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guide to understanding uni - University of Melbourne

VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 16

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                                                          (c) 2002 ELP
                                                  National Library of Australia
                                                 Cataloguing -in-publication data
                                                           Julia Powell
                                                           ISBN XXX

                                                                                    A first-time parents’ guide to understanding uni
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                                                           C ONTENTS                                                                 S   tarting uni is a challenging time for most students, but especially for those
                                                                                                                                     who are the first in their family to go to a university, and also for those who
                   INTRODUCTION                                       3    Is a home computer necessary?                        14
                                                                           How important is the Internet?                       15
                                                                                                                                     come from backgrounds that are different from those usually represented
                   CHOOSING A COURSE                                 4-7
                                                                           What about accommodation costs and                        in tertiary education. As a parent, you may be very proud of your child’s
                   Level of independence                               4
                                                                           other living expenses?                               15   achievements at school but unsure about what to expect after VCE. The
                   Which course?                                       4
                                                                           Is there financial assistance available?             17   differences between school and university can seem confusing for parents and
                   How can students find out about courses?            5
                                                                           Are there any scholarships available?               17    students, particularly if no brothers, sisters, cousins or friends have
                   How important are ‘pre-requisites’?                 5
                                                                           Is part-time work a good idea?                       17
                   What if they choose the wrong course?               6                                                             undertaken tertiary education before.
                   Which uni?                                          6   GETTING STARTED                                   18-19
                                                                           What help is available for first year students?      18
                                                                                                                                     In the past, going to university was often seen as being possible only for
                   APPLYING FOR COURSES                             8-10                                                             students who came from wealthy or ‘privileged’ backgrounds. Universities are
                   How do students apply for a course?                 8
                                                                           LIFE AT UNIVERSITY                                20-24
                                                                                                                                     no longer simply for the so-called ‘elite’ and they have made considerable
                                                                           How does uni differ from school?                     20
                   What is meant by ‘Special Admissions Scheme’?       8
                                                                           What is a typical day at uni like?                   23
                                                                                                                                     progress towards making post-secondary education available to students from
                   How are students selected for a course?             9
                                                                           How are the timetables worked out?                   24   a wide range of social and ethnic backgrounds. In Australia today, high-
                   What marks do they need?                            9
                                                                                                                                     achieving students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to obtain a post-
                                                                           ASSESSMENT                                        25-26
                   ACCEPTANCE AND ENROLMENT                        11-12
                                                                           How are students assessed?                           25   secondary school qualification. Such a qualification will stand them in good
                   What happens next?                                 11
                                                                                                                                     stead as they face the rapidly changing work environment in the new century.
                   Can students defer commencing their course?        11   THE CHANGING ROLE OF PARENTS 27-28

                   THE COSTS                                       13-17
                                                                           How does the role of parents change?                 27   This booklet is designed to provide information for parents of students who are
                                                                           How have other parents coped?                        27   considering going to university. It aims to inform parents about what they might
                   How much will it cost?                             13
                   Is it necessary to buy the textbooks?              14   GLOSSARY AND PUBLICATIONS                         29-30   expect as students move from secondary school to post-secondary education.




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        C HO O S IN G A COU R SE                                                                                                                HOW         CAN STUDENTS FIND OUT
                                                                                                                                                ABOUT COURSES?

                                                                                                                                                The range of course options available to young people
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       appreciate their parents’ involvement with this process of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       information gathering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            reading the VTAC and university websites and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       undergraduate handbooks, which have a wealth of
                                                                                                                                                today is quite bewildering and the careers they may lead
                                                                                                                                                to, seem to be ever increasing. Given these possibilities, it          information and explain the requirements for each course.
                                                                                                                                                is not realistic to expect all 17-18 year olds to know where           Handbooks are available on-line and at local libraries as
                                                                                                                                                they will be happy in the workforce. While some students               well as at your child’s school.



         L
                                                                                                                                                have a determined career path in mind and know exactly                      using work experience to get a ‘taste’ of the career a
                EVEL OF INDEPENDENCE                                                               Most secondary school students have
                                                                                                                                                which course they want to aim for, many do not and it may
                                                                                                   already developed many skills, perhaps                                                                              course may lead to.
                                                                                                                                                take them a while to find the course which is right for
                                                                                                   in relation to their responsibilities at
                                                                                                                                                them, or even to decide that uni is the place for them.
           Once students start at university they                                                  school, home or part-time work, which                                                                                                  H O W I M P O R TA N T A R E
           will be treated as young adults, so it                                                  will help them make the change to more       Course information is available from                                                      ‘PRE-REQUISITES’?
           is a good idea to let them get some
           practice prior to this! Encourage your
                                                                                                   independent learning at university.
                                                                                                   These may include decision-making,
                                                                                                                                                many sources and it is best if several of
                                                                                                                                                these can be followed up. Students can
                                                                                                                                                consider:
                                                                                                                                                                                                   “I             DIDN’T                  Pre-requisites are subjects which must
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          be passed at VCE level for a student to
           son or daughter to do much of the                                                       taking responsibility for the completion
                                                                                                                                                                                               THINK I WAS                                qualify for entry into a particular course.
           ‘legwork’ finding out information about                                                 of tasks, communicating well with other           talking to Careers Advisers at school                                                Some courses have no pre-requisites, while
           courses which interest them. You can help by driving                students or workmates and punctuality. All of these are skills
                                                                                                                                                     using the VTAC Guide to find out          SM A RT EN O U G H                         others are impossible to get into if the
           or going with them to Open Days. However, it seems                  which will greatly assist them in any new environment.                                                                                                     necessary grades have not been obtained
                                                                                                                                                where the courses of interest are
           that Open Days often coincide with important VCE                                                                                     available. This book is a great source of      TO GO TO UNI.”                             in certain listed subjects. It is therefore
           commitments and in year 12 the cry of ‘I haven’t got                WHICH        COURSE?                                             information and copies can usually be                                                     extremely important that students choose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Current student
           time!’ can become familiar to many parents. Try to start                                                                             bought at local newsagents or borrowed                                                    subjects in Year 11 and 12 which will
                                                                               Recent research indicates quite clearly that students who
           the process earlier than in year 12 and keep an eye on                                                                               easily. The Guide also gives some ideas                                                   enable them to qualify for entry into any
                                                                               are not interested in their course are more likely to drop
           the progress of information gathering, without being                                                                                 of the services available at the various institutions.                 course that they think they may want to apply for. Pre-
                                                                               out from study than those who find their course
           too intrusive.                                                                                                                                                                                              requisites for each course are clearly stated in the VTAC
                                                                               interesting and relevant to their career aims. With course            attending Open Days at as many institutions as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Guide, university undergraduate course guides and handbooks
           If you feel your child has led a ‘sheltered’ life to date, it       selection, it is very important that your son/daughter           practicable. You can start this process any time from about
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (often available on-line), which outline course information.
           may be important to encourage activities that foster                chooses a course which they are really interested in.            Year 9 or 10 level. This helps students to get a ‘feel’ for the
           independence. These could include visits to the city on                                                                              various unis and can be quite important for students. It               Where practical, students should keep their options for
                                                                               Parents want to do what is best for their children but they
           university ‘Taster Days’ which are offered by some                                                                                   also enables contact to be made with staff in the courses of           course entry as open as possible. This means not dropping
                                                                               may feel uncertain or nervous about the whole process of
           campuses, or travelling to the city to spend a few days with                                                                         interest to them. Open Days are listed in the VTAC Guide,              subjects that may be required as prerequisites at a
                                                                               post-secondary education.
           relatives or family friends. Independence is something that                                                                          which is updated each year and they are also advertised in             later date. Of course, this has to be balanced with
           is best built up gradually, rather than the student suddenly        Tip: Try to spend time with your son/daughter to talk with       the daily papers. Often students in Year 12 claim to be too            acknowledging the student’s areas of interest and ability, as
           being ‘thrown in the deep end’ when they start their                them about possible career options and the courses they          busy to attend Open Days, so getting started in earlier                well as the opportunities for subject choice available at
           life at university.                                                 want to consider.                                                years may prove worthwhile. Most students will                         your child’s secondary college.


