University Selection in Queensland:
From a Single Index to a Profile

Year: 1992

Author: McBryde, B, Reugerbrink, M

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In Queensland, along with other states, selection for higher education has been an increasingly vexed issue over the past two decades. The problem has been exacerbated by the interaction of two related factors: a dramatic increase in the retention rate to year 12 and greater demand for places in higher education, with intense competition initially in some faculties in some older universities, but increasingly in most faculties in universities and TAFE (Technical and Further Education) colleges. This intense competition has resulted in many highly qualified applicants for the scarce places in universities being denied a place in the course they nominated as their first preference. This has had a number of important consequences. There are pressures on the system from politicians and the public for the system to be more equitable and accountable. There is also an increased pressure placed on the selection process by students who are unsuccessful in gaining entry to their preferred course entering an alternative course with a view to transferring to their preferred course later on. In this paper, we will trace the history of university selection in Queensland and provide a rationale for the decisions taken. The major focus will be on the events which led to the Viviani review in 1990, the findings of this review and their rationale. We conclude by drawing implications for future directions and the extent to which they embrace new directions in curriculum and assessment which are implicit in national perspectives.