of opportunities across many industries. They said that is was easy to turn a health scientist with good communication skills into a business person in many interesting fields.
It is possible to do your degree online, from the comfort of your own home.
Don’t do this.
Uni life can be so much more than study. Use the campus. Join social clubs. Go on camps. Do sport. Through these opportunities you can make lifelong friendships.
A self proclaimed introvert on one of the panels said it took her significant effort to force herself out of her home and onto the bus to the campus so that she could meet and mix with people.
In addition to networking with other students it was advised that students take opportunities to volunteer and get experience through contacts at the university. All of the speakers had stories about how they had been encouraged to apply for scholarships, or present papers at conferences or had found part time jobs which led to other jobs.
This was a day of UWA selling its health science courses… and they did it well. It seemed that a strong, broad health science degree was your gateway to a million opportunities.
People on the panel didn’t know where their careers would take them and all praised UWA for providing the first step on the heath industry career.
If you are serious about a career in medicine you should also check out the range of undergraduate courses at West Australian universities:
There are lots of doors that can lead to a university degree and if you have had one gap year (travelling, working, watching Netflix) it is even easier to go through those doors at some universities.
The alternative pathways are FREE at all universities although quotas have been introduced so numbers are restricted. The government is trying to introduce fees for these pathways and universities are protesting about that so they are largely free at the moment.
Portfolio Entry (Experienced Based Entry)
This pathway is available at a number of WA universities. Demonstrated proof of your abilities via a portfolio of evidence of your academic achievements and abilities, or demonstrated proof of your ability. Portfolio entry is not just restricted to the creative arts.
Step UP – You may be eligible for Step Up if you meet socio-economic or educational disadvantage criteria. If you are eligible and got an ATAR Score between 60 and 69.95 Curtin will automatically bumped up to 70 which is Curtin’s minimum ATAR requirement.
StepUp Bonus – this depends on the applicant’s eligibility, however this gives them an extra 5 bonus points if their ATAR is above 70.
Portfolio Entry – is not only for the creative courses; it is applicable to courses like Education, Science, Commerce and Health.
Uni Ready Enabling Program – this program is designed to help you gain entry into a range of Health Sciences, Humanities or Curtin Business School undergraduate courses. In terms of the age limit, applicants must be past the compulsory school age (generally that’s about 17 years old).
Enabling Course in Science, Engineering and Health – this course also has the same age limit as UniReady. Depending on their course weighted average, completion of this program will meet relatively higher entry requirements and subject prerequisites, too.
Curtin College offers courses that can result in entry to second year of Curtin’s Bachelor degree program.
Thanks for the update from: Christine Lim Future Student Advisor | Curtin University
On Track – a 14 week course that prepares students for entry to a course with a minimum ATAR requirement of 70.
On Track Sprint – a 4 week course run over the Christmas holidays that may prepare you for entry to a course with a minimum ATAR requirement of 70 or less.
TLC10 – prepares students to apply for Murdoch through a 1 day per week course that runs all year in Mandurah and Rockingham.
Portfolio Entry – you can gain entry to courses that rely on creative talent in media, games art and design and creative writing, photography and web communication via a portfolio demonstrating your work + a number of hoops like WACE and English competence. For Portfolio entry try the Domestic Admissions Team on 9360 7458 or send an email by following this link
ECU Access- Eligible students from identified Western Australian schools will receive an automated ATAR adjustment of up to 10 selection ranks to support the entry of students from areas with educational disadvantage:
Eligible students with an ATAR of 60 to 69.95 will receive a selection rank adjustment to 70; and
Eligible students with an ATAR of 70 and above will receive a selection rank adjustment of 5 to a maximum ATAR of 90.
If your school is listed here and you need to find out more, please talk to your school careers adviser or contact the ECU Student Recruitment team on 134 328.
UWAY – This is an alternative entry pathway and comprehensive support program for students completing Year 12 under challenging circumstances. The program provides academic, financial and personal support, and it is responsive to individual student needs, throughout their final year of secondary school and during their university studies. You can apply for alternative entry to an undergraduate degree course through UWay if your academic achievements have been adversely affected by certain disadvantages.
Broadway – This scheme allows eligible students from a Broadway-identified Western Australian school to receive an automated ATAR adjustment for their application to UWA.
The Mature Age Access Program allows a mature-aged student with little or no previous background in tertiary study to begin studying under a provisional enrolment without having to meet the standard entry requirements. Using this program mature-aged students have the opportunity to meet academic and English prerequisites for entry while beginning their course.
Thanks Philip Sharpe, Future Students Centre, University of Western Australia
Students complete a one-week Learning for University intensive course during Orientation Week. This course is designed to facilitate your transition into university life and must be successfully completed before you progress to the remaining four courses:
Thanks to Sandra Emanuel CQU Marketing Coordinator for the update.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Entry Pathways
All Western Australian universities and TAFE colleges have Indigenous Entry Programs and specialised support to help students to succeed in their studies.
Vocational Education and Training Pathway
Start your degree at TAFE and finish at university.
TAFE frequently has smaller classes and more practical learning than universities.
TAFE courses often provide credit points towards degrees. Check your local college for specific courses details. You can arrange an appointment with a college based career advisor to find out what courses you can take and what credits they will give to university.