National approach to early university offers

Education Ministers have today agreed that university offers to secondary school students in 2025 and 2026 should not be issued before September in the preceding year.

The practice of early university offers is not new but became widespread during the pandemic. Different jurisdictions and universities have different arrangements.

Some offers to secondary school students have been made as early as March.

In October last year, Ministers asked the Universities Accord expert panel to look at the issue and provide advice to Ministers.

Evidence suggests that early offers can undermine learning outcomes, contribute to students disengaging from school and unfairly impact students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Accord has recommended that a consistent, transparent national approach to early offers be adopted.

Ministers have agreed that early offers should not be issued before September this year and next year.

Ministers also agreed that a national framework, including how to improve transparency in early offers and admissions, should be developed in time for 2027 commencements.

Education Ministers will write to universities and relevant funding agreements will be updated to reflect this agreement.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Education Jason Clare:

“We need to ensure that early offers aren’t leading to students disengaging from school too early and that there’s more consistency across the board.

“This agreement will deliver a standard approach for the next two years and allow time for further work to be done to develop a consistent and transparent approach moving forward.”