Welcome from the Director

Dr Anna Bennett

I am delighted to welcome you to the Pathways and Academic Learning Support (PALS) Centre at the University of Newcastle, which incorporates the English Language Centre, pathway programs, Children's University, Uni4You and Academic Learning Support services.

Our aim is to provide both Australian and international students with an exciting range of educational experiences to enable access to and support through university study. We are committed to providing everyone with an engaging and enjoyable learning experience.

Helping people achieve their dream of tertiary study

The Centre provides pathways, English Language programs, and learning support services, with our staff teaching over 8000 students each year. We are proud of the achievements of our students. Each year they make up a large proportion of commencing undergraduate and postgraduate students. From the platform of readiness for university study they establish in their program, our students go on to participate and excel in the programs of their choice.

Finding the right program for our students

From pathway programs to English Language courses, our Centre provides a supportive environment for students to learn.

Our Open Foundation pathway program is the largest of its kind in Australia, and has been successfully preparing students to enter University since 1974. We also offer our Yapug program, designed to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people qualify for entry into undergraduate degrees at the University of Newcastle.

Our credit-based pathways include our Diploma in Engineering. These are focused courses of study providing students with introductory knowledge and support components as well as degree-specific courses. Upon completion, students receive guaranteed entry and credit towards related degrees.

Our Centre provides comprehensive Academic English language pathways (ELICOS) for direct entry into University of Newcastle programs and Study Abroad, with courses available at the Newcastle campus and online.

Engaging with our communities

Engaging with our communities to widen participation in higher education is fundamental to the University’s access and equity strategy. Our Children’s University and Uni4You teams work closely with local communities, from encouraging 7-14 year olds to discover new learning experiences to running workshops and free activities to engage community members to learn more about university study.

Leading enabling education research

Over time, the Centre has been established as a national leader in the research field of enabling education. We seek to strengthen the research base of enabling education in order to facilitate evidence-based practice and policy-making, and to contribute to key debates around access, equity and widening participation. Our journal, International Studies in Widening Participation, co-published with the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education, has been operating since 2014.

Providing a place of opportunity

We give students at all levels of university study the best chance to succeed through our NUPrep bridging program and through our Academic Learning Support services.

We're proud to deliver flexible and supportive pathways for motivated and talented students - not just to gain entry, but to thrive in their field of study and beyond.

Dr Anna Bennett
Director, Pathways and Academic Learning Support Centre
The University of Newcastle

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.