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Clever Country: The importance of investing in regional and remote students

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The University of Western Australia

35 Stirling Hwy

Crawley

Perth, WA 6009

Australia

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2017 National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education Equity Fellowship Symposium

This symposium brings together a panel of experts from across Australia to discuss ways to support regional and remote students to succeed in higher education. The purpose is to explore the value of investing in higher education from the perspective of the individual, community and the university sector and to question what we need to do to become a truly ‘clever country’.

This symposium will be hosted by 2017 Equity Fellow Louise Pollard and feature the following speakers:

  • Professor Grady Venville, Dean of Coursework Studies, The University of Western Australia (Chair)
  • Professor Sally Kift PFHEA, President, Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows, Former DVC (Academic), James Cook University
  • Professor Steven Larkin, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Education and Research, University of Newcastle
  • Tyson McEwan, UWA Guild Welfare Officer, current university student and graduate of Geraldton Secondary College
  • Vicki Ratliff, Director, Equity Policy and Programmes, Department of Education and Training
  • Tim Shanahan, Chair, Western Australian Regional Development Trust
  • Professor Sue Trinidad, Director, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education

The symposium will be held in The University Club of Western Australia Auditorium, and refreshments will be provided.

Participants should arrive at 1:45pm for a 2pm start.

Please note: Travel, accommodation and other expenses are the responsibility of the attendee.




About Louise Pollard's NCSEHE Equity Fellowship project

Remote Student University Success: An Analysis of Policy and Practice

This 2017 Equity Fellowship is focused on remote students' participation in higher education, exploring issues relevant to these students and identifying ways in which they can be supported more effectively by the higher education sector and Australian Government. Good practice examples from across the sector are being examined and the Fellowship is being informed by a study tour to Canadian universities and a secondment to the Department of Education and Training.

The Fellowship also involves analysis of national datasets that has focused attention on the cohort of remote students in higher education in a new and innovative way. This includes the development of a comprehensive summary of remote students engaged in university that includes the following characteristics for the 2015 student population[1]:

  • 9007 students were identified as being from remote (and very remote) Australia
  • 9.47 per cent remote students were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • 51.54 per cent of remote students were studying via distance education;
  • 49.38 per cent of remote students were studying part time;
  • 67.83 per cent of the students identified as being female; and
  • 0.47 per cent of the students were identified as being from high socioeconomic areas with 40.67 per cent of the students being from low socioeconomic areas

This dataset forms an important part of the analysis being conducted through the Fellowship. It may challenge assumptions made about the cohort and will help the sector, and government to refine and target strategies to support remote student success in higher education.

This Fellowship will address a neglected area of research to deliver positive outcomes for remote students, their communities and all who support access, participation and success for university students across Australia.



[1] University Statistics Team & Higher Education Information Management System, Department of Education & Training

Image courtesy of Aspire UWA and Matthew Galligan

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The University of Western Australia

35 Stirling Hwy

Crawley

Perth, WA 6009

Australia

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