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           W H AT     IF THEY CHOOSE THE                                       WHICH           UNI?                                            They have their own banks, Post Office, shops and social             walking quite a distance back to the car, in the dark. Costs
           WRONG COURSE?                                                                                                                       amenities. Smaller campuses certainly make things easier             of travel, in terms of both money and time, need to be very
                                                                               When your son/daughter has decided on the type of course        in some ways, but many students come to appreciate the               carefully considered.
           While it is obviously a lot easier if students find that they       they are interested in, it is then possible for them to
                                                                                                                                               larger campuses, with their inherent diversity and vast
           have enrolled in a course which they enjoy and find within          gain more information about details of the courses                                                                                   There are advantages in attending a uni close by; some
                                                                                                                                               opportunities. Going to uni is about more than broadening
           their capabilities, there are several                                                       available at different institutions.                                                                         friends from school may be there, they can live at home
                                                                                                                                               young adults’ academic education!
           pathways available for those who                                                            Some courses are only available                                                                                                      and the costs will generally be less.
           feel, after starting in a course,
                                                         “T                    SPENT
                                                                                                       at one university in your state,                                                                                                     However, there are also advantages


                                                                                                                                                                                               “I
                                                                     IME                                                                       Metropolitan or
           that they have made a mistake.                                                              for example Veterinary Science.                                                                                                      to living away from home, if this
                                                                                                                                               regional uni?                                             THOUGHT
           Possible choices include:                    NO W ( G AT H E R I N G )                      Others, such as Arts, Education,                                                                                                     is an option financially. This will
                                                                                                       Science, Engineering and Law are        The next thing to consider is whether                                                        generally reduce travel time, will
                completing the First Year
                                                      I N F O R M AT I O N P R E                       available at several institutions.      your son/daughter wants to attend a            MELBOURNE WAS                                 allow the young adult to become
           and then applying for transfer
                                                                                                       The Good University Guide,              uni which is near to your home, so                                                           mature and independent and broaden
           to another course. This usually
                                                        ENROLMENT)                CAN                  produced each year and available        that they can continue to live at               TOO FAR FROM                                 the whole university experience.
           means that the First Year results
                                                                                                       from libraries, bookstores and          home, or whether they are interested                                                         Most universities publish information
           will be taken into account when
                                                         S AV E Y E A R S        OF                    some newsagents, provides detailed      in moving to attend a uni which              HO M E AN D TH AT                               relating to housing options available
           applying for the new course, so it                                                          comparisons of the courses
                                                                                                                                               would mean living away from home.                                                            on or near their campuses (see
           is still important to achieve good            F R U S T RA T I O N ,                        available at different institutions.
                                                                                                                                               Metropolitan Melbourne is quite                     I’ D B E B E T T E R                     Section 6).
           academic results in this year.                                                              Open Days are great for finding
                                                                                                                                               vast and life can be tiring and
           This might be an option too, for           WHICH CAN OCCUR                                  out more about a particular
                                                                                                                                               frustrating for students who spend
                                                                                                                                                                                              AT A UNI CLOSE
           students who don’t get into their                                                           university. Some institutions have                                                                                                   Public Transport
                                                                                                                                               several hours each day travelling to
           first choice of course.                    BY NOT BEING                    IN               TAFE as well as university sectors.                                                          TO HOME”                                The importance of good access to
                                                                                                                                               and from uni. For example, students
                deferring from the course for                                                          Tip: Encourage further research                                                                         Current student              public transport to a university is
                                                      THE      RIGHT COURSE”                                                                   who live on the Mornington Peninsula
           the remainder of the year. This is                                                          into the course structure, reputation   often find that it is difficult to attend                                                    often overlooked. Check this out
                                                                   Parent of a rural student
           usually an option and often gives                                                           of the institution in that particular   the University of Melbourne, while                                                           and consider travel times, cost and
           the student time to mature further                                                          field of study and the quality of       a student from Sunbury would have equal difficulty                   frequency of services. Sometimes students without a car
           and possibly do some paid work or travel and gives them             teaching and resources available.                               commuting to Monash Uni. In general, it is not wise to               who attend regional campuses have severely limited
           time to sort out what they really would like to do.                                                                                 spend more than two hours per day (one each way) in                  choices for getting to and from uni, especially in the
                                                                               Universities vary greatly in the size of their campuses.
                studying part-time. This is possible in some courses           Some of the smaller, regional campuses may have only a          travel time. As a guide, some lectures start at 8 am and             middle of the day, and they may be forced to wait around
           and allows a student to look at other course options, while         few hundred students, while the major city campuses can         others may finish after 6 pm. If students do not have access         until evening, when someone can give them a lift home.
           still keeping up the study habit and perhaps obtaining              have over 30,000 students and several thousand staff. This      to a car, this can mean arriving home in the dark in winter          Full-time students are able to obtain travel concession
           recognition for the subjects undertaken, if they do decide          means that the larger campuses are really small cities in       and even if they drive to uni, they will be forced to travel         rates, which provide considerable savings (available
           to change courses.                                                  themselves and it often helps to think of them in that way.     in peak hour. Parking is also a problem at many city                 only to Australian citizens, permanent residents and
                                                                                                                                               campuses. It may be costly on a daily basis and still involve        Exchange students).



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        A PPLYING FOR COURSES                                                                                                                 from a variety of reasons, such as living in a rural or
                                                                                                                                              remote area, having extensive family responsibilities,
                                                                                                                                              coming from a non-English speaking background, having a
                                                                                                                                              disability or coming from a background where attending
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        achieved the required marks in each of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   prerequisite subjects

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        met the English language requirement.

                                                                                                                                              uni has not been the norm for school leavers. Encourage              Applicants for each course are then ranked according to
                                                                                                                                              your son/daughter to find out if there are schemes like              academic merit. For most school leavers this means ranked
                                                                                                                                              this at the uni of their choice. These schemes come                  in order of Year 12 results. Entry into some courses such as



         H                                                                                                                                    under a variety of different names and again, students               Music may also involve an audition and musicianship test,

                                                                                                 Most universities hold a course              usually need to apply directly to the university concerned.          while for other courses, such as Medicine, Dentistry and
                   OW DO STUDENTS
                                                                                                 information day for Year 12 students         The Careers Adviser at your daughter/son’s school                    Physiotherapy, the Undergraduate Medicine and Health
           A P P LY F O R A C O U R S E ?
                                                                                                                                              should have information about the schemes available at               Sciences Admissions Test (UMAT) results are also factors.
                                                                                                 in December, once their results are out.
           Students must generally apply for                                                                                                  various universities.                                                From the ranked list, the best qualified applicants are
           entry through VTAC as set out in the                                                  Important Tip: Parents should try to
                                                                                                                                              Important tip: Many universities have schemes which take             chosen first and selection continues until all the available
           VTAC Guide, which is available at all                                                 avoid putting pressure on their child to
                                                                                                                                              into account factors, such as serious hardship, rural/isolated       places in the course are filled.
           schools and at newsagents. VTAC is                                                    apply for a prestigious course, such as
                                                                                                                                              schooling, disability or illness which have affected a
           also    available   on-line   at   http://                                            Medicine, Dentistry, Law or Architecture,
                                                                                                                                              student’s academic record. Check with the universities               W H AT     MARKS DO THEY NEED?
           www.vtac.edu.au/ Many courses just                                                    simply because they have achieved a
                                                                                                                                              offering the student’s proposed courses. Applications for
           rely on the ENTER score, but some may also require an             very high score. If the student is set on a particular course                                                                         Marks for entry into a particular course vary from course
                                                                                                                                              these schemes generally close well before the examination
           interview. Often music, visual arts or drama courses will         and is able to get into that course, this is probably the best                                                                        to course and year to year. The Clearly-In Rank (CIR) of
                                                                                                                                              period commences.
           require an audition or portfolio of work to be displayed at       road to follow. A student who enters a course which does                                                                              the previous year is a useful guide for making a realistic
           interview and this will count equally or more than the                                                                             These schemes are still competitive, but in many cases they          judgement about the chances of selection into a
                                                                             not particularly appeal to them, just because they obtained
           academic score achieved. Details about how to apply for                                                                            will allow entry to a student who falls just below the               government-subsidised HECS-based course. The CIR is
                                                                             a high enough score, may be unhappy and may return to
           particular courses should be available in the Guide and                                                                            normal cut-off score for a particular course.                        the score above which all eligible applicants were made an
                                                                             their earlier choice in later years.
           further information can be sought from the secondary                                                                                                                                                    offer for the course. Many applicants, usually about 20%
           school. Students need to submit a list of their preferences                                                                        HOW      ARE STUDENTS SELECTED FOR                                   of places, are chosen below the CIR, in the ‘middle-band’.
                                                                             W H AT I S M E A N T B Y ‘ S P E C I A L                                                                                              Middle band selection criteria for each course are stated
           for courses, prior to their final marks being known. Once                                                                          A COURSE?
                                                                             ADMISSIONS SCHEMES’?                                                                                                                  in the VTAC Guide. The CIR and Fringe Rank data are
           the final results are out, VCE students have the option of
                                                                                                                                              To be eligible for selection into a university course,
           changing their list of preferences. They may decide to do         These days, as institutions realise the importance of their                                                                           produced as a result of the selection process and are
                                                                                                                                              secondary school students must have:
           this if their ENTER score is either higher or lower than          student body representing the breadth of diversity which                                                                              published as a guide for the following year’s applicants.
           expected. If the score is lower, they may wish to look at         exists in the broader Australian community, some                      successfully completed the Victorian Certificate of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Not all courses produce a CIR during selection, as other
           other more realistic course options. If on the other hand,        universities offer places to academically able students who      Education (VCE) or equivalent qualification from another
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   criteria (extra requirements) are used to select students in
           the score is considerably higher than they expected, they         come from backgrounds which are under-represented or             state or the International Baccalaureate (IB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   addition to the ENTER or TER. These courses are listed as
           may decide to apply for a course requiring a higher score,        where students have been under some form of long-term                 completed each of the prerequisite subjects for the             ‘I’, which stands for individual offer. Many music and
           which they didn’t think they had a chance of reaching.            academic disadvantage. This disadvantage could result            course and any prerequisite tests or auditions                       creative arts courses select in this way.



