Allan Reinikka

UQ throws weight behind change to OP system

QUEENSLAND's largest university is backing changes to the state's OP system, suggesting the one-to-25 ranking for high schoolers does not give enough information to decide on the best-performing students.

On Tuesday, Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek announced a review of the "overall position" or OP system and the process of entering university.

This would be its first major examination since the OP was installed in 1992.

The government is paying Australia Council for Educational Research $500,000 for the investigation, which will be released before the end of July next year, but not be put in place until at least 2016.

UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Joanne Wright said she would appreciate a system allowing "greater precision" when it came to making decisions about who was admitted.

She said it was difficult for the university to find the best students from peers who may have been given the same broad OP rank.

Nationally, Queensland is the only state which does not fall under the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank system which has a maximum of 99.95, with grades going up or down by 0.05.

Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre takes charge of all university entries in Queensland, translating OPs to an ATAR for those keen to study interstate.

QTAC spokeswoman Pat Smith said the group would work with the government to ensure universities could admit the best possible students.

The current crop of Queensland Year 8 students are likely to be the first affected by any changes.