NCSEHE Focus: Successful outcomes for regional and remote students in Australian higher education
Students from regional and remote backgrounds face complex, multidimensional issues in accessing and participating in higher education.
This report provides an overview of the key issues, identifies the principal challenges and highlights the major policy responses in view of the findings and recommendations from recent research reports funded by the NCSEHE. It also draws on an August 2017 submission from the NCSEHE to the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education and some of the current work being done by NCSEHE’s Equity Fellows, a program funded by the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP).
Review by Conjoint Associate Professor Cathy Stone, the University of Newcastle
This report by the NCSEHE makes extremely interesting reading for all those working in, and interested in, furthering equity in higher education for students in regional and remote areas of Australia. It is both pertinent and timely in that, through the lens of recent research findings, it not only closely examines many of the key issues and challenges in improving equity in higher education for regional and remote students in Australia, but it also highlights the opportunities for change that are emerging from research. To further these opportunities, the report makes a number of sound practice and policy recommendations.
The report begins with discussion of the relatively diminishing rate of representation of regional and remote students in higher education, when compared with the progress made in rates of participation of other equity groups. It goes on to provide useful background, context and explanation for this, citing the recent work of a number of scholars, whose work expands our knowledge of a range of contributing issues. Such issues include: the perceptions and understandings of regional and remote students (and those who influence their decisions) about university and what it entails; how notions of ‘disadvantage’ versus ‘capability’ can shape understandings, policies and practices in relation to regional and remote students in higher education; and the particular and pragmatic barriers to entering higher education from regional and remote areas of Australia, such as distance, money, technology and practical support from families, schools and communities.
Opportunities for change emerge from the research discussed and are highlighted in a number of recommendations, such as ways to provide more local support for higher education in regional and remote areas, to allocate government and institutional resources more effectively AND efficiently, and to maximise effort through collaboration and networking across the higher education sector, in the process helping to strengthen communities.
This short précis in no way does justice to this comprehensive and thought-provoking report which is well worth a detailed reading.
Access Successful outcomes for regional and remote students in Australian higher education below:
You may also be interested in the previous two reports from the NCSEHE Focus series:
NCSEHE Focus: Successful outcomes for low SES students in Australian higher education:
NCSEHE Focus: Successful outcomes for students with disability in Australian higher education: