Australian higher education is currently entering a new phase of growth. Within the remit of this expansion is an express commitment to widen participation in higher education among under-represented groups – in particular those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. This paper argues that one key mechanism for achieving this goal should be the re-evaluation of university selection processes. The paper explores outcomes of an aptitude test pilot study, focusing on issues of access and equity in selection to university. The results show that, in general, those who gain access to university on the basis of results in the aptitude test have different characteristics than are found in the general university population – in particular, they are more likely to come from a low socioeconomic background. The outcomes of the pilot are important in demonstrating how equity in access to higher education can be improved through the use of supplementary selection metrics.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/tim_friedman/24/