Tips for starting out @ UWS
VET Pathways at UWS
We have a large number of VET pathways to degree courses. All of these are listed on this VET Pathways website. Here you can check if you're VET course has a pathway and see what credit you'll receive. You can even apply for your credit online.
VET students at UWS
For many years UWS has welcomed students who, like you, have completed VET studies and are using these to enter a university degree. Completing a VET course demonstrates that you're capable of committing to study at a tertiary level. In many cases you'll be eligible to receive academic credit (advanced standing), which is recognition of your VET studies in related degrees. We value VET students who continue with their studies to the next level. They bring important skill sets and build on them to become highly successful graduates.
Differences between VET and uni
When you start at UWS you'll find that things work a little differently. As a result, the transition from VET to university study can sometimes be a little challenging. We offer a range of workshops, programs and events to help you prepare for and settle into your new learning environment.
What other VET students say
In 2009 and 2010 we asked our VET students what their main issues were when shifting to university study. Below are some of the key areas that were identified as well as tips from VET students abou how to overcome them.
As a UWS student you have to use a number of online systems including MyStudentRecords (MYSR) for enrolment, vUWS for School, course and unit information, PlatformWeb for timetables and tutorial registration, the MyUWS student portal and your UWS email account.
Tip: An Education Technology Preparation (ETP) workshop that explains what the various online resources are and how to use them. Get the ETP workshop details online!
Class sizes will often be much larger than at TAFE or College. Most units (subjects) normally have a lecture that all enrolled students attend together and then have a series of smaller tutorials where you have face to face teaching and in depth discussions.
Tip: You won't receive a timetable as such. You need to access PlatformWeb to create your timetable and register for tutorials. Get detailed timetable information online!
Style of learning
VET courses use competency based training as a means of teaching. At university you'll be asked to use a more analytical and theoretical approach to your studies. This can often take some getting used to in the early stages of your course.
Tip: Before staring classes, take some time to look at the learning guides and unit outlines to get an understanding of the kind of work you'll be doing and the resources you need to access. Access your guides and outlines through vUWS.
You can also register for bridging and academic preparation programs in February.
The amount of reading expected at university and the different kinds of texts for each unit is one of the biggest differences between VET and university study.
Tip: You can get some tips on how to read and write for academic purposes. VET students found these workshops to be really valuable and worthwhile. Get the details of the workshops online!
This is a challenging issue for many VET students because assessment tasks at university require writing styles and specific academic conventions that may be new to VET students.
Tip: Your unit outline will contain specific advice about each assessment with explicit criteria and standards. It may also contain models of writing that will be very useful.
Time management and workload
VET students generally find the amount of work in a full time session a little difficult at first. It takes the first teaching session to get the balance that is achievable and works for you.
Tip: Don't let it overwhelm you - many student finds it hard at first. Workshops that teach you to manage your time and workload are really worthwhile especially in the first year when you're settling into your degree and learning to balance home and uni life. Get information about time management workshops online!
Understanding content and assessments
When students first start studying they sometimes need to ask for help to understand content and what is being asked for in assessment tasks.
Tip: VET students have found PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) very helpful. PASS is a series of weekly group learning sessions run by experienced students who have completed the unit they're running. It's proven to boost marks and is voluntary and free. Find out if PASS is offered in your unit!
General help and advice
There are a number of guides and webpages available that provide detailed information on where you can find a helping hand and support for your transition from VET to university study. Check out the getting help webpage!
If you've got questions or want to pick up a brochure, drop in to your Student Central office.
Australian Learning and Teaching Council
Support for this webpage has been provided by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Ltd, an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council or the Australian Government.