Walt Disney assured generations of children that "if you can dream it, you can do it". J.K. Rowling has put it this way: "We don't need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already." Both of which merely reinforce that old 17th century English proverb, "To him that will, ways are not wanting".

But for those thousands of Year 12 students who went into their final exams with inspirational quotes tacked to their bedroom walls, results are too often seen as the dividing line between success and failure, writes UNSW Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Students) & Registrar, Professor Joan Cooper, in an opinion piece published in the National Times.

"The media will understandably focus on the state's jubilant 99.95-ers and award winners. But there will be another sizeable group of students that has fallen short of the required ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank), so have missed out on their first, second, third or even all their choices of university courses," Professor Cooper said.

"It shouldn't be so black and white. And, in fact, increasingly it isn't.

"What many students and their parents don't realise is that there are a growing number of alternative pathways to university entry and new ways of acknowledging student achievement on graduation."

Read the full opinion piece at Fairfax's National Times.

UNSW Info Day is on January 5, 2011

Media contact: Judy Brookman, Director of Communications, 9385 3249 | 0421 061 251