LA TROBE courses may be more accessible for regional and remote students after the university introduced new entry pathways.
The two new programs will allow students to complete a single university subject or a number of micro-subjects to gain an ATAR-equivalent score for 2021 courses.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students) Jessica Vanderlelie said the changes would allow students to gain a university place with a lower ATAR score.
"We know that ATAR isn't always the best predictor of success at university and that a lot of students are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their studies and ATAR," she said.
Read other news: Coronavirus survey | Tell us how COVID-19 has affected your life
"Our alternate pathway options provide students with the chance to take a university subject free of charge and online, and we will use their achievement to calculate ATAR equivalence.
"These pathways will allow students impacted by disruption of COVID-19 to show what they can do in a university-level subject and also for those who are currently on a VCAL track to open the door to university now."
The first program, Achieve at La Trobe, will allow year 12 students to complete one first-year subject in either July or November.
The other program, Prepare for La Trobe, will allow VCE, HSC, and VCAL students to complete up to six micro-subjects from an online program available in July, September, November, and January.
Professor Vanderlelie said La Trobe hoped the pathways would make university more accessible to students from regional and remote backgrounds.
"The opportunity to take these subjects online means that regional students will have access to a greater number of subjects than ever before and that their achievement is directly used as the basis of admission," she said.
La Trobe students have been learning remotely for the past few months as universities moved online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Vanderlelie said remote online learning would continue into the next semester.
"La Trobe continues to work within the Department of Health and Human Services' guidelines for social distancing as we plan our return to face-to-face activities on campus," she said.
"Semester two will see a return of face-to-face learning activities for some subjects. We are prioritising small practical classes that allow students to gain compulsory skills required for progress in their degree.
"All large classes will continue to be delivered remotely and any face-to-face classes will be undertaken within strict social distancing guidelines."
Professor Vanderlelie said more information about the 2021 entry programs could be found at latrobe.edu.au/study/apply/pathways/undergrad
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.