THE UNIVERSITY of New England is not high on the priority list for NSW school leavers applying through the University Admissions Centre, earning second last place on the preference list.
This year the number of students that chose UNE as a first preference dropped to 0.94 per cent from 1.17 per cent last year.
A spokeswoman for the university said a majority of their students apply directly rather than through an admissions centre.
“The UNE direct admissions system accounts for the majority of UNE’s offers to school leavers,” she said.
“So UNE does not consider the UAC process a key barometer of popular choice, as only a small minority of our students apply through UAC.”
A number of factors influence a school leaver’s preferences, proximity to home, finances and perceived prestige can all play a role.
Applicants can change their preferences as often as they wish until January 6 to be included in main round university offers.
A spokeswoman for UNE said that UAC applications represent less than a quarter of their total applications.
“UAC preferences, which are subject to change after publication of ATARs, account for less than 8 per cent of our applicants, and with the move of institutions to direct application processes, UAC has declined in relative importance over a number of years,” she said.
“UAC data points to a sector-wide 3.1 per cent decline in applications with regional universities including UNE affected by this decline more significantly than metropolitan institutions.
“While any signs of decline in student demand is of concern, this is mitigated by our student demographic, mature age and mostly online, as well as our other entry options to gain admission to UNE.”
The University Admissions Centre expects more than 25,000 applicants will change their preferences after they receive their ATAR results.
These students have to bring their preferences in line with a realistic appraisal of the courses they can gain entry to.
This year 76,287 people have applied through UAC, 2404 less than last year.
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