Uni hopefuls wait for mail.

FIRST round offers of university places went out yesterday to hopeful students around the country, bringing joy to some and disappointment to others.

The total number and type of places offered will not be known until the main round next week, but Southern Cross University (SCU) reported a strong increase in total first preference applications for study in 2010.

There was a 75 per cent increase in the number of offers made via the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre, which issued its main round of offers yesterday. Main round offers via the Universities Admissions Centre will be made on January 20.

Among the most popular courses applied for at the Lismore campus for 2010 are degrees in health science, education, contemporary music and environmental science.

Nearly 1000 prospective students received an early offer to study at SCU in 2010 in mid-December and early January.

Admissions manager Sarah Beresford said about 500 of the early offers made by SCU were to Year 12 students as a result of a successful application through the STAR Entry Scheme, based on their high school principal’s recommendation.

The STAR Entry Scheme is available to students in the region from the NSW Central Coast in the south, west to the NSW/SA border, north to the Darling Downs in Queensland and including the greater Gold Coast.

“We were very pleased to make offers early, giving students the opportunity to relax over Christmas and have time to organise their lives and prepare for their study in 2010,” Ms Beresford said.

Meanwhile, the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) through its tertiary student services adviser, Vince Callaghan, has issued a warning to both prospective and continuing university and TAFE students to approach their higher education decision-making with caution in the face of possible changes to student support arrangements in 2010.

Among the changes being awaited by uncertain students are those to Federal Government relocation and start-up scholarships.

SCU said it would inform students when any changes were confirmed.

The university has a number of equity and academic scholarships through its annual scholarships program, which will be offered to students next week.

SCU is also conducting personalised campus tours, which can be booked at any of the campuses by phoning 02) 6620 3975.

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