Progress Bulletin — NCSEHE Equity Fellow David Eckstein
Meaningful jobs for graduates with disability: From luck to business as usual
Mr David Eckstein
2020 NCSEHE Equity Fellow
Swinburne University of Technology
Project overview and introduction
Students with disability (SwD) make up 6.8 per cent of the national tertiary student population (Koshy, 2018). However, after graduation they are seven per cent more likely to be unemployed and six per cent more likely to be in work that does not use their skills or education compared to graduates without disability (2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey). They also make up only two per cent of students taking part in employers’ graduate programs (AAGE Graduate Survey, 2019) which are important employment pathways. There is little argument that more targeted careers services for university SwD (TCSSwD) is needed in Australia. While scarce resources and lack of service integration stop more universities providing them (Harvey et al., 2017) the inability to address these matters is not explored.
This Fellowship project focuses on issues affecting the provision of TCSSwD and investigates the following research questions:
- Why are some universities able to provide TCSSwD?
- What kinds of services do they provide?
- What would help:
- more universities provide TCSSwD; and
- universities enhance existing offerings?
The project’s key aim is to add disability to the national conversation about graduate employment by identifying best practice initiatives and developing open access tools for all universities to use.
Co-Equity Fellow Tim Pitman and I are investigating different aspects of the student disability experience at university. We decided to join forces by creating a short student survey and a short staff survey to provide insight for both of our projects. There’s been a fantastic response to the surveys with participants spread across Australia’s universities. It is also encouraging that staff members from different university areas (careers, disability support, faculty, student services, and senior management) are expressing interest by taking part. Over 1,100 student and over 160 staff have completed the short survey. If you haven’t done so, please complete the staff survey by the end of July to have your say.
Continue reading David’s July progress bulletin: