Looking back at HEPPP: The In2Uni Program
This article was first featured in March 2014, profiling one of the many successful HEPPP funded initiatives providing access and equality of opportunity for disadvantaged students.
The In2Uni Program: a whole-of-region commitment to providing students from non-traditional backgrounds with increased opportunities to access higher education
The University of Wollongong (UOW) has an embedded commitment to its local community, evidenced by a number of equity initiatives.
The In2Uni Program is a partnership between UOW, Department of Education and Communities (DEC) and the Catholic Education Office (CEO). This partnership demonstrates a whole-of-region commitment to providing students from non-traditional backgrounds with increased opportunities to access higher education.
The In2Uni Program is operated out of UOW’s main and regional campuses, to enhance the aspirations and academic capacity of students from non-traditional backgrounds. The program works with 58 primary and high schools over a 400 km area down the east coast of NSW. Students in Year 6 through to Year 12 engage with on-site campus experiences, mentoring, Higher School Certificate (HSC) study assistance, transition advice and financial assistance to support them through their schooling and make a successful transition to university. The program recognises the importance of providing positive role models for students through the use of trained university mentors in all programs on offer.
In 2013, the program together with the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts at UOW launched Summer Master Classes, an intensive six credit point subject for current Year 12 students. The Summer Master Classes provided students with the opportunity to enrol and study as a university student and has provided a tangible pathway for students from all backgrounds to transition into a UOW degree.
The In2Uni Program addresses the partnership component of the HEPPP Funding and aims to:
- develop, foster and sustain mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships with key stakeholders
- build aspirations of LSES students toward higher education
- build capacity to successfully navigate pathways to higher education, and
- strengthen relationships with parents and local school communities to build an awareness and knowledge about higher education.
The human resource and program costs for the In2Uni Program have been primarily funded by HEPPP since 2010, with joint contributions made by UOW, DEC and the CEO to ensure program sustainability.
The success of the In2Uni Program has been measured by the level of student, parent and teacher participation and engagement with the program.
The number of schools participating in the program has increased from 21 in 2011, to 58 in 2013; with the number of student participants increasing two-fold over three years. Enrolments to UOW from participant schools have increased from 279 in 2011, to 397 in 2012.
The success of the program is also measured by a positive community response, as evidenced by the following example:
“The In2Uni Program is breaking down barriers and showing students’ education options. Our partnership with UOW and the In2Uni Program is about access and equality of opportunity for our students, something I am determined that they will have so they can explore all educational opportunities now and in the future.” – Principal, 2013.
From 2014, the program will operate under UOW’s broader Student Diversity and Outreach Framework. UOW will continue to develop opportunities for engagement with equity students through embedding outreach strategies at its regional campuses and expanding the scope of the Summer Master Classes on offer.
This case study is one of a series of 39 presented in our case study publication, Access and Participation in Higher Education: Outreach – Access – Support.