This is the transcript for the video Hear from two students who fast-tracked into the UTS degree of their dreams


Hi everyone, I’m Chad. And I’m 25. And I came through Insearch at the… I finished Insearch in 2018, after doing an accelerated course of architecture, which is now split between that and design. I came to Insearch after doing two years of finance and science degree at [UNSW 00:00:28] . For me, personally, I wasn’t particularly ready to do the degree or career that I saw that best suited me, which was architectural. I didn’t even know that I wanted to do that. So when I realized in my first degree that I wasn’t enjoying it, I stopped putting in effort. I couldn’t really… I wasn’t getting good marks, so I couldn’t transfer internally or externally using my marks from UNSW. So I looked for other methods through which to get into university. I found Insearch. I made the decision to move from finance to architecture halfway through the year, which doesn’t work for a architecture degree because they only take intake at the beginning of each year.

So I didn’t want to waste that time. So Insearch was a really good opportunity to look into using those extra months between the middle of the year and the March intake to do all of my credit points for my electives in one go. It turned out that I didn’t need the grade from Insearch to get into architecture at UTS. My existing grades were enough, but it was always very supporting of my studies to know that as long as I got my marks at Insearch, I was guaranteed a spot at UTS. So that worked very well for me. I really enjoyed Insearch because I left ULSU and came to Insearch when I was 22, I believe. And I was looking for a different university experience where I came from finance and economics and science, where it’s these massive classes and lectures of 400 plus people.

And your class would have 30 to 35 students sometimes, and I needed something a bit more hands on, a bit more… Where I would enjoy that my tutor on my electro would know my name, which was very important to me. And I feel like I could reach out and get in contact with them. So Insearch gave me that opportunity and showed me there was a different way to receive education.

I also found that in the classes, they had something called peer mentors, which were students who had recently finished Insearch and were doing the degree that I was aimed to get into over at UTS. And they were brought in as assistance. Now, when I finished Insearch, I was offered the opportunity to be a peer mentor for the incoming classes at Insearch. And I really enjoyed that. I just took the opportunity and I’ve been doing it for about two or three years now. And to me, it was a really valuable opportunity to start viewing my tutors and academics and people who were teaching me over at UTS, as people and as coworkers and not necessarily somebody to fear or anything like that. And it changed my relationship with people who I saw as higher up than me on the academic ladder. So, and having that experience then led me on when I moved to UTS to have a bit of a different perspective on how to work and how to do and how to interact with my teachers. 

For me, I find it very important to do well at the things you want to do, especially now when the world’s so uncertain, especially like people coming through HSC and going through Insearch and all that. And for me, I believe that anybody can do anything they put their mind to, and if possible, and if you’ve got sorry… And if you want to do something, want to get something, it’s very important that you put everything into it. And for me, that’s what doing work during this time. It’s like, I’m also doing work now during these really stressful, tough moments, but as long as you’re putting your mind to it and working hard and creating these good habits that, if you do could do these good habits now, when the world eventually becomes an easier place to work in, you’re going to do great, everyone’s going to do really, really well.

So I know that a lot of people are really stressed about the marks, and how it’s all going to turn out. But the reality is, take it from me, somebody who’s taken extremely round about path to get to the degree or career I want to be in. It’s not a race, it’s a marathon. You’re just doing, putting one foot in front of the other. If you have to take one step backwards every now and then, it’s not the end of the world, you’ll get there. Right? And Insearch as a pathway is one of those different ways into getting somewhere you want to be. I work at, sorry. My university studies at UTS, it’s about a 50/50 split between students who have come straight out of HSC and students who are either mature age or come through Insearch.

Now, for me personally, I actually prefer working with students who are through Insearch or have taken a bit of a time before coming into architecture, because, it gives you a bit of life experience and a bit of time to do, to develop these study habits and techniques. So don’t view yourself as any less from having gone through another pathway. It actually, when you get to university is a huge asset, because you’ve also created relationships with people who have come through Insearch already. It creates a system where you now have experience dealing with this cycle of selfdirected learning, which is very different from HSC, where you are spoonfed a lot of the work and knowledge, and what you need to do by your teachers. Where in university it’s you, who are doing the learning and finding the work. And are just receiving feedback from people about how to do better, how to do what, et cetera, et cetera.

