I see the issue as involving two elements:
- What criterion of an effective selection system does the university want to use?
- What measurement system can be put in place to maximise this criterion?
The first issue is a matter of values and policy. The second issue is empirical.
From The Age article I gather that there is concern for: representation from disadvantaged student groups and academic potential.
“The paper said students in schools with average lower ENTER scores tend to perform better once they get to university than their counterparts from high-performing schools, suggesting that ''preparation in some schools is focused on achieving ENTER, rather than skills for university'” - The Age
The article summarises a few suggestions for improving the selection system:
Civic test or personal essay: My intuition from the selection and recruitment literature is that this would be a poor predictor of actual academic performance. Rating of a personal essay would also probably be highly subjective. However, I imagine it would make for some good stories for the university news letter.
An expansion of special-entry access schemes: I assume that such schemes are based on the aim of improving representation of students from lower socio-demographic groups. This sounds like a noble aim. The key to this is to actually design a system which validly measures whoever is special.
In summary, such policies need to clearly articulate what are issues of values and what are empirical matters.