Students increasingly consider culture when accepting university offers

As hopeful applicants receive another chance of securing a place at university, an increasing number of students are choosing UNSW because of its reputation.


A university's culture can be as important for prospective students as the degrees it offers. Photo: Gavin Blue Photography

The Universities Admission Centre (UAC) on Friday released another 20,000 offers to prospective students, with Engineering and Science degrees among the most popular at UNSW Sydney.

But for many students, UNSW’s reputation for academic excellence and its strong business links are almost as important as the subject they want to study, says Jonathon Strauss, UNSW's Director, Future Students and Marketing.

“There are more and more students picking an institution that they really want to study at,” says Strauss.

“For some students, the culture of the institution matters almost as much as the degree they choose. We work with those students to find a pathway at UNSW that works for them.”

The University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Professor Merlin Crossley, says it looks like UNSW will this year be welcoming the most talented cohort yet into its community.

“I think students know that a modern high-tech education will help them prosper in tomorrow’s world,” says Professor Crossley.

“The increased demand means we’ve had to lift our cut-offs in Engineering, and in some Science subjects, and in Business and Arts.

“Naturally, we’re delighted at the quality of the intake but also at the diversity. We care about having a good gender balance especially in the high-tech subjects, and our new UNSW Gateway entry system and the Law Admissions Test are helping to provide more avenues into our university.”

Strauss says that among the faculties, engineering has had an “exceptional year”.

“We are already a university of choice for students interested in engineering but this year the interest has been across the board,” he says.

In Science, the Bachelor of Aviation (Flying) and the Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions have been popular.

The Faculty of Medicine’s accredited four-year Exercise Physiology program – which includes a strong emphasis on clinical training and research and which is the only degree of its type in Australia to sit within a medical faculty – has also experienced strong demand.

In Arts and Social Sciences, popular courses include the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education, a dual degree for undergraduate students who want to become secondary school teachers, and the Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

In the Faculty of Built Environment, demand remains strong for both the Bachelor of City Planning (Honours) and the Bachelor of Construction Management and Property.