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           Requirements for Entrance
           For more detailed information on this topic refer to
           institutional publications on Tertiary Entrance Requirements
                                                                                VTAC Guide and institutions, prior to changing their list
                                                                                of preferences. Some institutions have special admissions
                                                                                schemes, so contact should be made with the institutions
                                                                                of choice before discarding hope of gaining a place in a
                                                                                                                                              A CCEPTANCE & ENROLMENT
           and Principles of Selection, available from each university
                                                                                particular course.
           or view the VTAC website at http://www.vtac.edu.au/
                                                                                Tip: Students should make sure their preferences are
                                                                                realistic in light of their actual VCE results.


                                                                                                                                              W
           Combined Degrees
           Students considering combined degrees must have the                                                                                      H AT H A P P E N S N E X T ?                                                       Services Fees etc, which are due. These
                                                                                Irregular Offers
           combined prerequisites as specified for each single degree,                                                                                                                                                                 will be shown on the Student Invoice;
           unless otherwise indicated.                                          Irregular Offers provide students with their last
                                                                                                                                              Offers of a place                                                                              Provide a HECS option and Tax
                                                                                opportunity to be considered for a course they have not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       File Number (if applicable)
                                                                                listed in their VTAC preferences by the end of the Change     There are three rounds of offers in the
           Preferences
                                                                                of Preference period, or for a course listed lower on their   VTAC system. Approximately 90% of                                                             Return a signed enrolment
           Through VTAC, students can list up to 12 course                      list of preferences than the course they have been offered.   offers are given in the first round in                                                   questionnaire and declaration (this is
           preferences, including HECS-based and full fee-paying                                                                              mid-late January. Second round offers                                                    required for each course undertaken)
                                                                                See the VTAC Guide for full details.
           courses. A complete list of courses and codes is available in                                                                      come out in early February and only a                                                          Provide evidence of citizenship
           the VTAC Guide. Students are encouraged to list their                                                                              small number of third round offers are given after that.              or residency status
           preferences in order of the courses that they most want to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enrolment must be confirmed by the specified date. After
           be get in.
                                                                                                                                              Enrolment                                                             that date, a Late Enrolment Fee will apply.
                                                                                                                                              When students first apply to start a course they are given            NB: Failure to confirm an enrolment can result in a student’s
           Change of Preferences
                                                                                                                                              a Provisional enrolment. The university will notify the               enrolment being cancelled.
           When the VCE results come out many students find that                                                                              student about when to attend a course information session
           their results are either higher or lower than they had                                                                             and if necessary, make an appointment with a course
           expected. They may then wish to change the list of course
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    CAN     STUDENTS DEFER COMMENCING
                                                                                                                                              adviser. Some students may enrol by mail and will be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    THEIR COURSE?
           preferences which they had nominated earlier in the year.                                                                          advised of procedures by their faculty1. Once the faculty is
                                                                                                                                              satisfied that there are vacancies in the subjects the student        Students who have been offered a HECS place may apply
           Once results are out all students should consider the
                                                                                                                                              intends taking, and that the student has met the academic             to defer that place for a semester or a year. However, some
           courses they have applied for and make sure that they have
                                                                                                                                              requirements for those subjects, the enrolment will be                faculties may fix the number of places to be reserved, or
           satisfied the prerequisites and any extra requirements for
                                                                                                                                              Authorised. The faculty will give the student an Authorised           determine that no deferments may be granted in any
           these courses. They can then compare their results with
                                                                                                                                              Enrolment Record and a Student Invoice. The student will              particular selection period.
           the previous year’s Clearly-In Ranks for these courses and
                                                                                                                                              then be required to Confirm their enrolment. To do this
           check whether their original preferences are still in the                                                                                                                                                Sometimes students decide to defer when they think they
                                                                                                                                              they need to:
           right order and that they are happy with the list. If not,                                                                                                                                               need a break from studying before going on to uni. They
           students need to seek advice from Careers Advisers, teachers,                                                                           Pay any Course Fees / HECS Fees /Amenities and                   may plan to work and save money for a car, for travel or



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           to help with living costs at uni. A year spent this way can
           be very worthwhile for a young person and it may help
           them develop confidence and maturity, which in turn will
           help them to succeed once they commence their course.
                                                                                               Parents may worry that if a student defers they may decide
                                                                                               not to start the course the following semester/year. In
                                                                                               general this doesn’t seem to happen. By the end of the
                                                                                               deferment period students are usually eager to get back to
                                                                                                                                                                             T HE COSTS
           Deferment can provide a student with an opportunity to                              the mental stimulation involved in academic study. So if
           gain some valuable work experience, if they are fortunate                           your son/daughter talks about deferring, try not to be too
           enough to obtain a position (either paid or voluntary)                              concerned. Another option is to suggest doing first year
           which is in some way connected with the course they plan
           to undertake. If students are able to earn enough to
           support themselves (and earn what would be equivalent to
           at least 75% of the maximum Commonwealth Training
                                                                                               and perhaps deferring second year. This way the student
                                                                                               will have a sense of what the course (and uni) is about and
                                                                                               they will still keep up the habit of studying. The bottom
                                                                                               line though, is that if the motivation isn’t there, it is
                                                                                                                                                                             H   OW MUCH WILL IT COST?                                                             HECS based students receive a Payment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Options Declaration Form which must
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   be completed before the due date, to
           Wage for an 18 month period) deferment may assist                                   difficult to sustain momentum through a course. If the                        Fees
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   confirm enrolment. There are three
           students in establishing themselves as ‘independent’ for                            reason for deferring relates to travel, you might talk to                     The fees a student is required to pay                                                 payment options available:
           Youth Allowance purposes. See Centrelink on 13 24 90 or                             them about the opportunities for student exchange (doing                      will depend on whether their enrolment
           www.centrelink.gov.au for further information.                                      some of the course at a uni in another country).                              is in a government-subsidised place                                                   Deferred    Students may defer the
                                                                                                                                                                             (commonly known as a HECS place) or                                                   payment of HECS contribution until
                                                                                                                                                                             a fee-paying place. All students are                                                  their income reaches the compulsory
                                                                                                                                                                             issued with an invoice along with the enrolment record              repayment threshold. For most students this occurs when
                                                                                                                                                                             at the beginning of semester.                                       they finish university and are working full time. Students

                                                                                                                                                                             Australian students studying in Higher Education                    must provide the university with their tax file number

                                                                                                                                                                             Contribution Scheme (HECS) based undergraduate                      (TFN) as repayments are made through the taxation
                                                                                                                                                                             courses are required to pay the following fees:                     system. TFN application forms are available from:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The Australian Taxation Office
                                                                                                                                                                             Amenities and Services Fee (ASF)                                    Level 1 Casselden Place
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Cnr Lonsdale Street and Spring Street
                                                                                                                                                                             The ASF is different at each uni. It is usually in the range
                                                                                                                                                                             of $300 to $400 and is payable on enrolment. The ASF                Melbourne
                                                                                                                                                                             amount varies depending on whether the student is full or           Tel: 132 861
                                                                                                                                                                             part time or studying for one or two semesters.                     Partial Upfront It is possible to make a partial upfront
           1 Faculties and Departments                                                                                                                                                                                                           HECS payment of at least $500 but less than 75% of the
           A faculty is a large section of a university which undertakes academic teaching and research within specific disciplines, eg. Science, Arts or Medicine. Some     Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS)                         student’s HECS contribution for that semester. This
           faculties consist of only one department, eg Law at the University of Melbourne, while others may have several departments making up the faculty. For example
           an Arts Faculty may have departments of English, various other languages, History, Philosophy and Politics. A Science faculty will also consist of many           HECS was introduced by the Commonwealth Government                  entitles the student to a 25% discount on the amount to be
           departments, such as, Chemistry, Physics, Botany, Zoology, Genetics and Mathematics.
                                                                                                                                                                             to ensure that Australian citizens and permanent residents          paid. The outstanding amount is deferred. The student
           The faculty is also the administrative body concerned with the student’s enrolment and progress. It has responsibility for the overall course planning for each
           student, whereas departments organise the teaching of the actual subjects in each discipline.                                                                     contribute financially towards their education. All                 must provide the uni with their TFN.


