Talented high school students on the fast track to UNE degrees

Published 01 November 2010

eveThe most gifted and talented high school students in NSW are set to fast-track their higher education, with the University of New England announcing a new “Gifted and Talented: Accelerated Pathways” program on offer for commencing students in 2011.

UNE’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students and Social Inclusion), Eve Woodberry (pictured here), highlighted the unique nature of UNE’s initiative, which was developed in collaboration with the Board of Studies HSC-University Pathways to replace the Distinction Courses program.

“UNE’s model for exceptional students – students who have completed an HSC subject before their HSC year – enables them to commence their university studies while still at high school,” Ms Woodberry said. “Students who are accepted to the University of New England through this program enrol in actual degree programs.

“These outstanding young students – and there have been enquiries at UNE from students as young as 14 – have the potential to have made significant advances in their degree programs around the same time as their peers are thinking about commencing higher education programs.

“We are talking about some pretty incredible minds joining UNE, and we want to ensure that their learning experience is shaped through excellence and opportunity right from the outset.”

UNE will offer six first-year units in 2011 – in Philosophy, Psychology, Law, Maths, Chemistry and Biology – meaning that students can begin their degree programs while still at school.

The other unique advantage for students enrolling in UNE’s Gifted and Talented Pathways program is the opportunity to undertake their higher education studies via UNE’s distinguished distance education program. “This has exceptional benefits for these students, who are located throughout NSW,” Ms Woodberry said, “as it eliminates the additional pressures they may face by having to commit time to travelling to a campus after school hours.

“UNE’s program has the potential to reach the State’s most gifted and talented students wherever they are. This is a huge bonus for regional and remote high school students who simply can’t make it to a university campus.”

“This initiative reflects the University of New England’s continued commitment to meeting varying student and study needs and ensuring access and equity for all – including the State’s most exceptional minds,” she said.

Information on UNE’s Gifted and Talented: Accelerated Pathways program for 2011 can be obtained from the UNE Student Admissions Unit on 02 6773 4411.