STUDENTS from rural and remote NSW will have a better chance of securing a university place under a new agreement between the NSW government and the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).
The 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 often been under-represented in tertiary education.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward, a former member of the governing council of the University of Wollongong, said the government was addressing the imbalance through the 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,” he said.
NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said the socio-economic measure would be the Family Occupation and Education Index (FOEI), developed by the Department of Education and Communities, used to distribute needs-based funding to public schools.
Forty-two schools are new to the list, with the number of eligible schools to expand to about 270, including 155 in regional and remote areas.
Approximately 1300 more students from NSW public schools in regional and remote areas will have access to the program.
UAC managing director Andrew Stanton said the new list ensures 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.
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 at www.uac.edu.au/eas/.