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CEEHE Writing Program for Equity & Widening Participation Practitioners

The Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE) at the University of Newcastle, last year piloted a Writing Program for Equity and Widening Participation Practitioners, and in 2018 is again running the program with the generous support of Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia (EPHEA).

There are 17 participants from across Australia in the 2018 program, including a representative from the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

About the Writing Program for Equity & Widening Participation Practitioners

Drawing on a program developed in the UK by Professor Jacqueline Stevenson (Sheffield Hallam University) and Rachael Tooth (former Office for Fair Access), Professor Penny Jane Burke and Dr Anna Bennett, (CEEHE) have adapted the model for the Australian context.

CEEHE Writing Program

The aim of the program is to:

  • enhance the relationship between widening participation practitioners and academics
  • raise the profile of robust research and evaluation of widening participation activity nationally and internationally
  • support widening participation practitioners to present research and evaluations of their practice in refereed academic journals, enabling practitioners and academics to share their work with broader audiences.

The program involves practitioners participating in a series of workshops on the craft of researching and writing academically, with mentoring from leading academics in the field. Program workshops cover some of the important methodological approaches underpinning equity practice and the process of producing and disseminating a research paper from start to finish, including:

  • writing and research techniques
  • producing an Abstract
  • presenting a research poster
  • searching for literature
  • methodology
  • presenting findings
  • submitting papers to journals.

An important element of the program is the involvement of mentors, who work closely with participants in-between each of the workshops; NCSEHE Director Professor Sue Trinidad was pleased to support the Program as a mentor in 2017. Where possible, mentors and mentees have been paired depending on methodology, theoretical perspective, and focus of the research. Mentors represent a range of disciplines and perspectives have been chosen on the basis of the following:

  • experience of publishing in international peer review journals
  • experience in journal editing, editorial board membership or reviewing in the context of international peer reviewed journals
  • research outputs that clearly demonstrate critical theory and analysis and engagement with key literatures and theories about educational inequalities, social justice in education and higher education studies
  • experience in supervising Early Career Researchers and research students, and dedication to developing mentees’ work in line with the values of the writing program — this involves developing mentees’ conceptualisation ‘equity’ in higher education
  • holding a strong commitment to processes of analysis, critique and interrogating taken-for-granted assumptions, with their work locating and contextualising key themes and topics in equity in higher education within the wider theoretical literature.

Twelve practitioners from around Australia participated in the 2017 pilot, their research posters can be viewed here, and a selection of papers from the 2017 program will be featured in the July edition of International Studies in Widening Participation

Papers from the 2018 program will be published in mid-2019.

EPHEA travel grants for participants

In 2018, EPHEA has generously supported 5 participants through the provision of a travel grant. travel grants are designed to facilitate the participation of EPHEA Members, who cannot access financial support from their institution or who face additional travel costs, in order to participate in the Writing Program. Participants supported by EPHEA include the following colleagues and projects:

Katherine Theobald — HDR Partnership Officer, Graduate Research Education & Development (GRE+D), Queensland University of Technology.

The importance of embedding equity principles and practices into Work Integrated Learning (WIL) course design, policy, procedure and assessment.

Catherine Stuckings — Senior Advisor, Safer Community, RMIT University.

The benefits of collaborative and integrated approaches to student support to students, and teaching and academic staff.

Cate Morris — Project Officer, Equity Outreach, The University of Western Australia.

The role of pre-access and access programs in supporting students who have enrolled at university after engaging in a pre-access or access program throughout secondary school.

Vicki Smith — Senior Coordinator, SNAP Partnerships, RMIT University.

Barriers to accessing higher education for low socioeconomic status students and the point/s at which interventions to encourage and facilitate participation in higher education would be most useful.

Wes Heberlein — Coordinator Schools Outreach, CQUniversity

The sphere of influence that university outreach programs have on rural youth aspirations toward tertiary education.

More information on the Project is available from Belinda Munn — Associate Director, Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education:

Posted 29 May 2018 Posted in Culturally and linguistically diverse, Disability, Editorial, General, Indigenous, Low SES, Regional, rural and remote