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           Upfront HECS contribution can be paid upfront and in                   lecturer could have a different idea on what text to use.       agree that to have a computer at home makes their study                address details, accessing examination timetables and
           full and receive a 25% discount. Before choosing this                  This means that it is usually a good idea to wait until the     life at uni much more enjoyable and for some courses, it is            obtaining results. It is also used by students to undertake
           option students need to consider that they will be on a                first week of lectures to see what books, course readers or     almost essential. Being able to use a computer at home also            research for assignments and essays. Some lecturers put
           limited income and it may be very difficult to maintain                notes are absolutely critical. The main texts will usually be   avoids the issue of having to travel home late at night, after         lecture notes and other important details up on the Web.
           upfront payments. Students are advised to provide the                  kept at the Reserve Desk in uni libraries and be available      spending hours working on campus.                                      Students are able to contact their lecturers and tutors by
           university with their TFN so that the HECS payment will                for short term or overnight loan. Some texts will definitely                                                                                                   email, which provides a quick and
                                                                                                                                                  Fortunately, the prices of reliable,
           automatically default to the ‘deferred’ option if the                  be essential but students should save their money for these.                                                                                                   easy method of communication on
                                                                                                                                                  relatively powerful computers are
                                                                                  It is important to have the correct edition of the text,

                                                                                                                                                                                                “B
           payments can’t be maintained.                                                                                                                                                                                                         large campuses.
                                                                                                                                                  falling. Second-hand computers
                                                                                  especially in courses such as Science, Medicine and
           NB: HECS fees for a particular course are the same at all
                                                                                  Information Technology, where the developments in               can often be obtained. If a student                      EING          THE
           universities.                                                                                                                          needs to buy a computer but is                                                                 W H AT     ABOUT
                                                                                  knowledge occur at a fast pace. Second-hand books can
                                                                                  sometimes be purchased from students who have just              unable to pay ‘up-front’ with               FIRST        OF       FOUR                         A C C O M M O D AT I O N
                                                                                                                                                  cash, it is now possible to organise                                                           COSTS AND OTHER
           Austudy                                                                completed a subject. Notices on department notice boards
                                                                                                                                                  to lease a computer at very
                                                                                                                                                                                            C H I L D R E N W E F E LT                           LIVING EXPENSES?
                                                                                  or in the Student Union can provide this information.
           Austudy Payment is a government student assistance program
                                                                                                                                                  reasonable rates. Some universities
           for students who are 25 years or older. As such, it is not
                                                                                  Some campuses have Book Exchanges or second-hand
                                                                                                                                                  offer students loans specifically to
                                                                                                                                                                                            WE WOULD NOT BE                                      Most universities will provide a
                                                                                  book stores nearby. Most universities have their own                                                                                                           booklet or information sheet
           usually relevant to parents of secondary school children
                                                                                                                                                  buy computer equipment. For
           who are considering applying to study at university.
                                                                                  Bookshop where new texts and stationery supplies can be                                                   ABLE        TO         PROVIDE                       which sets out the estimated
                                                                                  purchased. Generally it is best to borrow books listed as       further information contact the                                                                annual cost of living for students

           Full Fee-paying Students
                                                                                  ‘Recommended Reading’, especially if finances are tight.        university’s computer services            A D E Q UA T E F I N A N C I A L                     living either at home or away
                                                                                                                                                  department or websites such as                                                                 from home in rental or college
                                                                                  If they have time before uni starts, reading some of the
           Some universities are now offering additional opportunities            recommended materials for a subject can help students
                                                                                                                                                  Virtual Communities,                      SU P P O RT FO R OU R                                accommodation. For the most
           for Australian students to study at university through fee-                                                                            Tel. 131 789,                                                                                  up-to-date information, obtain a
                                                                                  gain some understanding of the subject matter to be
           based programs. In these programs students are responsible             covered and give them a feel for the course.                    www.virtualcommunities.com.au/            D AU G H T E R          IF   SHE LIVED               copy of this by contacting Student
           for the full costs of tuition and the fees are paid directly to                                                                                                                                                                       Services at the institution concerned
                                                                                  Tip: Students can save money by only buying essential                                                     A WAY F R O M H O M E . ”
           the institution concerned. Full fee-paying costs are                                                                                   H O W I M P O R TA N T        IS                                                               or picking one up at Open Day.
                                                                                  textbooks. They should wait until the course starts to find
           considerably higher than costs associated with HECS fees.                                                                              THE INTERNET?                             Parent of a student from a provincial city
                                                                                  out which texts are essential.
                                                                                                                                                  The Internet is playing an increasing                                                          Accommodation
           IS   I T N E C E S S A RY T O B U Y T H E
                                                                                                                                                  role in the life of students. It is
                                                                                  IS   A H O M E C O M P U T E R N E C E S S A RY ?                                                                                                              Living expenses vary greatly
           TEXTBOOKS?
                                                                                                                                                  possible to obtain much useful information by accessing a
                                                                                  Today, secondary students are familiar with using                                                                                      according to whether a student is living with their parents,
           Booklists                                                                                                                              university’s Home Page. Many school students learn about
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         sharing a rented household, renting on their own or living
                                                                                  computers and the Internet through preparation of their
                                                                                                                                                  the university courses they are interested in by browsing in
           Handbooks and course materials will list the prescribed                school essays and assignments. Most uni campuses will                                                                                  in a residential college. Living at home, while usually the
                                                                                                                                                  this way.
           texts and reading lists for each subject. These booklists are          provide access to computer labs, which are usually open                                                                                cheapest, may not be an option for many country or rural
           often put together quite a while before the subject                    for extended hours. While having access to a computer at        At university the Internet is used for many vital                      students, or for those undertaking a course only offered at
           commences and sometimes staff change and the new                       home is not essential at school, most uni students would        administrative functions, such as re-enrolling, changing               a few institutions.



