Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon


News, information and research on student equity in higher education from the NCSEHE Director, Professor Sue Trinidad.

July was a busy and productive month at the NCSEHE, a highlight of which was the release of our final two 2017 Equity Fellows' reports by Louise Pollard and Matt Brett. These follow on from the publication of James Smith's Equity Fellowship report, Strengthening evaluation in Indigenous higher education contexts in Australia.

We also received the exciting news that the Australian Government Department of Education and Training (DET) has extended funding for the NCSEHE to remain at Curtin University.

The Centre's forward focus is critical in a rapidly shifting world of work and education. As our "Equity 2030" initiative gains momentum, the NCSEHE is working to provide strategic recommendations to shape a more equitable higher education sector in the long term. We very much look forward to continuing this work with the ongoing support of the DET, Curtin University and, of course, you!

Equity Fellowship report — Student equity accountability: A billion-dollar issue

Student equity accountability: A billion-dollar issue

New research by NCSEHE 2017 Equity Fellow Matt Brett (La Trobe University) has identified opportunities for recalibrating and strengthening student equity evaluation in higher education.

Student equity in higher education is universally recognised as a key priority, and significant public funding has been allocated to improving outcomes for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Accountability for performance against clearly defined equity goals is fundamental in measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of this expenditure. I am pleased that stakeholders are currently considering what form this may take.

Read Equity, Performance and Accountability here. 

Tweet Button

Strengthening evaluation in Indigenous higher education in Australia

Strengthening Evaluation in Indigenous Higher Education

We are very pleased to share with you the Summary of Outcomes and Good Practice Principles developed from the NCSEHE Building Legacy and Capacity workshop on Indigenous Perspectives on Evaluation in Indigenous Higher Education in April 2018.

The report builds upon definitions of success in achieving meaningful evaluation of Indigenous higher education to present a set of good practice principles, alongside specific policy recommendations for government; institutions; and NATSIHEC, TEQSA and Universities Australia.

Indigenous Perspectives on Evaluation in Indigenous Higher Education: Summary of Outcomes and Good Practice Principles.

Tweet Button

World Access to Higher Education Day website

World Access to Higher Education Day website

The National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) and NCUK have launched the new website for World Access to Higher Education Day, an event that we are excited to be supporting through a conference on 28 November 2018

The website includes the latest information on the event which will be conducted worldwide, with satellite links uniting each of the countries involved. In line with the "student voice" theme, a number of the NCSEHE My Story participants have contributed to the site, offering an Australian perspective on equitable access to higher education. 

More information about the Australian event is available here — expressions of interest are now open.

Tweet Button

NCSEHE Research Grants Program updates

The NCSEHE conducts an annual Research Grants Program, building a solid evidence base to improve higher education access and outcomes for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Leading up to the publication of the 2017 grants round projects later this year, we will be featuring a series of updates on project activities and preliminary outcomes provided by the 13 research teams. A summary of the first three features is available below:

Success and failure in higher education on uneven playing fields

Success and failure in higher education on uneven playing fields

This research examines students’ aspiration, success and failure within their first experiences of assessment at university to improve knowledge and practice, and better support students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Exploring forms of “capital” that first year university students draw upon from their prior schooling to support their transitional journey into higher education, the research aims to better understand contributing influences on students to ensure success in higher education.

Read more.

People seeking asylum: Access and support in higher education

People seeking asylum: Access and support in higher education

This study explores the complex barriers to higher education facing people seeking asylum in Australia, and evaluates university and community-level support.

Through surveys and interviews with university and community sector stakeholders, and interviews with people seeking asylum, this study examines the impact of scholarships and other enabling initiatives; identifies best practice; and produces greater awareness of engagement and barriers to higher education for this group.

Read more.

Designing equitable principles for performance based funding

Designing Equitable principles for performance based funding

This project aims to outline effective design principles of performance based funding models, to protect and support student equity in Australian higher education.

Drawing on evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom and an analysis of national data sets, the project will explore principles required to support identified student equity groups, and to ensure equitable assessment of admissions, student success, and graduate outcomes.

Read more. 

Tweet Button

2018 SPERA Conference — Call for abstracts

2018 SPERA Conference - Call for abstracts

Abstracts are invited for the 34th National Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia (SPERA) Conference — Access for All: Equity Matters

The Conference sub-themes are based on the 2018 Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education, with confirmed Keynote speakers including Emeritus Professor John Halsey (Flinders University), Associate Professor Jayne Downey (Montana State University) and Denyse Ritchie (The THRASS Institute).

Conducted in partnership with the NCSEHE, the event will be held at Curtin University, Perth on 29-30 November 2018.

More information and submission guidelines.

Tweet Button

2018 STARS and HERDSA Conferences

Lynette Vernon, Sue Trinidad and Sarah O'Shea

The NCSEHE team attended and presented at several events this month, notably the Students, Transitions, Achievement, Retention and Success (STARS) Conference and the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) Conference

Both conferences offered a rich array of valuable presentations and panel discussions. Highlights included the HERDSA student panel who dicussed their personal transformation experiences through higher education, as well as expressing their fears for employability and future opportunities.

We were also fortunate to be joined by doctoral student Franziska Lessky from Vienna. During her time in Australia, Franziska has visited with various experts including Sarah O'Shea at the University of Wollongong to discuss First-in-Family students in higher education.

Tweet Button

'Student Success' Journal Special Issue

Student Success Journal

The latest Student Success Special Issue compiles papers from the 2018 STARS Conference, including a report by the NCSEHE's Lynette Vernon on pathways to tertiary education. New STARS Fellows Dr Linda Leach and Associate Professor Nick Zepke contribute an invited feature article.

Continue reading. 

Tweet Button

First-in-Family web resource

First-in-Family Website

The First-in-Family website is designed to support and inform current and intending university students who are the first in their immediate family to go to university, as well as their families and all of those who work within the higher education sector.

This open resource has been informed by research with a diverse cross-section of First-in-Family students and their families. The project was developed as part of an Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Seed Grant and National Teaching Fellowship.

Read more about the First-in-Family website.

Tweet Button


Kind regards,
Professor Sue Trinidad
National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education