You can use the skills you developed when coming to high school to guide your transition from high school to uni.
Tip 1: Where
Online Study V On Campus
Get your student number and connection to the internet sorted. You will be given instructions about how to do this around Christmas time with the offer that comes after the final TISC results come out.
If face to face classes are available on campus, go to them. Uni is so much more than curated information about different subjects.
On Campus Accommodation
If you CAN stay on campus, do that.
We want students to stay at the on campus accommodation, whether they are from South East Asia or South Perth.
Professor Harlene Hayne, Vice Chancellor Curtin University
St Catherine’s College Curtin
There are people employed by residential colleges who have knowledge, networks and power to create an amazing university life for you. You will make friends for life, get help with study and create networks that will lead to jobs.
If you will be taking public transport to uni, figure out the best route and timetable and find out how to get your SmartRiderticket.
Not being able to find parking when you are under pressure can break you.
Get your parking stickers/app during the holidays. Find where you can park and where to find parking during peak hours. Try to find free parking, although most good free spots will be taken by students who have been at uni for a while.
Go to movies, food van markets, play sport or join clubs on campus. Each baby step you make to become familiar with your uni will make your transition easier.
Walk around the campus. If you are doing engineering, go to the engineering building. Check out the room and lab locations. Find the library.
Whatever course you are doing, find your buildings and know where your classes will be held BEFORE Orientation Week.
Tip 2: What Subjects
If you aren’t certain which subjects to take, do a uni prep course – its free and it will help you to make better subject choices. You will be able to go to the same campus as your friends who are leaping into their degree straight away, and you will learn enough to be clear about what course you want to do before you start your degree.
About 30% of students change courses as they find out more about their degree. This is an expensive path to take. Each subject/ unit at university will cost around $2000. You can check how much each unit will cost on the UWA Fee Calculator.
Only 26% of university students go straight there from school on their ATAR results. Consider taking a gap year before you go to uni. You will expand your world and get clearer about what you want to do next. Check out Gap Year Ideas
If you are worried that you won’t ever start to study again if you stop studying after Year 12, go to uni and choose broad subjects that allow you to specialise later, when you know more about the course or working in that industry.
In response to COVID disruption ALL universities in Western Australia have significantly increased the amount of support that is available to future students. Use the free career advice that is available at every university.
Tip 3: When – Timetable
Lectures, tutorials and workshops will be scheduled throughout the week. You choose your timetable.Your school timetable is a good model to follow when choosing your class times.
Treat uni like school. Organise your timetable so that you go to uni every day. Don’t be tempted to pack your scheduled times into a few days and just go during scheduled times. Spend your “free time” doing your research and assignments.
If you treat uni as a job, with a 40 hour week and some good study planning you are on a good path to success. Schedule breaks where you meet your friends and where you play sport or engage in club activities. A mix of work and play is what you need to have a great time at uni.
Tip 4: Friends
The friends you make at uni can stay with you for your entire life.
There will be so many people to choose from. If you go to Curtin, there will be about 50,000 people to choose from. If you go to Notre Dame in Fremantle, which is our smallest uni, you will have about 6,000 to choose from.
If you pick clubs or sports or volunteer activities from the amazing choice that is available, you will find friends there who have the same interests as you. You can join clubs during Orientation Week.
If you arrange to stay at university accommodation you will meet lots of new people there.
So just 4 Tips
Decide what uni to go to and how to get there.
Decide what to study, or at least choose a path that will help you to decide.
Look at timetables for this year. The chances are that they won’t change much next year. You will be able to draft your study timetable before Orientation Week.
Look forward to meeting a bunch of new, wonderful people who like doing the same things that you do.
Get clear, unbiased career information for West Australian school students and educators.
In March, UWA, Curtin and Murdoch universtities told career educators about their new courses and priorities for 2022 and beyond.
You can find highlights of those presentations in the April issue of In Focus Careers.
The big trend this year is towards more student centric services. All universities highlighted the new facilities and services that are available to future students.
All universities agreed to wait until 4 April to open their doors to early offers in 2023 but, in March, only Curtin had clarified that they will be directing applicants straight to TISC.
Middle School Programs
Universities are providing more opportunities for middle school students to explore a wide range of career opportunities through a range of emerging programs. I will continue to report on the new programs as they are announced.
Open Day Changes
COVID has impacted on the open day schedules at each university. I have put a table of the changes into the April issue.
Career Conversation Schedule
The WA Education Department has launched a comprehensive schedule of career conversations designed to help families to understand the career options for WA school students. You can find links to these presentations in the April issue.
