Parramatta resident Ben Sloggett is looking forward to hanging out with lizards, snakes and frogs when he goes to university.
Mammal and reptile houses on campus was one of the reasons why the 17-year-old chose to study a bachelor of science (zoology) at the University of Western Sydney.
"I've had my eyes set on that course since the beginning of year 11. It was a combination of the course itself, and also the campus which has a reptile house and all the livestock there," Mr Sloggett, who works part time at Featherdale Wildlife Park, said.
There was a 19 per cent increase in school leavers selecting UWS as their first preference this year.
Vice-chancellor Professor Barney Glover, who is also new to the uni, said he looked forward to welcoming the new students to their campuses.
"You will be taught by some of the country's best and most innovative lecturers and researchers, in an approachable friendly environment that strongly values the student experience, and is flexible to students' needs," he said. The courses that received a large, or increased, number of first preferences this year included business and commerce programs, nursing and arts degrees.
Professor Glover said there were still options available for students who didn't receive an offer.
He encouraged students to research the options available to the them.