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ERIC Number: EJ1094134
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1443-2110
From Data Entry to Evidence-Based Decision-Making: How Data and Analysis Can Drive Improvements in Admissions Policies
Hourigan, Clare
Journal of Institutional Research, v16 n1 p37-51 Jul 2011
Academic standards and performance outcomes are a major focus of the current Cycle 2 Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) audits. AUQA has clearly stated that universities will need to provide "evidence of setting, maintaining, and reviewing institutional academic standards and outcomes" (2010, p. 27). To do this, universities will need to have accurate and extensive data and analysis and will need to show how such data are used to drive improvement in standards across the institution. At the same time, the government's response to the Bradley review encourages and provides opportunity for universities to grow and diversify. However, the Hon Julia Gillard, Minister for Education, has explicitly stated that "if we have equity targets we must have quality targets" (2009, p. 1), and so while growth is expected, academic standards must not be compromised. Admission policies, programs and entry requirements will therefore play a growing role in meeting these objectives. Monash recruits students from a diverse range of educational and social backgrounds. The university has eight campuses, including two overseas and one in regional Australia, and a student population of which more than a third are international. Within this context, it is essential that admission standards are equitable and lead to comparable academic performance of students from a vast range of entry pathways. The Office of Planning & Quality at Monash University has therefore developed an extensive suite of processes for data collection, preparation and analysis to inform admissions-related decision-making. This article will outline the work undertaken to collect, prepare and disseminate a detailed set of admissions data that identifies the entry pathways and academic outcomes of the university's bachelor students. The resulting analytic work is also outlined and the statistical techniques used to assess equivalences between different qualifications are described. Finally, the use of this analysis by senior management to inform decision-making is also discussed. [This paper was first presented at the Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Institutional Research, "Has institutional research come of age in Australia?," in Geelong, 10-12 November 2010.]
Australasian Association for Institutional Research. 546 Gallymont Road, Mandurama, NSW 2792, Australia. +61-2-6367-5347; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A