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           Staying with relatives or family friends who live near the          areas, such as the kitchen and lounge room. Four weeks          do not provide the extra support services like academic             apply. Entry forms are available directly from the
           uni campus may seem to be the logical and ideal solution            notice is usually required when vacating a property, but        tuition or arrange any extra-curricular activities.                 universities concerned. It is worthwhile applying at several
           to many parents of students who need to move out of                 this can vary according to the reason for vacating.                                                                                 different institutions.
           home. However, these situations may not appeal to young                                                                             IS   T H E R E A N Y F I N A N C I A L A S S I S TA N C E
           students and can sometimes lead to conflict within the                                                                                                                                                  There are a variety of scholarships available. Some are
                                                                               Rent assistance                                                 AVA I L A B L E ?
           family. Parents can discuss this option with their child, to                                                                                                                                            more like a bursary, where they pay the student a set
                                                                               Rent Assistance is available to students on Youth               Most universities endeavour to assist students who are              amount of money for one year. Others pay for HECS fees
           find out if they really feel comfortable with the idea,
                                                                               Allowance or ABSTUDY who live away from home. The               experiencing financial difficulties. The larger campuses            and some also give an additional amount for books and
           before taking it further. Sometimes students love to have a
                                                                               amount received depends on the rent being paid and              will have a Financial Aid section in Student Services, which
           homely life with people they know well, but staying with                                                                                                                                                living expenses for the duration of the course. These are
                                                                               whether the student lives alone or shares with others.          will be able to provide advice and information about how
           people they barely know, and with whom they don’t feel                                                                                                                                                  well worth having!
                                                                                                                                               to budget, what student loans and bursaries are available
           comfortable, can cause them considerable stress and
                                                                               College accommodation                                           and how government schemes such as Austudy, Youth                   Some institutions have scholarships set aside for students
           anxiety. Students who have to leave home to study are at
           risk of becoming lonely and homesick. This is especially                                                                            Allowance and Abstudy work. At smaller city and rural               from particular backgrounds, such as rural students and
                                                                               College accommodation is not always as expensive as
           the case for students from rural and isolated areas.                                                                                campuses this information should still be available from            students with a disability.
                                                                               many people think. It also provides an instant ‘community’
                                                                                                                                               the Student Services office. Many students struggle under
                                                                               for students in their first year. Colleges usually offer
                                                                                                                                               heavy financial burdens without knowing that they may
           Renting                                                             additional tutorials in many subjects and this provides a                                                                           IS   PA R T - T I M E W O R K A G O O D I D E A ?
                                                                                                                                               have been eligible for a student loan, which usually does
           Renting, either solo or in a shared household, is popular           student with another opportunity for academic support.                                                                              Many students find that part-time work can be an
                                                                                                                                               not have to be paid back until they have completed
           but it does involve some financial planning to meet                 Important Tip: When considering residential college             their course.                                                       excellent way to earn a small amount of cash to
           establishment costs, rental and bill payments. When first           accommodation, be aware that fees charged are usually                                                                               supplement the cost of living whilst at uni. It can also
           moving into a property the student would normally be                based on semester time residence only. Alternative              ARE     THERE ANY SCHOLARSHIPS                                      provide valuable work experience and can be an important
           required to pay one month’s rent in advance, plus bond              accommodation may be required for all the vacation              AVA I L A B L E ?                                                   aspect on the student’s resumé, when applying for a full-
           money (which usually equals an additional month’s rent).            periods and this can add considerably to costs.
                                                                                                                                               Winning a scholarship can make a huge difference to the             time job at the end of their course. The number of hours a
           The bond money is repayable in full at the end of the
                                                                                                                                               whole experience of going to university. Nearly all                 student should consider working will vary, according to
           tenancy, providing there is no damage to the property and
                                                                               Hostels                                                         universities these days offer some form of scholarships to          their course workload, but it is generally considered that it
           no outstanding rent. Students on a low income may be able
           to borrow the bond money from the Department of                     Hostels are popular with first year students who prefer to      school leavers. Some are also available for mature age              should not be more than 8 - 10 hours per week. Working
           Human Services, under the Bond Loan Scheme.                         live in the company of other young people. The                  students. While winning a scholarship is always a                   longer hours than this will be too distracting and the
                                                                               accommodation is similar to Colleges in that students live      competitive business, students need to realise that they            resulting tiredness is likely to reduce the chances of
           Important Tip: A student can only apply for a Bond Loan
                                                                               in a communal environment. Hostels can provide single or        must be ‘in it to win it’! Students often think that they           academic success.
           before paying any bond money, as the Office of Housing
                                                                               shared rooms, furnished or unfurnished, with communal           wouldn’t have a chance of winning a scholarship and so
           will not reimburse funds for a bond already paid.                                                                                                                                                       Students with family responsibilities, or a disability or
                                                                               lounge, bathroom and laundry facilities. Some hostels           don’t bother to apply. In reality, some scholarships are
           Most houses/flats are let unfurnished and each tenant is            provide meals while others provide access to communal           usually reserved for students who come from rural or                illness which makes it difficult for them to undertake
           responsible for supplying furniture for their own bedroom           kitchen facilities. Hostels are generally less expensive than   other backgrounds where they would be the first in their            regular part-time work may consider other ways of gaining
           and everyone contributes to furnishing the communal                 the Colleges, but they are usually located off-campus and       family to attend a university. Encourage your child to              practical experience relevant to their course.



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        G ET TING STARTED                                                                                                                     Student Services
                                                                                                                                              University campuses all offer support to their students via
                                                                                                                                              their Student Services and these are usually listed on-line,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Part-time Employment: advertises part time, casual
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and temporary jobs and provides assistance with
                                                                                                                                              in university student diaries and in many course                      employment issues

                                                                                                                                              handbooks. In the smaller rural campuses it may be just                    Equal Opportunity: information regarding equal
                                                                                                                                              one staff member who is given this responsibility, while at           opportunity issues, sexual harassment and discrimination


        W  FOR
                   H AT H E L P I S AVA I L A B L E
                   F IRST Y EAR      STUDENTS ?
                                                                                                 ‘Taster Days’ or ‘Uni for a Day’ while
                                                                                                 still at school. These programs may
                                                                                                 involve a visit to the university during
                                                                                                                                              the large city campuses Student Services may consist of
                                                                                                                                              over a dozen different offices, with several staff in each
                                                                                                                                              area of expertise. Examples of the areas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    policy and procedures

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Disability Liaison: information and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       support for students with a disability or
                                                                                                                                              covered by Student Services may include:


                                                                                                                                                                                                   “I
           Students and their parents are often                                                  semester time, having a ‘buddy for a                                                                                                  long term medical condition, including
           concerned to know whether there will                                                                                                    Health Service: usually a bulk-billing
                                                                                                 day’ - a current uni student - to spend
                                                                                                                                                                                                             F    O N LY               those with mental health issues
           be anyone at the university to help                                                   the day with, to get an idea of what it is   medical clinic with staff skilled in the areas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Learning or Study Skills: assistance
           students sort out any problems which                                                  actually like to be at uni. This really      of major concern to students - a Medicare           I’ D C O M E T O                     with improving skills in reading, academic
           can occur during the settling-in process                                              helps the school student see the uni in      card will usually be required, to allow for
           in first year. While there is a considerable                       action and get a feel for the course and the actual campus.                                                                                              writing, exam strategies, oral presentations
                                                                                                                                              Bulk Billing                                      T H I S S E RV I C E                   and time management
           difference between the styles of secondary and tertiary
           education, students are not expected to manage the                                                                                      Housing/accomodation: information on
                                                                              Orientation Programs                                                                                              WHEN I FIRST                                Indigenous Education: support for
           transition from one to the other without some help and                                                                             housing options, emergency accommodation,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       indigenous Australian students
           support. Apart from the obviously important support from           All universities offer some form of orientation program
                                                                              for their new students. This may take the form of a
                                                                                                                                              share house notice boards, real estate
                                                                                                                                                                                                S TA R T E D U N I . ”                      Chaplaincy: counselling, support
           family and friends, assistance can come in many forms:                                                                             listings and tenancy advice
                                                                              one-day program on smaller campuses or last for several                                                                            Current student       and information for students of any or
                                                                              days on the large city campuses. The idea of orientation             Financial Aid: information on student                                               no religion
           Transition Programs
                                                                              programs is to provide the students with the opportunity        loans, bursaries, Youth Allowance, financial planning,
           Many universities, realising how important it is for                                                                                                                                                          Childcare: assistance with arranging child care for
                                                                              of meeting other new students in their course, to find out      Centrelink, taxation and HECS
           students to be well prepared for the transition from school                                                                                                                                              children of students
                                                                              about their timetables, locate the venues where their
           to university, have developed specific transition programs.                                                                             Counselling: professional counselling for students,
                                                                              classes will be held and learn which textbooks and other                                                                              Student Services may be run by the university administration
           These programs aim to smooth the path by planning well                                                                             covering a wide range of issues including relationship
                                                                              course materials are absolutely essential. The process                                                                                and/or by the Student Union. Students should be encouraged
           in advance, providing opportunities for establishing a                                                                             problems, family difficulties or other personal issues which
                                                                              usually includes an official welcome from senior staff, plus                                                                          to access these free and confidential services as they provide
           network of friends and helping students adjust to                                                                                  may impact upon study
           university life. Promotional materials from institutions           introductory lectures in most subjects. These are vital                                                                               a very valuable resource. Matters raised by students with
           should provide contact details for transition programs, or         times and students should take part in the academic side of          Careers and Employer Liaison: advice and resources               these services will not be discussed with other people, such
           else these could be obtained from Student Services or              orientation, as well as joining in with the many social         on career planning, preparing resumés, job hunting                    as lecturers or parents, unless at the express wish of the
           Open Days. Sometimes students are able to take part in             activities always on offer.                                     and interviews                                                        student concerned.


