News & Events

NCSEHE Forum: World Access to Higher Education Day #WAHED2018

Event Details
Tim Winton Lecture Theatre - Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia
28 November 2018

As part of a new global initiative, the NCSEHE hosted an event at Curtin University, Perth WA, engaging national and international stakeholders to positively impact worldwide equitable access to higher education.

World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED) Australia

This free event featured:

  • Keynote speech by Professor Glenn Withers (Professor of Economics, Research School of Economics, College of Business and Economics, Australian National University)
  • Student panel chaired by Professor Sally Kift (President, Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows)
  • My Story — Student Voice: personal stories of overcoming barriers to success, and student perspectives on the future of higher education
  • 2018 NCSEHE Research Fellow Maria Raciti (University of the Sunshine Coast) — How the perceived risks of going to university influence the decision by people from low SES backgrounds to participate in Australian higher education
  • Matt Brett (2017 NCSEHE Equity Fellow and 2018 Visiting Fellow) and Nadine Zacharias (NCSEHE 2017/18 Senior Research Fellow) — A Vision for Student Equity 2030
  • Lisa Hartley and Caroline Fleay (Curtin University) — People seeking asylum in Australia: Access and support in higher education
  • Live cross to launch World Access to Higher Education Day UK
  • And more!

Event overview

Event program:

WAHED Program

PowerPoint presentation:

Minister’s Address: The Hon. Dan Tehan MP:

Keynote transcript — Professor Glenn Withers, Australian National University (ANU) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra:

Universities: Who needs them? Value and Benefit of Australian Universities

Recorded address by Dr Graeme Atherton — Director, National Education Opportunities Network (supplementary to the live cross to WAHED Beyond Borders UK Conference):

View the international #WAHED2018 Twitter feed


World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED), led by the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON), and supported by NCUK, networked multiple conferences globally to focus the attention of stakeholders from across the world on the issues of access and diversity in higher education.

The NCSEHE was proud to represent Australia for the inaugural WAHED, positioning Australian advances in student equity research, policy and practice within an international context.

World Access to Higher Education Day had the following objectives:

  • engage stakeholders from across the public and private sector in equitable access to higher education
  • act as a global platform that can add value to work being undertaken at local level, and also can lever in greater support for equitable access work at national and international level
  • establish goals to orientate action to make access to higher education equitable across the world
  • launch a new global Higher Education Access & Diversity consortium
  • articulate ‘access to higher education’ as including the completion of quality higher education and progression into post-higher education study/work for learners from underrepresented groups.

WAHED components

  • A network of international conferences occurring on WAHED 2018 — Worldwide organisations/institutions will host events on WAHED 2018.
  • Worldwide ‘access & diversity slam’ — Individual countries will showcase innovative access and diversity activities in their own countries.
  • Global student voices campaign — Bringing together the voices of students from diverse communities and their stories from across the world.
  • Launch of the Global Higher Education Access & Diversity Consortium — It is envisaged such a consortium will focus in particular on building the evidence base and using this to advocate for change and driving forward innovation in practice.


Posted 11 June 2018