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Targeted Fellowships address fundamental issues for student equity

The NCSEHE will support two new Equity Fellows during 2019–20 in conducting high-impact studies to advance student equity policy, research and practice.

Dr Nicole Crawford (University of Tasmania) and Dr Katelyn Barney (University of Queensland) will undertake the year-long projects addressing research gaps in the areas of mental health and Indigenous student outreach.

These emerging leaders follow in the footsteps of the six previous NCSEHE Equity Fellows whose research has had sustained national and international impact.

Dr Nicole Crawford’s Fellowship will investigate student-centred, proactive approaches to supporting the mental wellbeing of mature age regional and remote university students in Australia.

“This research will focus on mature age students, an under-researched group within the regional and remote cohort. In particular, I’m interested in these students’ strengths and challenges that impact on their mental wellbeing, given we know the detrimental effect of psychological distress on university students’ capacity to learn and do well in their studies,” Dr Crawford said.

“I want to look at supporting students’ mental wellbeing proactively and holistically — not just putting the onus on students or on counselling staff, but at institutions more broadly.”

Dr Crawford is currently a lecturer in Pre-degree Programs at the University of Tasmania. Her Fellowship topic has its roots in her teaching practice, as well as her research on enabling education, student mental wellbeing, and regional and remote students.

Dr Katelyn Barney is a Senior Lecturer in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland. Her Fellowship meets sector-wide recommendations to further document and evaluate the impacts of intensive outreach camp programs specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students remain vastly underrepresented in higher education. We must continue to build pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to consider university as a viable option,” Dr Barney said.

“This Fellowship is a timely opportunity to extend existing evidence and research on the effectiveness of intensive camp outreach strategies targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and to identify best practice.”

The Equity Fellows Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education under the National Priorities Pool (NPP) program.

Fellowship projects include secondments to the Department, as well as national and international presentations, events, publications and sector engagement.

NCSEHE Director Professor Sue Trinidad said it was an exciting time for the Centre as the next two Equity Fellows embarked on their projects.

“The NCSEHE Equity Fellows have been received with unprecedented support and both national and international acclaim,” Professor Trinidad said. “Their leadership and the dissemination of their research findings is helping us to continue building the evidence base”.

“We value this opportunity to continue the Program in 2019–20 and I wish Nicole and Katelyn the very best with their progressive research projects.”

Applications for the 2020 Equity Fellows Program are now open. Information and application guidelines.

More information on the Program is available here.

Posted 31 July 2019 Posted in Disability, First in Family, General, Indigenous, International, Low SES, Regional

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