School duxes guaranteed a place at Sydney

24 April 2015

High school duxes in NSW will be offered a guaranteed place at the University of Sydney as part of a trial program launching in 2016.

The initiative is designed to recognise academic achievement and potential beyond the bounds of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

"It's long been acknowledged that the ATAR is an imperfect measure of academic success. Students from low socioeconomic backgrounds or rural and regional areas are statistically less likely to receive high ATARs, despite often outperforming their peers with higher ATARs at university," said Professor Tyrone Carlin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Registrar) at the University of Sydney.

Under the scheme, students would receive a guaranteed offer to the University following a confirmation from the school of their status as dux. Upon the release of ATAR results, applicants would receive targeted information about which courses they were eligible to accept in order to turn their offer at the University into an offer of place in a course.

Courses available to each student would depend on their results, and admission would remain dependent on the completion of the HSC and the assignment of an ATAR.

"Being named dux of the school shows leadership and is a profound academic achievement in itself. Recognising this academic success is part of our ongoing commitment to making sure the brightest students have a place at the University of Sydney, regardless of their social or cultural background," Professor Carlin said.

"We want the state's brightest students to know that the University of Sydney is open to them."

The University will work with a large number of selected schools across NSW in the trial phase of the program, and will look to extend this involvement in future years.

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