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        L IFE AT UNIVERSITY                                                                                                                   Lectures
                                                                                                                                              A lecture is a form of teaching where an academic staff
                                                                                                                                              member (the lecturer) stands in front of a large group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  publish ‘office hours’ when they are available for student
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  consultation. Tutorials also provide students with the
                                                                                                                                              of students, who are seated in a lecture theatre, and               opportunity to address such difficulties.
                                                                                                                                              delivers a presentation. Lecture sizes can vary from about
                                                                                                                                              70 to 300 students and the lecture usually lasts for 50             Tutorials
                                                                                                                                              minutes. There are usually 2 or 3 lectures per subject per


        H          OW DOES UNI DIFFER
           FROM SCHOOL?
                                                                                                 more than one building and a day at uni
                                                                                                 may involve a number of brisk walks
                                                                                                 between sessions. It is a good idea for
                                                                                                                                              week. Sometimes longer lectures of 90 mins – 2 hours are
                                                                                                                                              scheduled, in which case there may be a short break in
                                                                                                                                              the middle.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A tutorial (often referred to as a tute) is a much smaller
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  class (ideally of about 15 but sometimes up to 25 students)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  where there is much more emphasis on student/staff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  interaction. Most subjects have one tutorial per week. The
           Once students are at university they                                                  new students to become familiar with                                                                             tutor will cover similar ground to that covered in the
                                                                                                                                              First year students are often surprised at the pace of
           are considered to be adult learners                                                   the buildings they will be using, as         lectures and the amount of material that can be covered. It         lectures for the subject concerned, but in a more informal
           responsible for their own learning.                                                   during the first weeks of semester           really helps if they have done the recommended pre-                 manner. This is a time for discussion and debating of ideas
           Decisions about which subjects to take,                                               everyone seems to be rushing around,         reading suggested for the course or topic and have had              and it is also an appropriate time for students to ask the
           how many references to read or which                                                  looking lost. Being late for a lecture       some note-taking experience while still at school. The aim          tutor questions and clear up any points of difficultly. In
           essay topic to take will sit much more                                                only adds to the stress levels!              of good note-taking is to make an accurate, legible and             humanities subjects much of the tutorial time may be taken
           with students than would have been the case at secondary                                                                           concise account of the material being presented by the              up with discussion about an issue or point of philosophy,
           school. Students are also responsible for knowing when              Academic staff                                                 lecturer. Students should aim to listen and understand the          and all students are expected to contribute to this where
           assignments are due, when and where examinations are                                                                               material presented and not try to take down every word              possible. In science/technology based subjects, the tutor
                                                                               Academic staff at uni are either lecturers or tutors.
           held and following up on special consideration if deadlines                                                                        the lecturer says. Note-taking is a skill which can be              may work through problems that have been set for the
           or exams are missed. Course advisers and lecturers will             Some lecturers also give tutorials, but in general,                                                                                week (similar to homework) and students can ask to have
                                                                                                                                              learned and many campuses offer some guidance in this
           give advice and support and information will be available           academic staff begin their career as tutors and progress                                                                           any difficulties explained.
                                                                                                                                              regard. Some lecturers provide handouts, which set out the
           on-line, on student noticeboards and will be spoken about           to becoming lecturers. Most have postgraduate
                                                                                                                                              important points of the lecture being presented. In this            Sometimes a student can have considerable difficulty in
           in lectures, but no-one will be individually checking to see        qualifications, such as a Masters or Doctorate degree in       case students often jot down additional points on the               grasping a new concept or problem and needs a greater
           if students have followed up.                                       their area of expertise. Those with a PhD (Doctorate of        handout, to help them clarify certain points being made.            amount of time for an explanation than is available in the
                                                                               Philosophy) or other Doctorate have the title of Dr.                                                                               tutorial situation. In this case, it is best for the student to
                                                                                                                                              A lecture is sometimes not the most convenient time for
           Size                                                                Senior academic staff may be appointed to university
                                                                                                                                              students to ask questions, if they are unsure about some of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ask to meet with the tutor at one of the times they have
                                                                               positions as Professors or Associate Professors (and they                                                                          allocated for this purpose.
           The first thing most people notice about universities, in                                                                          the material being presented. Unless invited by the lecturer
                                                                               are then usually addressed as Professor .............). Some   to ask questions, students would usually allow the lecturer
           comparison with school, is their size. While rural
           campuses may be quite small, most city campuses are very            academic staff members are quite informal and are on           to deliver their material uninterrupted. Students with              On-line learning
           large and sometimes rather daunting. Campus maps are                first name terms with their students, but it is polite to      questions may talk to the lecturer immediately after the            An increasing trend is for parts of a course (and in some
           available and are a necessity when trying to find your way          address staff members by their correct title, unless           lecture (where timetabling permits) or make a time to meet          cases whole courses) to be delivered through the Internet
           around initially. Most courses will have classes taught in          requested by them to do otherwise.                             with the lecturer at a mutually convenient time. Lecturers          or ‘on-line’. Students can access lecture notes and even



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           submit assignments through the Internet and lecturers will           away from the main campus, where intensive work on a              for the varying tastes within the student community. Uni             Students are told how many contact hours (lectures,
           communicate with students through email or a discussion              particular aspect of the course is studied. Costs associated      life should not be about ‘all work and no play’ and joining          tutorials, prac sessions etc) are involved in each of their
           list. All universities have computer laboratories available          with field trips are usually borne by the student, so prior       a club is a great way for students to make new friends and           subjects. In general, courses such as Engineering, Science
           for student use and in many cases these have 24-hour                 to undertaking a subject with a field trip involved, it is wise   meet students in other courses. Getting a balance between            and Medicine will involve many more contact hours than
           access, so on-line learning doesn’t necessarily mean                 to obtain an idea of the costs involved.                          study and social activities is important and often hard for          courses such as Law and Arts. This is partly because of the
           students have to have Internet access at home.                                                                                         students to achieve in their first year. Some will overdo the        number of practical sessions involved in the former
                                                                                Libraries                                                         social and sporting activities, perhaps resulting in poorer          courses. While an Arts student may have only 9-12 contact
           Prac classes                                                                                                                           academic results than they had at school. Others will fail           hours per week, some Science and Engineering students
                                                                                All university students need to learn to use their university
                                                                                                                                                  to join in any activities and thus miss out on some of the
           Many courses have a practical component where practical              library effectively. On large campuses there may be more                                                                               may have 22-28 hours per week. However, Arts and Law
                                                                                                                                                  best chances they will ever have to try such a variety of
           skills are taught. These can be laboratory sessions, as in           than one library and some departments have their own                                                                                   students will be required to spend many more hours in
                                                                                                                                                  activities and meet such a varied range of people.
           science, or clinical sessions, such as those used in Nursing,        library in addition to the main library. On smaller                                                                                    libraries, doing research for their essays and assignments,
                                                                                                                                                  Sometimes students who were quite active in school sports
           Medicine, Dentistry or Physiotherapy courses. These                  campuses there is usually just the one library which                                                                                   than students in more science based courses.
                                                                                                                                                  teams or clubs give them up completely at uni. Encourage
           components count as part of the assessment, and                      specialises in materials relating to the courses taught on
                                                                                                                                                  your son/daughter to use the pool/gym, or continue with
           attendance for a certain percentage of the classes is                that campus. Students can often learn to use a major
                                                                                                                                                  their sporting or creative activities.                               Student contact hours
           required for satisfactory completion of the course. The              library when doing research for their VCE assignments
           staff members who assist students with their work in prac            and this can be a useful way to become familiar with a                                                                                 Examples of a typical day at uni are:
           classes are called demonstrators and they will usually               particular campus. Some universities run information              Uni – a place to be                                                  Arts student:
           demonstrate or talk about the activity that the students are         sessions specifically for secondary school students, to assist    Making friends at uni is really important and it seems that          9-10            French lecture
           required to undertake, at the beginning of the class.                them with their school studies.                                   students who are able to make friends, settle in and feel ‘at        10-11           Australian History lecture
           Students then often work in pairs or small groups to carry
                                                                                Once enrolled at university, new students should make             home’ on their campus are likely to do well. It often takes          11-1            Work in library
           out the activity.
                                                                                sure they attend one of the library information sessions set      a while for students to reach this stage and some never
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       1-2             Lunch with friends at French
                                                                                up on their campus, either during the orientation program         seem to achieve it. Students who have a friendly manner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Club meeting
           Placements                                                           or as soon as possible after that. Nearly all students find       and are happy to introduce themselves to other students,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       2-3             Multimedia lab
           Other courses, such as Education, Nursing and Social                 large libraries rather daunting at first, but confidence is       arrange to meet them for a coffee or chat should not have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       3.15 -4.15      Politics tutorial
           Work, will involve the student undertaking prolonged                 built up only by using them. Students who use the library         too much trouble settling in. Uni is a great place to explore
                                                                                                                                                  new horizons and the opportunities to see films, plays,              Science student:
           periods (usually from one to six weeks) in the actual                frequently become really familiar with the systems and
           workplace, putting into practice the skills being taught in          comfortable in the library environment.                           concerts and other cultural events can open up a whole               9-10            Maths lecture
           campus-based classes.                                                                                                                  new world for young students.                                        10-11           Chemistry lecture
                                                                                Social and Sporting Clubs                                                                                                              11-12           Physics lecture
           Field trips                                                          The range of social and sporting activities available to
                                                                                                                                                  W H AT     I S A T Y P I C A L DAY AT U N I L I K E ?                12-1            Biology lecture

           Some courses/subjects require attendance at one or more              university students is absolutely amazing! These clubs            A typical day at uni will be quite different for different           Lunch with friends from Mountaineering Club

           field trips. These may involve just a day trip or a few days         receive funding from the Student Unions and aim to cater          students and depends largely on the course being undertaken.         2-5             Biology prac class (3 hours)




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           HOW       A R E T I M E TA B L E S W O R K E D O U T ?

