Year 12 students at St Ursula’s College Kingsgrove are proving they haven’t let a pandemic slow them down, with more than half of the class of 2021 already receiving early entry uni offers.

One hundred and one of the 165 Year 12 students at the college have been invited to study at institutions across the country in 2022, including at Australia’s two leading Catholic universities, Australian Catholic University and The University of Notre Dame Australia.

Through early entry programs, school leavers can secure a place in courses prior to taking their final exams, based on criteria which can include their Year 11 results, extracurricular activity and personal circumstances.

With St Ursula’s having reported a similar amount of offers at this stage last year, it represents a fantastic achievement for students and teaching staff alike.

Tomorrow’s leaders

Mary Leask, Principal at St Ursula’s, said the college was exceptionally proud of how hard the students have worked.

“It’s uplifting and inspiring to know that these students have been empowered by their education to continue their learning journey and work towards their dream careers,” Mrs Leask said.

“It also gives the girls a great confidence boost and scope of choice of where to study.”

St Ursula's Kingsgrove courtyard

One hundred and one students have received early university offers so far, with that number expected to grow in the coming weeks.

Mrs Leask said the students deserve enormous credit for the way they have navigated the disruptions of what has been a challenging year.

“It’s a testament to their dedication and perseverance – not just this year, but throughout their years of education” – Mary Leask

“To already see so many of them about to take a big step towards their future and the goals they hope to achieve, in fields they are passionate about, is truly a blessing – their future is our future,” Mrs Leask said.

A students’ perspective

St Ursula’s College Captain, Sienna Williams, is one of the students who has received an early offer for 2022.

Sienna, who has been offered a place at Western Sydney University to study a Bachelor of Psychology, said applying for early entry has given her peace of mind ahead of her final exams.

“I hoped that with this application it would aid in reducing my stress whilst still pushing me to give the HSC my best,” Sienna said.

Students at St Ursula's

Year 12 have been praised for the way they’ve navigated a difficult year.

“Our careers advisors have given us so much support and informed us of all the new early entry possibilities and opportunities as a result of COVID.”

“They have provided us with both encouragement and motivation throughout these challenging times and helped us to see the light at the end of the tunnel” – Sienna Williams

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there

Amina Fisher, St Ursula’s VET Coordinator/Pathways Coach, said the college focuses on providing a whole school curriculum and co-curriculum that prepares students for their next phase of life.

“We have a careers profiling testing system that is really extensive and looks at students’ aptitude, interests and abilities,” Ms Fisher said.

“From that we see which students are recommended for which degrees and do a targeted intervention with those students.”

Ms Fisher said that applying for early entry is all about creating different possibilities and opportunities.

“We like to pride ourselves on giving our students options – don’t be a student who only has one offer, be a student who is able to pick and choose,” Ms Fisher said.

“You don’t know the answer until you ask – you’ve got nothing to lose by having a go.”