Impact report: Improving equity for care leavers in higher education
Tracing the impact of Out of Care, Into University: Raising higher education access and achievement of care leavers
Dr Kitty Drok for the NCSEHE
Funded under the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), the NCSEHE operates a competitive research grant program to build upon the research expertise in higher education student equity issues that exists across Australia. Funding for research projects is available annually, with grants of the order of A$40,000 and projects to be completed within 12 months.
Within the research landscape, these are relatively small and short-term research efforts. But it should not be assumed that the findings, outcomes and impacts of these projects are similarly small. They often lead to an increase in knowledge, an expansion of the evidence base, and eventually to lasting changes in both policy and practice.
This report documents and demonstrates the ‘snowball effect’ and progressive impact over time of these NCSEHE-funded projects on student equity in higher education.
In 2014, the NCSEHE funded the first ever national study to examine how people from out-of-home care backgrounds fare in the Australian higher education sector. In the five years since the study was completed and its findings published, there has been significant movement to address this previously-under-considered equity issue. Here we map the developments that have occurred around supporting care leavers to access post-compulsory education and training, including higher education, since the findings from the original project were published in Out of Care, Into University (2015). These developments have arisen in response to a broader international movement to extend support and increase educational opportunities for young people in out-of-home care beyond the age of 18 years. Together with the research and advocacy work of others, Out of Care, Into University has been an important catalyst for Australia becoming a part of this movement.
Figure 1: Developments in research, policy and practice concerning care leavers in higher education since the release of Out of care, Into University. (High resolution graphic available in the full report).
Continue reading Improving equity for care leavers in higher education: Tracing the impact of Out of Care, Into University: Raising higher education access and achievement of care leavers:
Report written by Dr Kitty Drok on behalf of the NCSEHE