News & Events

NCSEHE & EPHEA event: World Access to Higher Education Day #WAHED2021

Event Details
Online event
17 November 2021

The NCSEHE and Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia (EPHEA) are excited to once again invite equity practitioners from Australia and New Zealand to join us for World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED) Australasia.

This year’s event will feature a keynote from Professor Maria Raciti (USC), who will tackle the question, What’s the next step to help low SES students navigate perceived risk during these volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times?

We will also hear from a disability practitioner and student panel, discussing important accessibility considerations when returning to an on-campus learning model.

Following an overwhelming response in 2020, we are thrilled to celebrate our 2021 WAHED Champions for Change (more details below). Last year, over 50 equity practitioners were recognised for their extraordinary efforts in supporting students to succeed in higher education. If you know a Champion for Change, submit your nomination today and they will be announced in front of an international audience.

WAHED 2021 will mark the introduction of the Australasian Spotlight on Equity: Grants for recognition of impact (more details below). EPHEA and NCSEHE value the efforts of equity-focused researchers and practitioners across the sector and wish to support our colleagues to raise the profile of their work, as well as supporting their continued professional development. These grants will reward the outstanding contributions of practitioners and researchers in delivering social justice, fairness and inclusion initiatives for both staff and students. The total grant pool is $10,000 and grant recipients will be announced at the WAHED event.


— Program

Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country

  • Professor Sarah O’Shea (NCSEHE) and Kylie Austin (University of Wollongong)

Keynote — Navigating heightened risk among low SES students in VUCA times: What’s the next best step?

  • Professor Maria Raciti (USC)

There is no doubt that the pandemic has transformed higher education globally. Despite experiencing a paradigm shift of proportions unseen for decades, Australia’s widening participation (WP) community and its agenda remains resolute and committed to righting the wrongs of educational inequality. WP, however, is currently in the eye of the perfect storm. The perceived risk of going to university for students from low SES communities has been heightened during these VUCA times where Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity make it challenging to predict career outcomes. Shifting course delivery models and looming future work scenarios also fuel these perceived risks. It would seem that now is the time for the WP community to come together, reset the compass, and ask the hard question: What’s the next best step?

Practitioner and student panel — Accessibility considerations when returning to an on-campus learning model

Just as online learning due to COVID-19 has brought challenges and opportunities for students with disability, so too will the return to in-person delivery. In this expert panel, disability practitioners and students will discuss important accessibility considerations when returning to an on-campus learning model.

Awards and grants

  • Champions for Change
  • Australasian Spotlight on Equity: Grants for recognition of impact

— Details and registration

Register here for WAHED 2021

Online via Zoom — Wednesday 17 November 2021

9:30am–11:30am AWST; 11:00am–1:00pm ACST; 11:30am–1:30pm AEST; 12:30pm–2:30pm AEDT; 1:30pm–3:30pm NZST

This is a free event but registration is essential. The session will be live captioned and recorded. If you cannot attend, please register anyway and you will be sent the recording post-event.

— Nominate a Champion for Change

The Champions for Change initiative was developed in 2020 to recognise and celebrate the dedication and outstanding work done by Australasian Equity Practitioners each and every day.

If you know someone who is going above and beyond to make the Australasian tertiary education landscape more inclusive and accessible for everyone, nominate them here.

— Australasian Spotlight on Equity: Grants for recognition of impact

EPHEA and NCSEHE have partnered to provide a grant that recognises the impact of equity practitioners and researchers. This recognition will take the form of an official commendation and sponsorship opportunity for those engaged in equity research and/or practice activities. The grants aim to:

  • raise awareness and the profile of equity programs and research at an institutional level;
  • provide an avenue for staff and student equity programs and equity researchers to receive grant funds to assist in maximising impact of their activities;
  • offer a funding source to provide equity practitioners the opportunity to disseminate their practice/research or undertake ongoing professional development nationally and internationally.

The total grant pool is $10,000 and there may be up to four grants awarded from this total pool of funding.

If you are undertaking research and/or practice that is having a significant impact on staff or student outcomes, we encourage you to apply before 5 pm AEDT on Monday 1 November 2021.

Find more information and submit your application

— Speakers

Professor Maria Raciti is Director of the Indigenous and Transcultural Research Centre at USC. Maria uses marketing tools and techniques for the greater good — being the active pursuit of equity, social justice and betterment. Her main research areas are social marketing, services marketing and higher education. Maria is an Adjunct Fellow with the NCSEHE, was a 2018 NCSEHE Research Fellow, and was part of a 2019 Departmental Taskforce with the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. Maria is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) and is co-leader of two research groups being the USC Indigenous Studies Research Theme and the USC Transcultural and Indigenous Pedagogies Research Group.

— About World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED)

WAHED is an annual event, raising worldwide awareness around inequalities in access and success in higher education and acting as a catalyst for international, regional and local action.

The theme for this year is Equitable access and success through and post the pandemic.

More information about the global event is available on the WAHED website.

Posted 19 September 2021