Anna Baroulina is one of 46,000 students whose main round university offer will be revealed online at 6pm on Wednesday by the Universities Admissions Centre.
Both the University of Canberra and Australian National University have reported making 25 per cent more offers to students this year in the main round compared with last. Applications nationally, however, have fallen slightly from last year, from 86,035 to 82,597.
Anna, a 41-year-old mother of five from Wanniassa, has an economics degree from her homeland, Russia, and never thought she would make a major life change to study to be a midwife.
But she says babies are simply "magical" and after having five of her own, she thought she better direct her passions into helping other mothers welcome their own bundles of magic into the world rather than keep going herself.
While Anna has a fairly strong hunch that her application for one of 50 midwifery degree places at the University of Canberra has been successful – having already passed the entry requirements – the bulk of the 2016 undergraduate intake will need to log onto the UAC from 6pm to find confirmation of their acceptance in the main round. A February round will also be available for those who want to change their preferences.
For Anna, the decision to study midwifery was a world away from her experience in economics, working as a specialist manager for companies mostly in the finance world.
If anything, it was thoughts of returning to university to study a master of business administration that consumed her prior to becoming pregnant with her first child 15 years ago.
But by the fourth child, Anna began wondering whether to change course altogether.
"I told my friends, 'don't laugh at me, I want to be a midwife'."
Having given birth to Ivan, 14, Elizabeth, 10, Veronica, 9, Aleksey, 6, and George, 4, Anna said "I probably would have kept going, I just love babies, they are magical, but I said to myself, 'you need to raise them, not produce more of them'."
Her friends encouraged her to make the leap into midwifery and Anna could think of nothing more special than spending her days in a maternity ward helping other mothers and babies.
She was proud to pass the English language test and entry requirements for UC in December and said she hopes her commitment to study will show her children the importance of education and the effort that is required.
UC will be making 1016 offers in the main round this year – a 27 per cent increase on the number of main round offers made last year.
UC also made 1297 offers in the earlier rounds compared with 1082 last year – a 20 per cent increase.
The most popular courses for main round offers are in physiotherapy, arts, nursing and architecture.
The ANU said demand for places had increased by almost 16 per cent on the same time last year, with offers made to more than 3775 new domestic undergraduate students for 2016 so far – 1125 domestic undergraduate offers in the main round, in addition to 2650 offers in the early rounds.
It had made 25 per cent more offers to interstate school leavers than last year, with 855 Canberra school-leavers offered places for 2016.
"We are very pleased that we attract such great students to Canberra from across Australia and offer the most outstanding Canberra students a very good reason to stay in town," said acting vice-chancellor, Professor Margaret Harding.
Growth areas included cybersecurity-focussed degrees, such as the bachelor of international security studies, which increased by 156 per cent and the bachelor of advanced computing, which grew by 80 per cent.
All university applicants have until midnight Wednesday 27 January to change preferences or apply to study.