Subscribe to In Focus Careers News
If you would like your school or organisation to have career information for West Australians delivered to you each month you can subscribe here:
Don’t rush. Plan to spend a 3 – 4 hours at the Open Day.
Book in for a campus tour.
If there are overarching welcome events, make sure you go to those.
Go to course information sessions.
Go to subject taster sessions
Pick Me! Faculty Stands
Every faculty wants you to enrol in one of their courses.
University lecturers are the experts at the faculty stands who you need to approach with questions like:
Why do you love working in this field?
What are the career opportunities in this field?
What are the entry requirements and pathways available?
How long will it take to get the degree as a full time student?
What subjects can you choose from?
What support is available to students.
If you qualify within any support group ask about financial and other support that the university provides.
There may be help available to you if you are you First in Family, Aboriginal, RRR, migrant, Disability, woman in non-traditional occupation, if you have a disability, if you are from a defence family.
What opportunities are there for face to face learning?
What support is available to students learning online?
What opportunities does the course provide for students to engage with industry through the degree?
What types of careers do graduates go into?
If you do not have course prerequisites or think you may not achieve the required ATAR, ask about alternative pathways.
Find Current Students at the Stands
There will be current students at most stands. Ask them what course they are doing and what they love and hate about it.
Ask a student ambassador if they are willing to have a coffee with you.
Ask why they are doing the course and if they are going to achieve the outcome they hoped for.
Find what extracurricular activities there are. Are there any clubs or teams that you can join now?
What can the union offer to students?
Find out what they have done about fees, financial support and scholarships.
You may be invited to enrol on the spot. Don’t do this.
Don’t make your career decision based on a brochure and 30 second discussion. If there is a crowd at the stand when you visit, ask for an appointment.
Don’t sign up at an Open Day.
If you plan to stay in university accommodation:
Tour at least one of the accommodation colleges
Ask where you can find accommodation scholarships and financial support.
Start learning about life at university in Year 9. Check out the food vans. Listen to the music. Go into buildings and see the latest tech tools, computer games and research. See what workshops are on. Find the library, the shops and the toilets.
Explore and Experience Try stuff. There will be people inviting you to engage with practical experiences in their subject. It could be VR. It could be checking out the latest medical research, making a short movie using their studio. All faculties will have practical experiences for you to engage with. Do it now.
Get an authentic experience. Engage with current students. Build on what you have learned in years 9 and 10 visits by asking questions of both students, academics and staff. Check out presentations and exhibitions to see what you will gain most from and register for them, or just make a schedule of where to be and at what time.
Year 12 Tips
This is it. You need to be able to build from your other Open Day experiences. You will know what faculties to visit, and you will have a range of questions to ask. By now you should have narrowed down your options and you will be able to ask specific questions about subjects, industry engagement opportunities, mentors, support programs etc. You will know which presentations and demonstrations you need to revisit.
With so much competition for school leavers, teachers have plenty of opportunities to engage with universities.
All West Australian universities provide one on one career interviews. Everyone should talk to a career advisor at their chosen university before they enrol.
All universities also do campus tours and special information evenings. You can find an updated calendar of events in the In Focus Careers Newsletter.
Schools can invite career counsellors to give presentations at schools or attend school expos.
Murdoch workshops for high schools
Murdoch Outreach have been working hard to develop an online offer to help support teachers and school communities. Explore our wide range of online workshops and our inspiring podcast series.
Explore our online workshops
Your high school students can participate in our Outreach workshops, but online! Get them to explore the curriculum, build new skills and develop a deeper understanding of subjects through our series of free online STEM, HASS and Creative Arts and Communication workshops, which can be booked by teachers for a whole class.
In our STEM workshops, students will develop their critical thinking and teamwork skills through using their imagination to solve challenges, crack codes, write algorithms, explore probability and design and build machines.
What is criminology? Can we lower our carbon footprint? How do businesses work and what do marketers do? Get your students to explore all these questions and more while working with their classmates in our HASS workshops.
In our Creative Arts and Communication workshops your students will explore digital painting, pixel art, portfolio design, personal branding, design thinking and ideation, the principles of graphic design and much more.
Curtin AHEAD is a dynamic outreach program, fostering the potential of individuals and groups underrepresented in higher education. We work with high schools to raise aspirations and build learning skills, delivering workshops, on-campus experiences, mentoring programs and career-developing activities.
EcoChallenge Australia provides an exciting and authentic learning experience for students in Years 5-12 through the online strategic game, Aqua Republica, to explore issues and solutions relating to water management and sustainable development. EcoChallenge Australia incorporates a sustained engagement with the principles of water usage across industrial, urban and agricultural systems and the impact upon ecosystems.
