In 2008 the university sector admitted 46 per cent of all domestic undergraduate students on the basis of secondary education, 24 per cent on the basis of previous higher education study, 9 per cent on the basis of a vocational education award course, 6.4 per cent on the basis of mature age or special entry provisions, and 15 per cent on some other basis. These rates have been largely stable since 2000.
Sub-bachelor programs, such as associate degrees, higher education diplomas and advanced diplomas, and foundation and bridging programs have proven to be particularly effective pathways for members of equity groups to access higher education. Some of these programs are tailored to the needs of specific groups and they may be offered in partnership with regional TAFE institutes and other institutions that cater for members of equity groups. Currently government funding for places in these programs is capped, which limits the full effectiveness of this pathway.
Individual universities are continually working on improving the access pathways for students approaching from non-traditional entry points. Such pathways include formal arrangements between universities and TAFEs, outreach programs to schools and communities, recognition of prior learning systems and free, short non-award 'sampler' courses, often provided via online methods.
Potential students who may be interested in attending university are encouraged to contact institutions directly for advice.