More choice and flexibility for HSC students in a disrupted final year of high school

Year 12 student, Emily Bouchet.

Year 12 students who have had their HSC studies disrupted by COVID-19 will be able to apply to study at Western Sydney University based in part on their Year 11 results – giving school leavers much-needed peace of mind about their university entry for next year.

The University’s highly-successful True Reward early offer program will give current Year 12 students the option of using either their HSC results or their Year 11 results as part of their application for next year. The University is taking careful steps not to undermine the importance of the HSC, with the offers being made on the condition that students successfully complete their HSC exams.

First-launched in 2017, True Reward provides students with an early offer to Western Sydney University based on their HSC subject results instead of the scaled ATAR, following analysis by the University that shows subject performance is a robust indicator of a student’s success.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, said True Reward is yet another way in which Western Sydney University is leading the sector when it comes to developing alternative pathways for hard-working, capable students and fostering their unlimited potential.

“For over 30 years, Western Sydney University has been opening up access to higher education for the people of Greater Western Sydney. This year, with all its challenges and disruptions to the school year, is certainly no different,” said Professor Glover.

“We know how much stress the COVID-19 pandemic has caused Year 12 students and their families, worrying about what this might mean for gaining entry into their preferred course for next year. We wanted to help relieve students and their families of some of that anxiety, so they can focus all their energies on the HSC and doing well in their final year exams.

“By transforming our True Reward early offer program to incorporate Year 11 results we are ensuring that the COVID-19 situation does not derail Year 12 students’ exam preparations, and prevent them from gaining access to their course of choice and ultimately fulfilling their career ambitions.”

New innovations added to the True Reward program for this year also include the University’s Alpha platform – a ground-breaking new digital experience that provides tailor-made content for students based on their personal and professional development needs and goals.

Students who apply for True Reward will receive exclusive access to Alpha’s Edge playlist – a playlist of activities within the Alpha platform. Students will have a range of tasks to complete, including micro-learning experiences to build their study skills and boost their capability to work and learn independently.

Vice-President (People and Advancement) and Registrar, Mr Angelo Kourtis, said that Alpha’s Edge playlist is a first-of-its-kind initiative, designed to give high school students an incredible head start when it comes to their future employability and graduate success.

“The addition of the Alpha’s Edge playlist is an exciting new element we have introduced this year, helping students explore the careers that most interest them so they can make more informed course choices,” said Mr Kourtis.

“Not only does the playlist provide insights into their chosen careers, but as students complete the tasks, they receive recommendations into the courses and careers they might not have initially considered. This occurs through sophisticated algorithms that match their interests, capabilities and aspirations, suggesting where they have the greatest chance of success.

“An added bonus is the ability to build a community of like-minded colleagues and professional contacts – connecting them with current Western Sydney University students and alumni, as well as industry mentors. This will give them exposure at a very early stage to internships, industry contacts and other career development opportunities.

“We know the value of such experiences for developing career-ready graduates. Even under the COVID-19 restrictions, we have been able to organise ‘virtual internships’ and other innovative programs.”

Upon the successful completion of their HSC exams and Alpha’s Edge playlist, Western Sydney University will provide school leavers who have applied through True Reward with an offer, as early as November.

“By expanding our True Reward program, we are not only giving this year’s school leavers the assurance of a university place, we are providing them with unique learning and career opportunities so they can confidently plan their futures and ensure their continued success,” concluded Professor Glover.

Students can find out more by visiting Western Sydney University’s True Reward program.


22 May 2020

Media Unit