ANU will revamp the way it deals with student admissions and move away from judging students only on their year 12 ATAR results under changes announced by Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC.
Professor Schmidt announced a series of new initiatives to attract the best students and early to mid-career researchers to ANU, and to help ANU work more collaboratively with business and government, in a speech to mark the University's 70th anniversary.
He said ANU would change the way it admits students by looking beyond an ATAR score and recognising co-curriculum and community contributions of potential students.
"ANU will lead the country in changing the way that universities admit students. Students applying to ANU will be considered on the whole person, not just their ATAR score," he said.
"All students applying to ANU will have co-curriculum and community contributions recognised. Our scholarship program will be national and take into account outstanding academic results, non-academic achievement and financial need.
"These changes will be implemented over the next couple of years, and will enable students applying to ANU to also apply for scholarships and accommodation, all at the same time."
Professor Schmidt said ANU would introduce start-up grants to help the University attract high-potential early and mid-career researchers.
"These funds will also give these researchers the freedom to embark on their big ideas at the height of their creativity, free of the constraints of overly conservative grant funding," he said.
"This investment is really an investment in the long-term future of brilliant people and in the long-term future of this University."
Since becoming Vice-Chancellor, Professor Schmidt has also committed the University to work more collaboratively with business, industry and government.
To build on his vision, ANU is introducing a suite of courses and degrees on entrepreneurship catering to everyone from undergraduates to existing professionals, and will appoint a new Business and Industry Advisory Board to advise on how the University can improve its links with business.
Professor Schmidt announced Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer had agreed to serve as Chair of the Business and Industry Advisory Board.
With education at the heart of ANU, Professor Schmidt also announced a new award of Distinguished Educator to recognise the most outstanding teachers at the University.
He said the University would also introduce a Post-Doctoral Fellowship program for Indigenous PhD graduates, designed to develop academic careers and strengthen and generate research on Indigenous issues.
He also committed ANU to gender balance in senior leadership roles and committed to a 50-50 hiring policy for senior jobs including Deans, Directors and Head of Schools, the University Executive and administrative executives.
"The ANU collective vision is clear," he said.
"We want to be a university and a community that thinks big and bold, that is audacious in ambition, and a university that stands and is counted amongst the best in the world.
"We want to be a university that is distinctive in its service of the nation and the world.
"And we want to be a university that brings students from across the country, the region, the world, from all social backgrounds and all economic circumstances, and brings them together in a community of learning that gives them the grounding and confidence to change the world."