IT Based Solutions to Assist Universities with Equity Initiatives (Education Quality Index)
Lead University: University of Canberra
Lead Researcher: Jinjing Li
Research Team: Jinjing Li, Riyana Miranti, Yogi Vid
Year Funded: 2014
Funding Received: $95,000
An Index of Educational Disadvantage (IdEA) was developed to better identify disadvantaged students and areas with low educational outcomes. The IdEA is a composite index using data from NAPLAN school performance information, the ACRA and ABS Census data. Through spatial mapping and analysis of educational disadvantage indices, a national interactive online resource was produced, providing information on inequality in the Australian education system.
- The project employed an IT based solution to assist students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access, participate and succeed at university.
- The project was to construct an educational disadvantage index using data resources from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and National Assessment Program —Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) school performance information. This entailed:
- identifying areas with low educational outcomes and the key factors associated with the education index
- spatial mapping and analysis of educational disadvantage indices.
- The outcome was the development of an interactive online map capturing spatial and patterns of social and economic disadvantage using the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) index and a new index that is dedicated to identifying spatial patterns of educational disadvantage in Australia.
- While the education system is seen as providing equal opportunities for everyone, this project examined secondary educational outcome measures in three factors. The analysis suggested that all three factors were important in shaping educational outcomes.
- socioeconomic status
- educational resource availability
- efficiencies and specificities of the local education system.
- The project team developed an Index of Educational Disadvantage (IdEA) which measures how well an area supports the educational development for school-aged children.
- The IdEA is a composite index using data from 2011 NAPLAN scores, data from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and the 2011 Census data from the ABS. These indices cover the socioeconomic, resource and efficiency/other factors that can reveal educational disadvantages in higher education.
- The index uses values ranged from 1 to 5 where a low score indicates a relatively greater educational disadvantage and a high score indicates a relatively greater educational advantage in an area.
- The index is the first composite index in Australia specialising in national educational outcomes and can help to identify regions with low performance in education and regions that need support. The indexes are provided at the suburb level (SA2) and can be viewed interactively online at governanceinstitute.edu.au/research/idea-map/
- The IdEA highlights a number of patterns and challenges in the Australian education system. Results show the inequality within the capital cities, particularly between the inner and outer areas.
- Plans were made to track the evolution of the region over time when new data became available to provide a richer longitudinal view of the inequalities of educational advantage and disadvantage in Australia.
- The project created a national interactive resource which can be used to obtain information on inequality in the Australian education system and to inform support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access, participate and succeed at university.
Summary prepared by the NCSEHE.