Media releases

University preference statistics for 2020 admissions

05 Dec 2019

THE Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) has released its university preference statistics for 2020 – a snapshot of applicants’ preferences for study at university in 2020.

When applying for university, applicants are advised to list their preferences in the order they would most like to receive an offer with the course they would most like to do first, followed by the course they would like to do second, and so on. An applicant’s preferences are considered in the order in which they are listed.

The following table shows applicants’ first preferences as at 30 November 2019, however, applicants can change their preferences as often as they wish – and often do – so these numbers change daily.

It is important to note that first preference statistics should be used with caution as an indicator of demand for a particular institution or perceived variations in the quality of institutions.

Year 12 applicants tend to include more preferences than other undergraduate applicants, with many listing the maximum five preferences. In many cases the courses they include as their first and second preferences are ‘wishes’ – courses they would really like to receive an offer for but which, in previous years, had a cut-off higher than the rank they expect to achieve.

Non-Year 12 applicants tend to list fewer than five preferences, often including only two or three preferences in their application. They appear to have more focus, most likely because they have other factors to take into account when selecting their courses – work, family and/or time commitments.

All applicants can change their preferences at any time but most preference changes happen after the release of the ATAR. This year, NSW HSC students receive their ATARs at 1pm on Tuesday 17 December. Based on figures from previous years, UAC expects about 20,000 of these students to change their preferences after receiving their ATAR with a realistic appraisal of courses to which they may qualify for admission.

Download preference statistics for 2020 admissions.

For further information about these statistics, call individual institutions on the numbers given below.

University Contact
Australian Catholic University Jen Rosenberg, National Manager, Strategic Communications
(02) 9739 2513, 0407 845 634
Australian National University James Giggacher, ANU Media
(02) 6125 7979
Charles Sturt University Jessica Mansour-Nahra, Manager, Media
(02) 6338 6667, 0447 737 948
Macquarie University Lucy Mowat, Media Advisor
(02) 9850 1055
Southern Cross University Sharlene King, Media Officer
Media unit
University of Canberra Tara Corcoran, Communications Officer
0408 826 362
University of New England Milly Taylor, Manager, Business Intelligence & Data Governance
(02) 6773 2177

Media unit
(02) 6773 2551
University of Newcastle Lou Morrissey, Deputy Director Communications and Media
(02) 4985 4374, 0419168 940
University of Sydney Shehana Darda-Teixeira, Head, Media and PR
(02) 8627 9104, 0418 238 373

Verity Leatherdale, Manager, Faculty Media and PR
(02) 9351 4312, 0403 067 342
University of Technology Sydney Terry Clinton, Media & PR Officer
(02) 9514 1623, 0419 293 261
University of Wollongong Andrew Herring, Media & Public Relations Manager
(02) 4221 5501, 0410 456 676
UNSW Australia Freya Campbell, Director of Corporate Communications & Government Relations
0412 192 979
Western Sydney University Amanda Whibley, Manager, Media and Public Relations
(02) 9678 7084, 0418 438 399

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For further information (media only) email or contact:
Diane Jardine, Communications Officer, UAC on (02) 9752 0775, or
Kim Paino, General Manager, Marketing and Engagement, UAC on (02) 9752 0760 or 0409 155 112.