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Welcome to another collation of student equity in higher education news from the NCSEHE.

As we move into March we reflect upon another busy month of important activities and events from the Centre and our associates across Australia and internationally. 

Universities Australia Higher Education Conference 2018

NCSEHE team at the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference 2018

The 2018 Universities Australia Conference, Future Fundamentals, was held in Canberra from 28 February to 1 March. The Keynote Address was delivered by The Hon Bruce Reed (Co-Chair Future of Work Initiative, Aspen Institute) who spoke on the future workforce, while Professor Margaret Gardner AO (Chair, Universities Australia) gave an engaging National Press Club Address. Ministerial and Opposition Addresses were given by Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham and The Hon Tanya Plibersek respectively.

NCSEHE representatives Maria Raciti, Louise Pollard, Nadine Zacharias and myself were among over 1,100 delegates who benefited from the valuable networking and information-sharing opportunities offered by this successful event.

2017 NCSEHE Equity Fellow Louise Pollard shared insights from her forthcoming Fellowship project in a session on regional and remote student success, alongside Prof. Marcia Devlin (RMIT University), Prof. Jonathan Powles (University of New England), Prof. Andrew Taggart (Murdoch University) and Prof John Dewar (La Trobe University). 

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CQUniversity National Forum: Improving the transition and retention of regional students from low socioeconomic backgrounds: ‘A 5Ps approach’

CQUniversity National Forum: ‘A 5Ps Approach’

On Friday 9 February, a National Forum marked the culmination of a National Priorities Pool project focusing on strategies for improving the success of regional university students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Led by CQUniversity (presenter Denise Wood), the national forum was held in partnership with Charles Sturt University, Federation University Australia, University of the Sunshine Coast and James Cook University.

Active group engagement with the subject supported positive outcomes from the Forum. The project team will now be presenting a webinar series based on project case studies; refining an Online Tool for prospective students; and drafting the final report for submission at the end of March. 

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Webinar Series: 'A 5Ps Approach'

Webinar Series: Improving the Transition and Retention of Regional Students from Low socioeconomic backgrounds: A 5Ps approach

Following on from the CQUniversity National Forum, Professor Denise Wood will commence a series of webinars throughout March, relating to the NPP project, Improving the Transition and Retention of Regional Students from Low Socioeconomic Backgrounds: ‘A 5Ps Approach.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about, and contribute to, discussions relating to the outcomes from the project including the ‘5Ps Framework’; an Online Tool providing information and resources for students; and five case studies documenting the impact of applying the ‘5Ps’ Framework in practice.

Workshop dates and registration details.

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Melbourne CSHE and KPMG Seminar: How to achieve … an equitable tertiary education system

Melbourne CSHE and KPMG Seminar: How to achieve … an equitable tertiary education system

The Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at The University of Melbourne and KPMG presented a seminar on 26 February.

Presenters included Andrew Norton (Grattan Institute), Andrew Harvey (La Trobe University) and Professor Martin Doel (University College London Institute of Education), and the session was chaired by Professor Kerri-Lee Krause (La Trobe University).

The seminar was attended by NCSEHE Senior Research Fellow Nadine Zacharias and 2017 Equity Fellow Matt Brett. 

Further information and the live Twitter feed from Matt Brett is available here.

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'International Studies in Widening Participation' – Editor Viewpoint: Widening participation practice and research in the ‘Third Space’

NCSEHE Senior Research Fellow Nadine Zacharias

NCSEHE Senior Research Fellow Nadine Zacharias was welcomed into the editorial team of International Studies in Widening Participation this month. 

The esteemed journal is published by the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre and the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education, the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Editor-in-Chief Anna Bennet explains, "The overarching aim of ISWP is to find ways to challenge and disrupt entrenched historical educational inequalities, especially those powerful forms which are reproduced through discourses that are often insidious and ‘hidden’ from view, and which therefore often operate through subliminal habits, rather than any overt intention to be limiting and exclusionary".

Read Nadine's Editor Viewpoint.

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'What do we know about evaluation in Indigenous higher education contexts in Australia?'

Indigenous student

A paper published in International Studies in Widening Participation 4:2, co-authored by James Smith, Kellie Pollard, Kim Robertson and myself describes current knowledge about evaluation in Indigenous higher education in Australia.

