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Thank you for your support throughout 2020!

Sarah O'Shea

Professor Sarah O'Shea
Director, NCSEHE

Welcome to our final newsletter for 2020. On behalf of the team at the NCSEHE, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who have supported the Centre throughout 2020.

This year has been like no other, presenting a myriad of challenges for us all, both personally and professionally. I feel the greatest admiration for the extraordinary efforts of everyone across the student equity sector who have gone above and beyond to support our students.

It has been a privilege to be a part of a community which has demonstrated, more than ever, their capacity for collaboration and innovation. I believe it is with this spirit that we will face the new challenges 2021 will bring for student equity in higher education.

One of my greatest inspirations in 2020 has been the resilience, determination and resourcefulness of our students. As such, it gives me great pleasure to present a final video from our student vlogging team, offering their personal reflections on some of the challenges and opportunities that 2020 has brought to each of them:

My Story — Student Voice: Reflections on 2020

NCSEHE student vloggers Ana Larsen, Monica Dinh, Jeevan Kullar and Abbey Sullivan

In March 2020, the NCSEHE invited eight university students from diverse backgrounds to document their personal experiences of living, working and studying during COVID-19 by recording regular video blogs.

In this final compilation video, Monica, Jeevan, Ana and Abbey offer an overview of their year, and consider what higher education should look like in the future, in light of lessons learned in 2020.

We would like to thank all of the 2020 NCSEHE student vloggers for their generosity, dedication, enthusiasm and good humour. Without them, this project could not have been possible.

Watch My Story — Student Voice: Reflections on 2020 

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Vulnerable learners in the age of COVID-19: A scoping review

Two children studying at home

A new article by NCSEHE researchers examines key issues for vulnerable learners during COVID-19 and beyond.

The scoping review offers an overview of approaches to managing school closures, as well as literature related to young people learning outside of school.

Written by Dr Catherine Drane, Dr Lynette Vernon (Edith Cowan University) and Prof. Sarah O’Shea for The Australian Educational Researcher, the article consolidates national and international learnings to inform future policy and practice.

Read the open access article

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NCSEHE feature article by Naomi Alberti and Maria Raciti

Illustration of parents and students depicting 'hot knowledge', 'warm knowledge' and 'cold knowledge'

COVID-19 has cooled low SES parents’ access to ‘hot knowledge’ about supporting their university-bound children. But are ‘warm knowledge’ solutions up to the challenge?

In a new feature article, Naomi Albert and Prof. Maria Raciti (USC) discuss the role of the ‘hot knowledge grapevine' for students and parents from low socioeconomic status backgrounds, and how this has been redefined in 2020.

Read the full article

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NCSEHE feature article: Australian university mental health framework launched by Education Minister

Orygen report cover: Australian University Mental Health Framework

A new feature article by Penny Carlson, Senior Program Manager at Orygen, introduces the new Australian University Mental Health Framework released this month.

The Framework provides guidance for universities and the mental health sector to support and enhance students’ mental health.

Informed by consultation with student representatives, the university sector, mental health sector and government, the final report also cites NCSEHE-funded research and work by NCSEHE Research Fellow Nicole Crawford.

Read the feature article

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Event wrap-up — World Access to Higher Education Day Australasia

Screenshots from World Access to Higher Education Day

The NCSEHE and Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia (EPHEA) invited equity practitioners from Australia and New Zealand to a Zoom celebration on 17 November to launch World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED) 2020.

Over 200 national and international delegates joined us to hear keynote speaker Professor Sally Kift on Equity and the ‘Anxiety Machine’: Fitting your own oxygen mask first, as well as a student panel highlighting the wide-reaching impact of equity practitioners in higher education.

To conclude the event, participants then joined a selection of Zoom-friendly wellness activities including desk yoga, an online scavenger hunt and a mandala workshop!

View the event recording and slides

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WAHED 2020 ‘Champions for Change’

WAHED Champions for Change banner with text: Do you know a Champion for Change? #WAHED2020

As a central component of WAHED 2020, we asked students and staff to nominate someone they felt had demonstrated being a ‘Champion for Change’. These ‘Champions’ have been recognised for repeatedly going above and beyond to ensure that students are supported.

The 54 national and international nominees are featured on the NCSEHE website and will receive a commemorative pin as well as individual recognition through the NCSEHE and EPHEA social media channels.

Congratulations to all of the WAHED Champions for Change!

View the 2020 nominees

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Webinar recording: Tips for outreach staff on how to evaluate outreach programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

Katelyn Barney, Maria Raciti and Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews

The NCSEHE hosted an online panel discussion on 23 November, conducted as part of Dr Katelyn Barney’s 2020 NCSEHE Equity Fellowship.

Katelyn’s research focuses on developing evidence to demonstrate success factors and highlight areas to strengthen outreach initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Prof. Maria Raciti (USC) presented Evaluating Indigenous outreach programs in five steps, while Prof. Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews (UTS) spoke on Indigenous data sovereignty and centring Indigenous voices in research evaluations. 

View the webinar recording, slides and transcript

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New playlist — What's university really like? Bite-sized insights from NCSEHE vlogger Monica Dinh

Monica Dinh

UTS U@Uni Ambassador and NCSEHE student vlogger Monica Dinh is frequently asked, "what is uni really like?"

In this essential playlist for high school students, Monica shares her unique insights into the university experience, from first-day experiences to subject and course selections and plenty in between!

View the playlist

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ADCET student forum: Thriving through COVID

Members of the research team for the 'Thriving through COVID' student forum

On Wednesday 9 December, the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) invited university and TAFE students with disability to participate in a student forum supported by the NCSEHE — Thriving through COVID.

While the disruptions and uncertainties of 2020 have caused difficulties for many students, some have thrived in their studies during this time. This forum aimed to discover some of the factors that enabled thriving, and to generate ideas of how to support more students with disability to thrive more often.  

Thirty-three participants shared their experiences of what worked well, generating ideas to extend these positives, and then designing these into prototypes. ADCET is looking forward to sharing the findings from the forum and exploring potential opportunities to continue co-designing the ideas with students.

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Registrations open: 2021 NCRRRE Conference

NCRRRE Conference registrations

Registrations are now open for the National Conference for Regional, Rural and Remote Education (NCRRRE) between 21–23 April 2021.

We look forward to partnering with the Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia (SPERA), Country Education Partnership, Barossa Campus, Country University Centre and Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia (EPHEA) for this exciting event in the Barossa Valley.

More information

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Important dates

In accordance with the Curtin University shutdown, the NCSEHE will close for the Christmas period on 17 December and will reopen on 11 January. If you should have an urgent enquiry during this time, please email ncsehe@curtin.edu.au and we will endeavour to respond as soon as possible.

We look forward to seeing you in 2021!