           Timetables are usually available well before the semester
           begins and can often be accessed electronically. In some
                                                                                  In other courses, such as Arts and Commerce/Business,
                                                                                  where the contact hours (total hours for lectures, tutes and
                                                                                  other compulsory sessions) are fewer, there is usually
                                                                                  much more flexibility for students to organise their own
                                                                                                                                                  A SSESSMENT
           courses the timetables, especially
                                                                                                           timetable.
           in First Year, are the same for all
           students undertaking the course.
           This is particularly the case in                “I       MISSED OUT
                                                                                                           In popular subjects in large
                                                                                                           institutions, there may be several



                                                                                                                                                  H
           Health-related areas, Education,                                                                options for lecture sessions and
           and Veterinary Science. Here the
                                                        ON GETTING INTO                                    students are able to choose which          OW ARE STUDENTS ASSESSED?                                                              essays during revision. Some first year
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             students are a little disappointed when
           individual student has little say in                                                            sessions they wish to attend on an
           the schedule of lectures, prac
                                                        T H E T U T E I R E A L LY                         ongoing basis. Likewise, in these
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             they receive their first result at uni,
                                                                                                                                                  Forms of assessment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             which is likely to be a lower grade than
           sessions and tutorials. They will                                                               subjects there may be many
                                                        WANTED. I DIDN’T                                                                          Assessment at university can take                                                          they were used to receiving at school.
           be issued with a timetable and                                                                  choices for tutorial times and
                                                                                                                                                  several forms and many courses use a                                                       Each institution has its own marking
           expected to turn up for classes as
                                                        REALISE SOME TUTES                                 students need to put their name
                                                                                                                                                  combination of:                                                                            and grading system, but it is not
           scheduled.                                                                                      down for the tutorial time of their         examinations                                                                          common for any student to receive
           In courses like Science, where                 WOULD BE MORE                                    preference. This allows students            tests                                                                                 100% for a subject.
           students have to choose from a                                                                  the flexibility to build their own          assignments
           large range of subjects in First                P O PU L A R A N D I                            timetable around their other                essays                                                             Results and Grades
           Year, students put in their subject                                                             commitments. Some students like             prac attendance and written reports
           choice    on    enrolment.      This
                                                        DIDN’T PU T MY NA M E                              to arrange it so that they fit all          tutorial attendance and participation                              Results may take several weeks to become available after
           information is then fed into a                                                                                                              oral presentations                                                 the final assessment has been completed. Results may be
           computer and individual student
                                                        DOWN ON THE LIST                                   their classes into 3 or 4 days. This
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          available on-line, by phoning in or by mail. Results will be
                                                                                                           allows them to have a quiet study           field trips
           timetables will be generated to                                                                                                                                                                                made available directly to the student and parents cannot
                                                        E A R LY E N O U G H ”                             day at home or fit in their part-           clinical placements
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          obtain their children’s results from the university. When
           fit into the total scheduling of
                                                                                                           time work commitments.                 Assessment can vary from 100% for one examination,
           lecture, tutorial and laboratory                                   First year student                                                                                                                          students are concerned about a result they have received
                                                                                                           Tip: Students often have to write      held at the end of the semester, to assessment by any
           spaces available. It is usually fairly                                                                                                                                                                         for an assessable task, it should be possible to make an
                                                                                                                                                  combination of the above. The form the assessment will take
           difficult to change this type of timetable to suit a particular        their name down on a list displayed in the subject                                                                                      appointment to speak to the lecturer concerned. The
                                                                                                                                                  is outlined in the course handbook, so students have an
           student. However, students with a disability or medical                Department Office, for the tutorial time of their choice.                                                                               standard expected at university is generally high and it is a
                                                                                                                                                  idea of this before commencing the subject. Many subjects
           condition may request a change of schedule if the one first            This is best done as early as possible after the list goes up                                                                           myth that students will not have to work as hard as in
                                                                                                                                                  require a student to a pass in all the areas set for assessment,
           provided is inappropriate to their specific requirements.              during Orientation.                                                                                                                     VCE. The pace of work is generally much faster and more
                                                                                                                                                  in order to obtain an overall pass for the subject.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          effort is required to keep up with the workload. The
                                                                                                                                                  In some courses every component counts towards the                      number of contact hours can be quite deceptive, especially
                                                                                                                                                  final grade. Students can help themselves by obtaining                  in an Arts course, where 10-12 hours of classes per week
                                                                                                                                                  copies of past exams in the subject and by writing practice             seems a light load. However a lot of time should be spent


                                                                             24                                                                                                                                      25
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           reading the books and set materials and in the library,
           doing research for essays. In other courses, such at
           Engineering, Vet Science, Medicine and the Health
           Sciences, the high number of contact hours per week will
                                                                                 When things go wrong ...
                                                                                 Sometimes assignment deadlines or exams might be missed
                                                                                 because of illness or because of emotional trauma. All
                                                                                                                                                  T HE CHANGING ROLE
           leave little, if any, time to study between 9 and 5 pm.
                                                                                 universities have procedures for ‘Special Consideration,’
                                                                                 when a student’s performance may have been adversely             OF PARENTS
           The system of grades can vary from uni to uni but the                 affected by unforeseen upheavals. There are deadlines for
           following examples give some idea:                                    these and it’s important that students contact their faculty

           Grade
           University of Melbourne
           H1
                    Mark Range


                       80-100
                                       Explanation


                                                  First Class Honours
                                                                                 office so that procedures can be put in place.

                                                                                 Tip: It’s important that students ‘take control’ at times like
                                                                                 this, rather than let events overwhelm them, but sometimes
                                                                                                                                                  H    OW DOES THE ROLE
                                                                                                                                                  O F PA R E N T S C H A N G E ?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            to how the student is coping is by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            maintaining
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            relationship
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   open,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              friendly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           child.   Be
                                                                                 some prompting to make a telephone call can ‘kickstart’          Parents often feel confused about what
           H2A         75-79      Second Class Honours - Division A                                                                                                                                                                         interested but avoid prying too much
                                                                                 the process.                                                     role they should play in this new stage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            into their new life. Keeping in touch
           H2B         70-74      Second Class Honours - Division B                                                                               in their son/daughter’s life. For parents
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            regularly and showing an interest in
           H3          65-69                    Third Class Honours                                                                               who have been interested and involved

           P
           N
                       50-64
                       0-49
                                                                     Pass
                                                                     Fail
                                                                                    “O          UR    D AU G H T E R
                                                                                                                                                  in their child’s education during the
                                                                                                                                                  school years it often comes as a surprise
                                                                                                                                                  to discover that they seem to be completely excluded from
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            how they are going is probably the best
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            way to tackle this change in your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            relationship. If you sense that there is a
                                                                                    MADE HE R OW N CH O I C E S                                   the process once their child enters university. This is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        problem, encourage your child to seek out the appropriate
                                                   Monash University                                                                                                                                                    person who can help them.
                                                                                                                                                  because the uni treats its students as adults and deals
           HD          80+                           High Distinction               AND FILED HER OWN                                                                                                                   Tip: Be interested but try to avoid being too inquisitive.
                                                                                                                                                  directly with them. Parents are discouraged from
           D           70-79                               Distinction                                                                                                                                                  Keep in touch but wait to be told rather than expect to
                                                                                        AP P L I C AT I O N S , WHICH                             contacting the university, except in extreme situations or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hear all the details.
           C           60-69                                    Credit                                                                            where there is some risk to the life or health of the student.
           P           50-59                                         Pass           M A D E I T A L L V E RY E A S Y                              Suddenly there are no parent-teacher interviews and you
                                                                                                                                                  really have no idea how well (or otherwise) your child is             HOW       H AV E O T H E R PA R E N T S C O P E D ?
           N           0-49                                          Fail
                                                                                    F O R U S . S H E G RA D UA T E S                             coping with either the social or academic aspects of their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Results of a recent survey of parents of children who were
                                                                RMIT                                                                              life. While you might like to be given information about
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the first in their family to attend a university indicated that
                                                                                        THIS YEAR IN HER                                          your child’s progress, parents need to respect the fact that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        most parents felt pleased and happy that their children
           H           80-100                        High Distinction
                                                                                                                                                  they are over 18 and you will not even know their exam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        were aiming to go on to higher education. They could see
           D           70-80                               Distinction              CHOSEN CAREER                      OF                         results unless they feel like telling you!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the benefits and increased opportunities likely to follow a
           C           60-70                                    Credit
           P           50-60                                         Pass
                                                                                        T OURISM /C OMMERCE .”                                    Students learn to fight their own battles but do have a               post-secondary qualification. They did, however, express
                                                                                                                                                  range of people they can contact when advice or assistance            some concerns about:
           N           0-49                                          Fail           Parent of a student from a provincial city                    is needed. The best way for parents to be kept informed as                 the student having to live away from home




                                                                            26                                                                                                                                     27
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                the distant location of universities offering
           particular courses

                accommodation available for students needing to
                                                                               universities and it is quite easy to get lost or have
                                                                               difficulty in finding the location of the course which is
                                                                               of interest. Keep asking until you find where you want to
                                                                                                                                                                 G LO S SA RY & P UBL ICAT I O N S
           move away from home                                                                      be! Most students and staff will be
                                                                                                                                           AUSTUDY PAYMENT A government                                                         IB International Baccalaureate:
                                                                                                    very helpful.
                the cost involved

                their lack of knowledge
           and inexperience with higher
                                                     “S       OMETIMES             YOU              Once their child starts at uni, some
                                                                                                    parents worry that their son/
                                                                                                                                           student assistance scheme for students
                                                                                                                                           who are 25 or older.

