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Admissions Policy

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NOTE: There is a policy suspension or variation instrument currently in place. Please view the Policy Suspension or Variation Instrument - International Student Admissions Temporary Arrangements document.

Purpose and Context

(1) This policy provides the framework for ensuring admission to study at the University is undertaken in a fair, transparent and consistent manner as articulated in the University's Sustaining Success Strategic Plan 2021-2026.

(2) This policy applies to all applicants applying for admission except Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates.

(3) This policy should be read in conjunction with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 and the University's Enrolment Policy, Student Fees Policy, Credit for Prior Learning Policy, Articulation Pathways Policy, and Progression Policy.

Section 1 - Definitions

(4) For the purposes of this policy, definitions that apply can be found in the Policy DDS Glossary, in addition to the following:

  1. Nested Award means an articulated sequence of programs such as Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Masters program.
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Section 2 - Policy Statement

(5) Admission into the University is determined based on academic merit and/or the capacity for university level study. Academic merit and capacity for study can be measured by formal qualifications and by means other than formally recognised educational attainment.

(6) The University is committed to:

  1. assessing applicants for admission through policies and procedures that are fair and equitable;
  2. accommodating student diversity and creating admission opportunities regardless of students' backgrounds; and
  3. complying with legislative and regulatory requirements that apply to the admission of a certain category or categories of students, such as international students.

(7) The University also offers a non-award programs for applicants to improve their competitiveness for selection at the University, undertake professional development, undertake single subjects only, and/or trial university studies.

(8) The University is committed to increasing access and successful participation of Indigenous Australians in higher education. This includes supporting and providing pathways for transitioning to higher education.

Entry Requirements

(9) Entry requirements vary from program to program. A student will be admitted when the University is satisfied they can study the program with a reasonable prospect of success. The University establishes entry requirements for each program, having regard to the following principles:

  1. establishing clear and consistent admission requirements that are consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF);
  2. providing evidence-based admissions requirements;
  3. eliminating unfair or unnecessary barriers for student access to University programs;
  4. offering flexible and appropriate entry pathways;
  5. facilitating recognition or credit for previous studies for entry into University programs.

(10) The entry requirements for a program consist of a combination of the following:

  1. academic merit;
  2. demonstrated English language proficiency;
  3. equivalency;
  4. prior learning;
  5. other experience and attainments;
  6. special factors, including residency, performance at interview, folios and auditions;
  7. meeting the inherent requirements of the program;
  8. other matters that Academic Senate (Senate) considers relevant to an applicant's reasonable prospect of success.

(11) Changes to entry requirements must not disadvantage any student with an existing, unconditional offer from the University.

(12) An international applicant must meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement or Genuine Student (GS) requirement, as specified by the Australian Government.

Selection Decisions

(13) The University assesses all applications and makes one of the following selection decisions:

  1. full offer;
  2. conditional offer;
  3. packaged offer of qualifying program/s leading to the principal program;
  4. an offer into an alternative program; or
  5. no offer.

(14) The University will not consider an applicant whose enrolment at this or another university has been suspended or excluded for the term of their Suspension or Exclusion. The Progression Policy contains an exception covering Progressional Entry Medical Program students. 

(15) In most cases, the University will allow students to defer their offer of study up to 12 months. The University may charge a fee for lodging a deferment request.

Responsibilities

(16) Senate, or the relevant national or state training authority, approves minimum entry requirements.

(17) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic may in exceptional cases, on recommendation of the Dean of the School, approve an applicant to be admitted to a specific program without otherwise meeting the entry requirements.

(18) The Vice-President, People and Advancement or their nominee will make offers of places within programs in writing and in accordance with the University's rules, resolutions, policies and procedures.

(19) The Vice-President, People and Advancement may decline admission to an applicant if they consider the applicant has, during a previous enrolment, demonstrated they will be unable to successfully complete the program.

(20) The Dean of the School will set selection ranks and quotas for each program at each intake, in consultation with the University Executive.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Admission Information

(21) The University publishes minimum entry requirements in the program accreditation documentation and on its website.

  1. Applying to Study webpage;
  2. Applying to Study - International Students webpage;
  3. Application Pathways website.

(22) Only applicants who have established their Indigenous Australian status will be eligible for admission to enabling programs and award programs designed for Indigenous Australians.

How to Apply

(23) To be admitted to study at the University, an applicant must apply using the approved method by the advertised closing date. Application fees may apply.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

(24) Where English is not an applicant's first language or where an applicant has completed studies in a language other than English, they must demonstrate proficiency in English by achieving a prescribed level in an approved English examination in one sitting. The approved English Language examinations include the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and for some programs, the Pearsons test for English (PTE).

(25) Applicants are required to provide evidence that their prior study in English or English Language examination results have been completed within two years of the proposed commencement of study.

(26) Alternate evidence of English Language proficiency may be accepted, as advertised on the University's website. For more information, International applicants should refer to the Western Sydney International website. Domestic applications should refer to the UAC website for more information.

Non-Award Admission

(27) To be admitted to a non-award program, an applicant must apply as a non-award student and pay the fee for each subject.

(28) A person who passes two or more subjects studied at the University under a non-award program in a 12 month period may apply for an undergraduate award program in future terms.

