Somerset Times

IBDP News: The future of the ATAR?

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 9, Term One, 2018

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You may have heard in the news that the Mitchell Institute, a Victorian think tank, has found that the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) system is increasingly being sidelined as universities find other means to select their students. For those of you who may not have thought as far ahead as university entrance for your children, the ATAR system is an Australia-wide ranking system.

ATAR converts results from all of the state courses into one number that Australian universities then use to select students. In the case of students from Somerset College, this means converting their QCAA results or their International Baccalaureate Diploma results into a score.

The Mitchell Institute has completed a study to reveal just one in four undergraduate students are admitted based on their ATAR, according to the ABC.

Hence, it is worth considering having your child study the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The IBDP encourages students to develop skills and knowledge to prepare them for university and beyond.

The IBDP encourages students to “...become active, compassionate, lifelong learners”. An IB education is holistic in nature—it is concerned with the whole person. It encourages students to become “active and caring members of local, national and global communities…IB learners strive to become inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. These attributes represent a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond intellectual development and academic success.”

These qualities are becoming increasingly attractive in potential university students. This is recognised in Australia and worldwide as more and more universities accept students through direct entry via their IBDP results, i.e. avoiding such systems as the ATAR.

Many Australian universities already do this with the following universities, amongst others, accepting direct entry from IBDP candidates: Melbourne, Sydney, UNSW, Macquarie, Adelaide, and Monash.

Some universities in Australia (and around the world) are even accepting IBDP based upon their predicted grades (which schools have to submit around the end of Term Three in our hemisphere).

An example of why these universities are doing this, can be seen in the University of Queensland's approach; on the University's website it says that as “...an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma graduate you have the international awareness, academic rigour and enquiry-based learning skills to excel at The University of Queensland (UQ).

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