                                                                                                                                           ABSTUDY Abstudy is a Department of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                international pre-university course of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                studies administered by the International
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Baccalaureate Organisation, based in

           education
                                                  FEEL YOU DON’T                                    daughter’s attitude towards them       Education, Training and Youth Affairs                                                Geneva
                                                                                                    may change. “Will my kid still         program delivered by Centrelink. It is
                their child’s health              R E A L LY K N O W W H A T                                                               available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                INCREMENT Additional points given
                                                                                                    want to know me?” Parents have                                                                                              for the 5th and/or 6th studies taken at
                their child’s level of inde-                                                                                               Islander students. Payments depend on
           pendence and ability to cope
                                                  QUESTIONS TO ASK,                                 occasionally expressed a fear that
                                                                                                                                           factors such as the student’s age, course,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Unit 3 and 4 level. These increment
                                                                                                    their children will see them as in                                                                        studies will attract 10% of each of the scaled VCE study
           with the transition from school                                                                                                 whether the student is studying part/full-time, whether
                                                  B U T I T I S I M P O R TA N T                    some way ‘unacceptable, inferior or
                                                                                                                                           they need to live away from home and parental/partner’s            score achieved. The only restrictions on choices for 5th
           to university.
                                                                                                    embarrassing’. However, it seems                                                                          and 6th studies are that English/ESL, Chinese/Chinese
                                                                                                                                           income. See Centrelink on 13 24 90 or www.centrelink.gov.au
           Parents who assisted their child       TO KEEP SEEKING OUT                               that most parents who have had a       for further information.                                           (SL), Indonesian/Indonesian (SL), Japanese/Japanese (SL)
           with the gathering of information
                                                                                                    good relationship with their child
           were more confident about the          THE PEOPLE WHO CAN                                                                       CIR Clearly-In Rank, the ENTER score at or above which             and/or Korean (FL)/Korean (SL) cannot both count in the
                                                                                                    during school years will continue to                                                                      ENTER.
           whole idea of higher education.                                                                                                 all offers are made to applicants
           Open Days provide opportunities        HELP YOU.”                                        do so once their son/daughter starts
                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOTE Language(s) Other than English
                                                                                                                                           ENGLISH (any) Refers to one of English, ESL, Literature
           for gathering information on                                                             at uni. The relationship will change
                                                  Parent of a student from a provincial city                                               or English Language
           enrolment, accommodation                                                                 over time, as the school student                                                                          LOTE (FL) LOTE as a First Language
           options, public transport, HECS                                                          moves to adulthood and develops        ENTER Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Rank
                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOTE (SL) LOTE as a Second Language
           fees, Youth Allowance, banking and medical facilities,              confidence in their ability to live, study and work in a    ESL English as a Second Language
                                                                                                                                                                                                              MIDDLE BAND Those applicants considered during the
           safety in the city and university bookshops.                        much broader environment. You will probably feel quite
                                                                                                                                           FRINGE ENTER Indicates the point at which 95% of                   two-stage selection process according to other factors, as
           Many parents and students who are from rural areas are              proud as you notice this development.                       offers were made to applicants with an ENTER                       indicated in the course entries
           not familiar with the large campuses of the major                                                                Good Luck!
                                                                                                                                           GAT General Achievement Test                                       OPEN DAY Day when a university is open to the public
                                                                                                                                                                                                              and parents and prospective students are able to visit areas
                                                                                                                                           HECS     Higher Education Contribution Scheme is a
                                                                                                                                                                                                              of interest, obtain information materials, look at displays
                                                                                                                                           system    of    fee    payment      introduced   by    the
                                                                                                                                                                                                              and talk to current students and staff. Institutions try to
                                                                                                                                           Commonwealth Government to ensure that Australian
                                                                                                                                                                                                              stagger the dates, so that it is possible to attend Open days
                                                                                                                                           citizens and permanent residents contribute financially
                                                                                                                                                                                                              at different campuses.
                                                                                                                                           towards their education




                                                                         28                                                                                                                              29
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           PORTFOLIO Diverse collection of a student’s work in a                VCE Victorian Certificate of Education
           particular area of the arts, for example, painting or
                                                                                VCE STUDY SCORE            (Relative Position)    This score
           photography, which demonstrates their range of ability in
                                                                                (indicating the relative position within the study), issued
           that field
                                                                                by VCAA, is used in the creation of the scaled study score
                                                                                                                                                  First-time parents’ guide to understanding uni was
           PRE-REQUISITE STUDIES               Those nominated by               and hence, the ENTER.
                                                                                                                                                 funded by Equity and Learning Programs at the University
           individual course authorities as studies that must be
                                                                                VICTER Victorian Tertiary Entrance Requirements                  of Melbourne.
           satisfactorily completed by all applicants seeking
           admission to that course. These are listed in the VTAC               VTAC Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre
           Guide. Applicants who do not meet the prerequisites may                                                                               It was developed by Julia Powell in collaboration with
                                                                                VTAC Bulletin Regular updates to the VTAC Guide and
           not be considered for selection. Year 10 is the ideal time to                                                                         students and staff at the University of Melbourne.
                                                                                Tertiary Entrance Requirements, announcing future changes
           choose subjectswhich will allow students to have the right
                                                                                to courses, entrance requirements and VTAC procedures
           pre-requisites for the courses they would like to study.                                                                                     1 Tertiary education        2 Parenting
                                                                                (sent to schools)
                                                                                                                                                        3 Studying                  4 Transition
           ‘PRIMARY FOUR’ Studies that will be counted first when
                                                                                VTAC Guide VTAC guide to University and TAFE Courses,
           creating an ENTER, namely an English study plus those
                                                                                available from careers advisers and newsagents
           with the next three highest scaled study scores.                                                                                      The Understanding Uni team has endeavoured to ensure
                                                                                YOUTH ALLOWANCE Government assistance scheme                     that material contained in this booklet was correct at the
           SCALED STUDY SCORE VCE results are scaled because
                                                                                which covers students under the age of 25 years. Based on        time of printing. The team would like to thank the
           individual study scores are not an absolute measurement of
                                                                                parents’ financial situation, unless the student is classified   students, parents and staff who gave so willingly of their
           a student’s overall performance. VTAC combines study
                                                                                as belonging to one of the Youth Allowance ‘independent’         time in contributing information and ideas. The aim of the
           scores to form an aggregate (total) which is then converted
                                                                                categories. For more information regarding these contact         booklet is to facilitate the transition to university of
           into a rank, called the ‘ENTER’. Before study scores can be
                                                                                Centrelink on 13 24 90 or www.centrelink.gov.au                  students (and their parents) who are the first in their
           fairly added together they have to be compared and
                                                                                                                                                 family to attend university.
           adjusted. This allows for the fact that students take
           different combinations of VCE studies and VTAC can only
           add study scores together if the strength of competition in
                                                                                In order to be eligible for admission to a course of study at    Design by Kerrative Strategic Advertising Designers

           the study is about the same. Scaling of study scores ensures
                                                                                any of the Victorian tertiary institutions, applicants must      Authorised by Carmel Murphy, Director, Student Access
                                                                                usually satisfy:
           that each study contributes equally to the ENTER.

           TAFE Technical and Further Education                                      the minimum institutional entrance requirements; and

           TESOL Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages                     any specific course or other requirements, including
                                                                                prerequisites of the individual course concerned. Each
           TER Tertiary Entrance Rank
                                                                                course has a certain number of places available - the quota.
           VCAA Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority                   Once eligibility has been established, applicants can then
           (formerly the Board of Studies); administers and accredits           be considered in competition with other eligible applicants
           the Victorian Certificate of Education                               for a quota place.


                                                                           30

								
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