Equity Fellows Forum yields fresh insights into student equity challenges and responses
On 20 November 2017 the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) staged the second National Equity Fellows Forum, presenting conclusions from the 2017 Equity Fellows’ projects, and fostering stakeholder consultation and debate to establish key strategic directions for equity policymakers, researchers and practitioners.
A communiqué released this week collates the directions for equity raised by Forum delegates in the Shaping the Future of Australian Higher Education Equity Policy session. Focusing on the intersections between research, policy and practice, this collaborative discussion was facilitated by Robert Latta, Manager of the Quality and Access Branch in the Higher Education Group in the Department of Education and Training (DET).
Questions introduced at the Forum to lead discussion were strongly informed by the Equity Fellows’ projects:
- James Smith (Charles Darwin University) — Strengthening evaluation within Indigenous higher education contexts in Australia
- Matt Brett (La Trobe University) — Equity, performance and accountability
- Louise Pollard (University of Western Australia) — Remote student university success: an analysis of policy and practice
NCSEHE Director Professor Sue Trinidad explained how the Equity Fellows Program has complemented the Centre’s core activities in connecting research, policy and practice to improve access, participation and success for disadvantaged students.
“The Equity Fellows Program has been central to advancing the Centre’s primary objectives: strengthening the evidence base by informing research directions; collaborating with stakeholders and being at the centre of public policy dialogue; and promoting leadership and innovation in the equity sector,” Professor Trinidad said.
“Over the past two years, we have been privileged to support six emerging leaders through the Equity Fellows Program, each conducting targeted, high-profile projects focused on improving outcomes for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
The 2016 and 2017 Equity Fellows have already made a major impact, conducting numerous presentations, workshops and seminars, and disseminating their findings nationally and internationally through interviews, institutional visits and professional networking. Most recently, the 2017 Fellows presented their outcomes to the Australian Government Department of Education and Training (DET) on 29 November. The 2016 final reports and associated resources have been accessed widely, recording over 8,000 total downloads through the NCSEHE website.
The final reports from the 2017 Equity Fellows will be published in 2018 and made available on the NCSEHE website.
The NCSEHE Equity Fellows Program is supported by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.
Notes to Editor:
The NCSEHE aims to inform public policy design and implementation and institutional practice to improve the higher education participation and success for marginalised and disadvantaged people.
The Centre is based at Curtin University in Perth.
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National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education
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