Charles Sturt University – Future Moves
Starting with 10 school partners in 2010, Charles Sturt University (CSU) developed Future Moves to address the underrepresentation of students from low socioeconomic status (SES) areas in higher education. Future Moves has since strengthened to become the university’s mainstream aspiration program, delivered across six campuses and partnering with over 80 primary and secondary schools in regional New South Wales and North East Victoria.
Future Moves’s activities encourage students to act on their aspirations in informed ways by raising their awareness of opportunities arising from a university degree and their understanding of how university might be part of their future, making school studies more relevant.
- New South Wales Department of Education
- Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
- National Indigenous Science Education Program
- community partners, Indigenous partners and local councils
- over 80 primary and secondary schools in regional NSW and North East Victoria.
Future Moves aims to shift the views of school students and their parents to consider university as a realistic and achievable post-school option. It aims to operationalise aspirations of the targeted cohort and provide information to support families in the processes of choosing higher education. Future Moves’s short-term objectives are to see an immediate positive shift in students’ awareness of, and aspiration to, study at university following Future Moves’s events and activities.
In the longer-term, Future Moves aims to maintain students’ aspiration to study at university and to see increased enrolments at university from its partner schools.
Activities and Progress
Future Moves delivers a structured program of school workshops and on-campus events to students from Years K to 12, aligned with the Australian Blueprint for Career Development.
In-school workshops cover a range of age-appropriate topics including: self-development; higher education awareness; study skills; courses and careers; time management; and pathways to university.
On-campus events introduce students to university and seek to change students’ perceptions of university as an intimidating place for smart people, to a friendly environment accessible through many pathways.
Workshops and on-campus events build awareness of university and encourage students to explore careers. Future Moves’s activities also help students identify appropriate pathways and assist students to identify and overcome real or perceived barriers to tertiary education.
Future Moves also engages with parents to encourage and support their understanding of tertiary education, and works collaboratively with partner schools to identify opportunities for teacher professional development.
Since 2014, Future Moves has also run a suite of Indigenous-specific programs called Danygamalanha, meaning ‘to excel’.
- Sky Stories — connecting Indigenous knowledge to science, engineering, technology and mathematics
- Strong Moves mentoring — a four-session on-campus intensive university experience, and Indigenous on-campus overnight camps.
Evaluation shows that Future Moves activities achieve immediate positive shifts in students’ aspiration to attend university and their perceived likelihood of getting into university.
University enrolments from Future Moves partner schools have increased by 70 per cent since 2012, and 106 per cent among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Future Moves impacts on students’ awareness of, and aspiration to, attend university and on university enrolments — evidenced by increased university enrolments to CSU from Future Moves partner schools. Interviews and surveys with teachers and parents show that they perceive Future Moves to have an ongoing impact that extends beyond actual activities and events.
Future Moves has built strong, responsive partnerships with partner schools and volunteer university student Leaders. Schools take an active role in the program, signing yearly agreements that outline mutual responsibilities while university Leaders support program delivery in classrooms and on campus, demonstrating their enthusiasm and knowledge of university life to the school students. Many Future Moves volunteer Leaders were participants in Future Moves while at school.
Future Moves is embedded in the Office for Students’ HEPPP funded equity programs at CSU and is working collaboratively within CSU and communities in its footprint to continue to deliver the program.
This case study was one of 35 featured in the NCSEHE’s 2017 publication Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program: Seven Years On.