university head start through a higher education study (HES)

Apply Now for a HES through CHES here.

We are proud to partner with several universities in delivering Higher Education Studies (HES) for high-achieving government school students across Victoria. 

Below are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Higher Education Studies and the key dates in applying for enrolment. 

Enrolling in a Higher Education Study (HES) subject at CHES

Apply to study

Apply to study

Apply Now for a HES through CHES here.

The Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES) offers high-ability and high-achieving students from government schools across Victoria the opportunity to study a HES (first year undergraduate subjects).

Students accepted into a HES subject at CHES will also have access to our Student Enrichment Series with masterclasses, seminars and mentoring opportunities available through our university partners.

HES through CHES

How do I apply to enrol in a Higher Education Study (HES) through CHES? What are the prerequisites?

Students will not be required to undertake an entrance exam to enrol in any CHES programs. A simple online application for enrolment is available on our Apply Now page. 

The student application includes two parts: one section to be completed by you and your parent/carer and another by your school.

Your school Principal will be asked to share some of your academic data, a statement that confirms your suitability for a CHES program and any special or extenuating circumstances. Your application must be approved by your Principal.

It is expected that you will have the capacity or potential for independent and collaborative learning. In addition, the HES that you’re applying for should reflect your prospective study and career pathway.

Some HES studies require you to have completed a prerequisite VCE subject or require you to undertake a specific VCE subject whilst completing your HES (a co-requisite). See the Higher Education Studies handbook for further information about prerequisite and co-requisite VCE subjects. This is a two-page summary Overview of all CHES Higher Education Studies and Prerequisites.

To be eligible for a HES through CHES you must:

— be enrolled in VCE or IB in Victoria in the year you intend to participate (i.e., undertake at least one VCE Unit 3 and 4 whilst studying the HES)

— at the conclusion of your secondary studies you must have completed a minimum of four VCE Units 4 subjects or equivalent IB studies and

— meet the prerequisite or corequisite subject requirement for the HES as outlined in the CHES Higher Education Studies Handbook.

To be considered for any CHES program you must be currently undertaking the majority of your studies at a Victorian government school. You must also maintain your enrolment in a Victorian government school, as your main school, for the duration of your program at CHES.

Please note that universities may have additional eligibility criteria for each of their HES. The CHES Higher Education Studies Handbook will indicate if there are additional academic standards or other requirements for acceptance into specific subjects. Links to university webpages are included in the CHES Higher Education Studies Handbook.

How many HES can I apply for?

You will be able to enrol in only one HES. However the application process enables you to apply for up to two HES. If you are not accepted into your first preference, you may be eligible for your second preference if you meet the selection criteria.

How will my application be assessed?

Ultimately, universities retain the autonomy to determine which students will be enrolled in their HES courses. The allocation of student places to HES will be based on merit with consideration to the principles of excellence and equity. An enrolment committee convened by the CHES Principal will assess each application. There is no limit on the number of applications that can be received, nor the number of students that can be enrolled at CHES, from any one school. Every application will be given equal consideration.

The CHES enrolment committee will review applications and provide recommendations to each university. The committee will assess each application, including each student’s current and likely attainment levels (including current performance in any prerequisite subjects if applicable). The process will also consider written statements from you and from your school that provides insight into your suitability to undertake a HES through the CHES. Students may be invited for an interview with the CHES Principal should additional information be required.

Who teaches the HES subjects?

University staff (academics, lecturers and tutors) will deliver the curriculum, teaching and assessment of the HES subjects. CHES staff will provide ongoing support and guidance to you and will work closely with the university and your school to support your success.

When are classes held?

The timetable will be confirmed as soon as possible. It is anticipated that classes will be available both during and outside normal school hours to minimize clashes with your other VCE classes. We are implementing a hybrid and flexible (hy-flex) approach to scheduling and delivery of sessions to accommodate as many high-achieving students as possible from across the State.

Some subjects may require attendance during school hours, with the option of attending online or on-site, and there may a small number of full-day or half-day seminars held during school holidays. These dates will be advised as soon as practicable so that you can plan ahead.

What is the time commitment? What are the attendance requirements?

The time requirements for each HES are equivalent to the time allocation for a standard VCE study.

You will be able to attend online or on-site for HES classes. The number of classes and the time commitment each week depends on the subject studied. Each HES will have a compulsory attendance requirement that is similar to existing VCE attendance requirements at school. In addition to formal class time all subjects will require a certain number of hours of self-study each week. In terms of assessments CHES will work closely with universities to try to minimize clashes with VCE exams and other major VCE commitments and you will be notified if there is a requirement to attend in person for any major exams or assessments.

HES through CHES

Key Dates

Key Dates


Applications open for 2024 HES programs


Information Evening (online) – Session 1


Information Evening (online) – Session 2 (this is a repeat of Session 1)

THURSDAY, 31 AUGUST 11.59PM 2023

Applications close for 2024 program (late applications will not be accepted)


Outcomes of application will be emailed to the student and their school.

Students will receive either:

Yes: an unconditional offer of acceptance

Yes: a provisional offer (pending semester 2 results)

No: the application was declined. Due to: the selection criteria was not met, or places on the course were filled by students who achieved a higher ranking, or the course has not attracted a suitable number of applicants.


CHES will communicate updated outcomes to all students (and their schools) for round 1 and round 2 offers.

Applications for HIGHER Education Studies in 2024 are now open.

Apply Now

further information on enrolment is available here.

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