We have had a busy few weeks with visits to NCSEHE by Senior Research Fellow Dr Nadine Zacharias and 2017 Visiting Research Fellow Dr Cathy Stone, as well as the release of the first two reports from 2016 NCSEHE Research and Grant Program.
On Thursday 6th February, NCSEHE welcomed Dr Cathy Stone to present her findings on improving participation, success and retention in online higher education.
The presentation provided an overview of a national project now in its final stages, investigating the effectiveness of practices, support and retention strategies in online learning at Australian universities and at the Open University UK. Cathy discussed the background to this project, its findings and outcomes.
Cathy's presentation slides, and her 'Draft Guidelines for Improving Student Outcomes in Online Learning' are available on the NCSEHE website.
One month into their projects, the 2017 Equity Fellows are making good progress and are on track to meet their first month outcomes.
Each has coordinated their placement times with the Australian Government Department of Education and Training and two Fellows will begin their placements in March following each other’s placement. Each Fellow has an expert group of advisors overseeing their projects.
Associate Professor James Smith and Matt Brett held their first Advisory Board meetings on Friday 24th February. Louise Pollard will hold her first Advisory Board meeting in April. She is currently seeking an Australian university practitioner to participate in elements of her 2017 Fellowship including the study tour to Canadian universities and participation in the 2017 Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS) Conference. Further information can be found here.
The National Priorities Pool (NPP) 2016 project, 'Widening Regional & Remote Participation: Interrogating outreach programs across Queensland', involving the NCSEHE, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Western Australia, is making good progress. The project will explore the impact of HEPPP-funded widening participation activities in schools serving low SES background, regional and remote students and build on understanding the factors–both program-related and external–that affect their participation in higher education.
The first research reports from the 2016 NCSEHE Research and Grant Program were released this month.
'Regional Student Participation and Migration', led by Associate Professor Buly Cardak from La Trobe University, is an Australian-first study, revealing regional students across every state and territory are turning to metropolitan universities at an unprecedented rate.
'Access to higher education: Does distance impact students’ intentions to attend university?', led by Dr Grant Cooper from RMIT University, assessed the impact of geographical location and other background factors linked to achievement (such as socio-economic status [SES]) on students’ intentions to enrol in higher education.
NCSEHE will be hosting Dr Anna Bennet and Associate Professor Seamus Fagan for a seminar on 9th March 2017.
We are looking forward to welcoming Associate Professor Seamus Fagan and Dr Anna Bennett from the University of Newcastle to join us on Thursday 9th March. They will be running a session, 'Access and Widening Participation at the University of Newcastle: Synergies, Strengths and Challenges for Enabling Programs', incorporating group discussion to identify collective areas of interest and focus. RSVP by Monday 6th March to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Nadine Zacharias and I will be attending the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference 2017 in Canberra from 1st to 3rd March.
Nadine will contribute to 'Access and Equity—Showcase of Achievements' and NCSEHE Chair, Erin Watson-Lynn will be a panellist in the closing plenary, 'The Graduate—Entrepreneurs in Action'.
We look forward to seeing many of our colleagues there.
Professor Sue Trinidad
National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education