The article draws upon research associated with James's NCSEHE 2017 Equity Fellowship project, Strengthening evaluation within Indigenous higher education contexts in Australia, which will be published in mid-2018. 

Continue reading.

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'Internet of Things (IoT): Education and Technology. The relationship between education and technology for students with disabilities'

Internet of Things (IoT)

A new report authored by Leanne McRae, Katie Ellis and Mike Kent, published by the NCSEHE and Curtin University, details findings of the Curtin University Teaching Innovation funded project Internet of Things (IoT) Education: Implications for Students with Disabilities.

Students with disability commonly use mobile devices to enhance accessibility and learning. This project examined the potential risks and benefits of the IoT for this cohort. 

Internet of Things (IoT): Education and Technology. The relationship between education and technology for students with disabilities provides recommendations and strategic guidance on appropriate IoT solutions for Curtin University, the tertiary education sector and industry.

Read the full report here.

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More HEPPP success stories in the spotlight

Our recent case study publication, Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program: Seven Years On tracks the diverse activities, partnerships, positive outcomes, and sustainable impacts of 35 HEPPP funded programs over time.

During February, we have continued to showcase individual university programs which offer insights relevant to practitioners, researchers and policymakers alike.

The University of Western Australia

Fairway UWA

Fairway UWA is an alternative entry pathway to UWA for students completing Year 12 under difficult circumstances. Open to WA students who face challenging circumstances in demonstrating their academic potential, the program offers support with Western Australian Certificate of Education studies and university aspirations. Students who complete the program are eligible for a placement offer up to 10 points below UWA’s usual admission cut-off.


CQUniversity Retention and Return to Study

Retention and Return to Study aimed to improve the retention and success of CQUniversity students from low socioeconomic (SES) and regional and remote backgrounds by: identifying the factors that contribute to students withdrawing; establishing an evidence base to inform the development of a retention strategy; reconnecting with former students and identifying strategies that could encourage them to return to complete their degree; and providing the supports required to enable former students to return and successfully complete their studies.

Flinders University

Flinders University The River Journey

The River Journey is one of Flinders University's suite of interventions for prospective university students from low SES backgrounds, raising aspiration and enabling access for participation in higher education. The program aims to encourage students to explore and map their education and career futures using the metaphor of a winding river, recognising that life journeys do not always progress in a straight line. Students learn, from upper primary to senior secondary, to consider the benefit of higher education in achieving their career objectives and life goals.

Charles Darwin University

Charles Darwin University - Whole of Community Engagement

Whole of Community Engagement commenced in July 2014, led by the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership at Charles Darwin University. The program aimed to find ways that strengthen pathways into higher education to support the aspiration and expectation of six remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. Using a place-based, Indigenous-led community development approach, the program developed a model which could be applied by agencies engaging with Indigenous communities.

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'Australian and International Journal of Rural Education 28:1'

'Australian and International Journal of Rural Education 28:1'

The Australian and International Journal of Rural Education 28:1 (2018) includes a selection of quality papers including 'University aspirational pathways for metropolitan and regional students: Implications for supporting school-university outreach partnerships' co-authored by NCSEHE Postdoctoral Fellow Lynette Vernon, Stuart Watson and Andrew Taggart (Murdoch University). 

Read the full issue here.

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Special NAEEA issue of 'Student Success'

Special NAEEA issue of 'Student Success'

The newly published Student Success 9:1 features the top ranked research papers from the 2017 National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia (NAEEA) Conference at Southern Cross University (SCU).

Including research from SCU; CQUniversity; James Cook University; and Massey University, the issue centres on the Conference theme, 'Enabling Learning, Enabling Teaching'. 

Access Student Success journal.

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ADCET webinar - Digitising note taking accommodations: Revolutionising the way students work with spoken information

ADCET Webinar: Digitising Note taking Accommodations: Revolutionising the Way Students Work with Spoken Information

The first webinar for 2018 from the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) and the Australian Tertiary Education Network on Disability (ATEND) discussed the use of Sonocent Audio Notetaker by students who require digital note taking accommodations.

Presented by Jim Sprialis, the webinar is available to view on the ADCET website, alongside archived recordings of all previous presentations. 

View the webinar recording on the ADCET website.

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