Media releases

University preference statistics for 2024

12 Dec 2023

THE Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) has released a snapshot of applicants’ preferences for study at university in 2024.

The linked table below shows applicants’ first preferences as at 30 November 2023, 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's NSW HSC students will receive their ATARs at 9am on Thursday 14 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.

Comparisons of preference numbers between universities must take into account the varying sizes of those universities. For example, a large metropolitan university has a larger cohort than a smaller regional university.

Download preference statistics for 2024 admissions*

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

Australian Catholic UniversityJen Rosenberg, National Manager, Strategic Communications
0407 845 634
Australian National UniversityJames Giggacher, Associate Director, Media and Communications
(02) 6125 1236, 0436 803 488
Media and Communications team
Charles Sturt UniversityDavid Neil, Media Manager
0407 332 718
Macquarie UniversityKate Symons, Media Manager
0435 294 123
Southern Cross UniversitySharlene King, Media Officer
0429 661 349
Media unit
University of CanberraDanielle Meddemmen
0408 826 362
University of New EnglandMedia unit
(02) 6773 2551
University of Newcastle

Tegan Brown
Communications Specialist
0431 248 967

University of SydneyClare Masters, Director of Media and PR
(02) 9114 2119, 0414 257 745
Rachel Fergus, Central Media Manager
(02) 9351 2261, 0478 316 809
University of Technology SydneyHeather Nolan, Media and Public Relations Manager
0491 157 409
University of WollongongBenjamin Long, Media & Public Relations Manager
0429 294 251
UNSW Australia

Michaela Boland
External Communications Manager
0402 834 831

Western Sydney UniversityAmanda Whibley, Manager, Media and Public Relations
0418 438 399

* Preference statistics only include UAC participating universities with their main campus in NSW and the ACT. Private higher education providers are not included.

– END –

For further information (media only) email or contact:
Diane Jardine, Communications Coordinator, 0436 459 603, or
Kim Paino, Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer, 0409 155 112.