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New terms and definitions


Over the next few months you'll see changes in the language we use to explain our admission process. This includes in our emails, publications and websites.

To help you get a better understanding of what this new language is, what it means and how it applies to you, we've put together a list of new terms and their definitions.

New admissions terminology explained

Previous term and definition New term

Upgrading pathways—
The process of undertaking further study to meet eligibility requirements and transfer into a desired program.

Alternative pathways—
A way of showing preparedness for tertiary study. Applicants apply on the basis of life skills and employment experience instead of previous academic achievement. Alternative pathways include sitting the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) and applying on the basis of paid employment experience.

Admission pathway

Bonus points—
Equity schemes, such as QTAC's Educational Access Scheme, distribute bonus points to OP scores or ranks, depending on the severity of an applicant's financial or educational disadvantage.

Bonus ranks—
Subject-based bonus schemes, such as the UQ Bonus Rank Scheme, distribute bonus ranks to a student's entry rank if they have studied certain Year 12 subjects: Languages other than English (LOTE), Mathematics C and university enrichment subjects.

Adjustment factors

Future student—
A person who is considering attending a university and/or lodging an application.

Prospective student

A person who has lodged an application through a Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) or UQ's online application service.

We will continue using this term. The definition hasn't changed – it has been highlighted to point out the difference between an 'applicant' and 'prospective student'.


Bridging study or bridging program—
Students undertake bridging subjects to meet prerequisites through a number of approved providers, including but not limited to Unilearn, QUT bridging courses and UQ College intensive bridging programs.

Bridging course

Direct application through UQ online application service (OLA)—
An application submitted to The University of Queensland, rather than through a tertiary admissions centre.

Direct application

Early offer schemes (i.e. Aerospace Gateway Scheme)—
Not to be confused with Early offer rounds through QTAC.

Early offer

Tertiary preparation program—
Students undertake preparation programs to develop skills for further study. Preparation programs are through approved providers including TAFE (Certificate IV in Adult Tertiary Preparation) and UQ College (Tertiary Preparation Program).

Enabling course

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Alternative Entry Scheme—
While this scheme through the ATSIS Unit is defined as an "experienced-based entry scheme", other factors are also considered.

Experience-based entry scheme

Principal's recommendation / Nominee's recommendation—
A recommendation written by a school principal about the abilities of a particular student.

School recommendation

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