Opportunity awaits in OP aftermath

Associate Professor Ruth McPhail will be among Griffith teaching staff offering advice on how to make the most of OP results this Saturday.
Associate Professor Ruth McPhail will be among Griffith teaching staff offering advice on how to make the most of OP results this Saturday.

As the OP rankings signal the next steps into the future for thousands of recent high school students, a Griffith University lecturer is encouraging open minds, versatility and a willingness to change plan if expectations are not met.

Associate Professor Ruth McPhail, who received the 2015 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Griffith University Teacher of the Year, urged anyone with an OP (Overall Position) to see it as a springboard to a career.

“If your expectations have not been met by the OP announcements, I would encourage you to match or replace any feelings of panic with a sense of opportunity,” Associate Professor McPhail said.

“See this as an opportunity to be flexible, to be innovative and to be creative. If it’s not to be Plan A, here’s a chance to explore Plan B or Plan C.”


Griffith University will host Know your OPtions events at its Gold Coast and Nathan campuses on Saturday morning, running from 10am — 2pm.

Anyone who has not received the results they expected, or who has had a change of heart since submitting QTAC or UAC preferences, is invited to attend.

Study advisers and teaching staff, including Associate Professor McPhail, will be on hand to offer one-on-one support and guidance about howto make the most of results.

A live web chat is also available for anyone with queries about changing preferences and pathways and meeting career goals.

“I think we are conditioned so that when our expectations are not met, it bothers us, we see it as a negative. But if we look at these situations in another way, they can be seen as new opportunities,” Ruth McPhail says.

“This is the mindset I would encourage. Your options and possible pathways can be enhanced significantly with a little creativity and versatility in your approach to this situation.”


Associate Professor McPhail was among five Griffith University academics cited for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in the 2015 Australian Awards for University Teaching.

“Receiving an OP of any kind is an opportunity,” she says. “If you see it as a platform from where you can move forward, you can create new options for yourself which could result in an amazing career outcome.

“Sometimes, when you don’t get what you wanted or expected, you get something that works out better because you’re forced to re-evaluate and re-scope your future. Suddenly new possibilities and options emerge that you might not have seen or considered before.”

“It’s also important to remember that university is a new beginning. OPs don’t matter once you come to university as a student. There are lots of opportunities to transition between disciplines at modern universities like Griffith. It’s possible to start a solid, foundation degree and to go on and specialise in an area of your choice.”