The Newstep foundation program at the University of Newcastle welcomes applications from people aged 18-20 years who are keen to explore an alternate pathway in


Who can apply?

Newstep foundation studies are specifically available to people aged 18-20 years. You are eligible to apply for Newstep if you meet this age requirement and one or more of the following criteria:

  • you have completed Year 12 but did not meet the requirements for entry to a university degree program;
  • you have not completed Year 12 but have completed a post-secondary academic qualification;
  • you can show documentary evidence that you have not been able to complete Year 12 due to adverse circumstances or disadvantage during senior schooling.

Applicants must be an Australian citizen or have Australian permanent residency status.

Prospective students who are aged 20 years or more are eligible for the Open Foundation pathway program.

Applications based on completion of Year 12 or post-secondary study

Applicants who have completed Year 12 will be assessed for the Newstep pathway program on the basis of their Higher School Certificate qualification (e.g. ATAR results).

Applicants who have undertaken a post-secondary qualification (e.g. TAFE or private college certificate or diploma) may be assessed on the basis of that qualification.

Applications based on adverse circumstances or disadvantage

Applicants who have not completed Year 12 or post-secondary study will be assessed for admission based on documentary evidence that they have experienced adverse circumstances or disadvantage during senior schooling.

Adverse circumstances or disadvantage may include:

  • Disability or chronic illness
  • Interstate transfer
  • Family or personal crisis
  • Excessive family responsibilities
  • Low income background or socio-economic disadvantage
  • Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
  • Arrival in Australia as a refugee
  • Schooling in a rural or isolated region
  • Attendance at a high school which is designated by the NSW Department of Education and Communities as a Priority Funded School.

All applicants will be required to provide documentation to support their application.

For more information on applications, visit How can I apply?