Innovative Schools Consortium
Through a partnership with Curtin, secondary schools can help their high achievers fulfil their true potential. Identified students participate in programs that build their skills and strengths in innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. They receive a record of their achievements that can be used towards meeting university admission criteria, gaining accelerated entry into Curtin or supporting their scholarship applications. Download the Innovative Schools Consortium flyer – [.pdf 270kB]
Learning Futures Network
Comprising more than 140 schools, industry and community organisations, the Learning Futures Network is focused on driving transformation across student learning and the future of work, while building deep learning relationships across communities.
The network provides an avenue for schools to collaborate with Curtin, and learn more about higher education, alternative entry pathways, and professional learning and postgraduate opportunities for teachers. Join the Learning Futures Network.
Professional Learning Hub
Curtin’s commitment to teaching and teachers continues after graduation. Our Professional Learning Hub enables our alumni to remain inspired, informed and current in their classrooms. Our innovative, practical and research-based workshops contribute to teacher PD hours, building better educational outcomes for the community through greater job satisfaction.
Curtin’s School of Education also offers networking sessions and presentations for teaching professionals.
STEM Outreach offers engaging and innovative programs that connect your school and community to STEM and Curtin research. We deliver programs, workshops, camps, excursions, incursions and competitions for students and teachers across metropolitan and regional Western Australia. See all the ways your school can get involved with STEM Outreach.
UniReady in Schools
The UniReady Enabling Program is one of Curtin’s alternative entry pathway programs. It has been approved as an endorsed program for high schools in Western Australia and can be run as part of the high school curriculum. It not only makes up a high school student’s WACE but, if completed successfully, also means the student is eligible to apply for a range of Curtin undergraduate courses.
Presently the course is offered as part of a pilot with a limited number of places. If your school is interested in the program, you will need to make an application to UniReady and pay a program licence.
Through the AIME Mentoring program, Curtin students are empowering Indigenous high school students, giving them the skills and confidence to grow and succeed. Read more about AIME
High school resources
This dedicated page provides resources to all the key questions we receive from high school students around admission pathways, study areas, scholarships, how to apply and understanding prerequisites. This will be a key resource for you to distribute to students with everything they need in one place. Visit the high school resources page
UWA Career advisers and teachers
Here you can access resources, request school visits or on-campus experiences, and keep up to date with the latest information to help your students find their path to UWA. You can find the information HERE.
School Engagement team
The School Engagement team supports students in Years 10–12 to make informed decisions about their future study options. Our team can advise on UWA courses, opportunities, scholarships, accommodation options, admissions pathways and more.
Please contact us directly for further information and to book:
presentations at your school
attendance at careers expos, fairs and information events
You can also sign up to receive our regular e-newsletter, which covers opportunities, events and activities for your school, as well as the latest information on UWA courses and admissions. Contact the School Engagement team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notre Dame For Career Advisors
Careers Advisor hold the key to guiding students to their future opportunities.
To best direct students’ potential towards education and career choices that will enrich their lives, you need to know the facts.
We’ve gathered everything you need to know here to support you in your vital role.
Exploring opportunities outside school should not be a huge burden for teachers. These resources are designed to support teachers and students. If you are looking for something different for your school, contact your local university and request the help you need.
There are more law graduates in Australia each year than the total number of lawyers in Australia.
It may take you years after you graduate to find a job where you practise law.
Not only are there too many law graduates for the job vacancies that are available, you can get advice on how to write your will online. You can file for divorce online. Artificial intelligence delivers instant information that law degrees take years to deliver.
People don’t go to lawyers if they can save themselves money by doing law themselves.
The demand is down. The price is up. There is a glut of law graduates looking for work.
You might think again about doing a law degree.
Law degrees deliver great thinking and analytical skills
If someone with a law degree applied for a job I advertised, chances are they would get an interview. The job probably wouldn’t demand law work but I would presume the applicant could problem solve, think of good wording for contracts and warn me of any dodgy stuff that was in paper work. Someone with a law degree would probably be a good employee.
On the other hand, someone with a business or commerce degree may be better for my business, AND their degree would have cost them half as much.
Make Smart Decisions
If you bought a car for $70,000 you would check out a few car sales places before you made your decision to buy.
All universities in Western Australia deliver law degrees. Pick two or three universities and make an appointment with career advisors. Check out what law degrees you can specialise in. Compare the different courses and support that the different unis deliver…. there is a big difference between the support provided by unis in WA.
Ask current students questions about the courses on Whirlpool.
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.