Anyway, I hope that was a valuable story for you all to hear. And I really hope that you consider Insearch as a possible pathway into getting into UTS because not only is Insearch a very well put together institution in terms of making sure that all the students feel valued and that they’ve got the support they need and can contact anybody and can contact support systems and help, and tutors and mentors and a whole bunch of other opportunities. It’s also a great method through which to build connections before you get to the university that you want to go to. And UTS is a great university you go to as well. I’ve been to two now, two different universities, and I really enjoy UTS. So thank you for listening to my story.


Hello everyone. My name is Nadia Al Ali. I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney. I was given the opportunity to study there through a pathway that I want to talk to you about today, which is at UTS Insearch. So in 2015, I graduated from high school. Didn’t really do well in HC, but I found this opportunity to study the course that I wanted, which was architecture, just by frustratingly typing into, get into architecture now. And I found UTS Insearch and they will offer him a diploma course, that would cover the majority of the electives and will allow me to transition into UTS quite smoothly. And I wouldn’t have to do the subjects again. It was a beautiful opportunity that I will never take for granted, especially when you’re coming out of high school, you find that you’re quite in the safe zone, safe place, you’re going to be hit with reality. When your, as diverse as me being a Muslim and a domestic student here in Australia, you’re faced with animosity, racial slurs. And it’s quite weird when you leave your high school safe place, and you’re faced with this.

But when you go to a place like UTS, Insearch you find, “Oh, wow, there are people like me and I’m safe. And I can do my degree in peace,” and you’re more comfortable. And the environment that’s offered there is to make sure that you constantly feel safe. And you have the means to study the course that you would like. UTS Insearch gave me the opportunity to find my calling. I always wanted to help people in a particular way through architecture, peer mentoring was what was offered to me. And it’s something that’s made me realize I do want to become an architecture lecturer one day.

And one of the teachers just said, “Look, I think this would be a really great fit for you.” And I gave it a go and I would assist people on certain days of the week. It wasn’t a matter of money. I found that even though you were making some side money as a student, even though that’s beneficial, you find that helping people and seeing their satisfaction when they tell you, “Thank you, I’ve improved in my marks.” It’s something that makes put a smile on your face, but you’re constantly learning things from them as well. And you realize your potential. And UTS Insearch was all about me finding my potential and learning things about myself, that I didn’t realize. UTS Insearch gave you programs and assistance that you won’t really find anywhere else. So things like ESL classes for people who are struggling with English, and want to catch up with their subjects. People who don’t understand their assessments, there were constant assessment reviews where you could meet up with a counsellor and make sure that you understand the brief and you’re on the right track.

There were also people who are struggling to find or make friends, especially if you’re coming from outside of the country, UTS Insearch would constantly send fortnightly emails about mixers or social events that are happening at the Institute, which was really, really fun.

Majority of the friends that I made were at the common room downstairs, playing chess, Uno, just talking about our assignments. It wasn’t even from the same faculty or stream. Some people were studying engineering. Others were studying medical science and me with architecture. It’s just really interesting. You meet new people, you have fun, and you feel very confident about yourself. You’ll find that they’re in the same position as here. So you don’t feel as unsettled as you thought you would be. Anyone who is struggling to find a place, where to eat, where to go, where to sleep, where to relax, where to study. UTS Insearch offers some guidance in terms of where to go, some pamphlets, events that will inform you of particular areas at the Institute that you can attend. And you can go to so that you don’t feel as lost. Even as a domestic student, I found it hard to find my way. [inaudible 00:12:21] is a big place, but INSERCH offered a particular outlet for me that allowed me to situate myself quite easily.

When trying to even settle in, after you finished your diploma degree and coming into UTS itself, you’ll find that you’re going to adjust quite comfortably. And there are many people who have come from the same pathway or same stream as you have. There is absolutely no shame in studying and doing a diploma. I know that sometimes in life you have a plan you want to graduate high school, get a great A top, get into the degree or bachelor that you wanted, study the masters and go straight into the workforce. But at the end of the day, life doesn’t turn out the way that we planned. And I wouldn’t go back in my time and change anything. I love the way that things happen for me and I’m eternally grateful for that particular opportunity. Not only do I find my calling for the plan in the future that I want to do, but I ended up doing the course that I desired and thank you Insearch.