(29) Completion of postgraduate subjects under a non-award program does not guarantee admission to a postgraduate award program. A person applying for a postgraduate award program must satisfy the approved admission requirements. 

Admission to Higher Level Nested Awards

(30) On completing a lower level nested award, a student may:

  1. apply to transfer to the higher level award; or
  2. graduate from the lower level award and re-apply for the higher level award.

(31) The University will recognise relevant successfully completed subjects in the higher award and include them on the student's academic transcript. Refer to the Credit for Prior Learning Policy for more information.

Re-admission of Former University Students

(32) Students who wish to re-enrol after they have ceased study in a program, and who have not taken formal leave of absence under the Enrolment Policy, must apply for re-admission.

(33) Re-admission to the same program of study or an equivalent program of study will be at the discretion of the University and subject to program availability at the time of the application.

(34) Students who have been Excluded because of unsatisfactory academic progress and wish to re-enrol need to re-apply for admission after the conclusion of their exclusion period. The current eligibility requirements will apply.

Cross-Institutional Admission

(35) Students enrolled in another institution may apply to undertake Western Sydney University subjects for Credit for Prior Learning (Credit) towards their award program. The application must be accompanied by documented approval from the other institution confirming the subjects will be accepted for Credit at the home institution, and must be lodged by the advertised closing date.

(36) The same student contribution payment rules apply to the student as apply at the home higher education provider.

Admission of International Students Under 18 Years on a Student Visa

(37) The University may admit an international student who will be under the age of 18 years when they commence their program and who intends to study on a student visa, where the student:

  1. is at least 17 years of age;
  2. meets other applicable admission requirements; and
  3. will live in Australia until they turn 18 either:
    1. with their parent or legal guardian;
    2. with a suitable relative whom the parent or legal guardian nominates; or
    3. under an accommodation and welfare arrangement the University approves.

(38) The procedures for ensuring appropriate accommodation, support and welfare arrangements must be place before admitting international students who will be under the age of 18 years when they commence their program. Monitoring arrangements are set out in the Admissions and Welfare (International Students Under 18 Years) Procedures.

Accepting Offers

(39) An applicant must accept their admission offer within the specified timeframe or the offer will lapse.

(40) Successful applicants may request to study full-time or part-time. When deciding whether a student can study part-time, the factors the University will consider include:

  1. maximum duration requirements;
  2. program specific requirements;
  3. scholarship requirements;
  4. regulatory requirements.

(41) International applicants must pay the tuition fees and other compulsory fees identified on their letter of offer. Refer to the International Student Fees and Refunds Agreement for more information.

Withdrawal or Cancellation of Offers

(42) The University reserves the right to withdraw or cancel an offer or enrolment where:

  1. the offer was made on the basis of incomplete or inaccurate information the applicant or certifying authority supplied;
  2. there are insufficient enrolments to make the relevant program viable; 
  3. an error has been made in assessing or processing the application;
  4. the condition of the offer has not been satisfied by the specified date; or
  5. there is non-compliance of legislative requirements.

Deferring Offers

(43) Applicants in receipt of an offer may request to defer that program no later than the date published on the University's website or the date specified for the program, where applicable. Applicant’s must use the deferral method published on the How to defer your offer webpage.

(44) The factors that will be considered, when assessing a request to defer an offer, include:

  1. restrictions or conditions applying to any scholarship held by or offered to the applicant;
  2. program specific criteria as specified in the program accreditation documentation; or for programs where deferment is not permitted;
  3. legislative requirements; and
  4. professional accreditation requirements.

Right of Appeal

(45) An applicant not selected for admission has the right of appeal against the decision on any one of the following grounds:

  1. an error has been made in the assessment for admission and the applicant satisfies all University and program selection requirements; and
  2. the application for admission was lodged on time, in the correct manner, with all relevant documentation included to enable the application to be assessed.

(46) An applicant must lodge a written statement specifying the grounds on which an appeal is being made to the Director, Data Integrity, Quality and Operations within ten working days of receiving notification that their application for admission has been unsuccessful. All supporting documents and other evidence must be attached to the statement.

(47) The Director, Data Integrity, Quality and Operations or nominee will consider the application for appeal and where grounds for appeal have been satisfied, review the admission application.

(48) After considering the application for appeal the Director, Data Integrity, Quality and Operations will determine the appeal as follows:

  1. appeal denied; or
  2. appeal upheld and
    1. make an offer of admission to the program intake for which the application was made; or
    2. make an offer of admission in the next available program intake; or
    3. include the applicant in a pool of applicants from which applicants are selected in order of merit in the next available program intake.

(49) The Director, Data Integrity, Quality and Operations must notify the applicant of the outcome of the appeal within 20 working days of the decision.

(50) Academic Appeals Procedures apply where relevant. If the applicant believes that the University has not followed its published policies and procedures, they can refer to the Complaint Management Policy.

Monitoring

(51) The University monitors the effectiveness and appropriateness of admission requirements.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

Associated information

(52) Application Pathways website.

(53) Applying to Study – Book an audition or interview.

(54) English Language Proficiency Requirements.

(55) Future Students website – Applying to study and admission information.

(56) How to defer your offer webpage.

(57) Tertiary Collection of Student Information - Higher Education student Reporting Requirements.