University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings on Friday had some words of advice for aspiring university students.
"Do something that you're passionate about because the idea of coming to university and then doing something you think is desperately dull and not for you [isn't on] ... pick something you really want to do that's intellectually interesting."
Prof Wellings hosted close to 150 of the region's brightest former high school students at a special reception at the Innovation Campus yesterday afternoon.
The invitation-only event was for those who received an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) of between 93.8 and 99.6 following their HSC.
The former students are eligible for a $3000 Vice-Chancellor's High Achiever Scholarship if they enrol at UOW. About 100 of the scholarships were awarded last year.
To be eligible for the scholarship, they must be from one of the university's main drawing areas and name UOW in their first four University Admissions Centre preferences.
Prof Wellings said interest from potential undergraduates across all five of the university's faculties had been high.
"We've got students this afternoon from Bega through to Sydney, and we've got students interested in all the faculties, so large proportions interested in law or joint degrees with law involved, [are] across commerce, science, engineering, the whole range."
Former Shellharbour Anglican College student Lachlan Fredericks was keen to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering (Materials) at the university.
The 18-year-old received an ATAR of 95.5 and begins a cadetship with Bluescope next week, starting work there at the end of the month. He decided UOW was the best fit for him because it was close to home and offered a quality engineering course.
Bijanka Zubonja, 18, wanted to study a double degree of Communications & Media Studies and International Studies (Dean's Scholar) at UOW after achieving an ATAR of 93.9.
"It's close to home and it's ranked well against other universities," she said.
Those planning on heading to university next year have until midnight tonight to change their preferences for the main round of university offers.