Live, Learn, Grow
Lead University: University of Newcastle
Lead Researcher: Louise Rak
Research Team: Louise Rak
Year Funded: 2015
Funding Received: $136,037
This project sought to overcome barriers known to prevent care leavers engaging with higher education through a combination of practical assistance and early intervention support strategies. A pilot scheme provided student orientation activities as well as ongoing support measures including: registration with an on-campus club; employment with the AIM HIGH team; mentoring; career counselling; and addressing areas for improvement identified through a skills assessment.
- The project objective was to find ways to overcome barriers known to prevent care leavers engaging with higher education through a combination of practical assistance and early intervention support strategies.
- The project involved:
- A pilot scheme was developed to support care workers in accessing the University of Newcastle, which was advertised and candidates nominated
- Orientation activities were provided, including academic and social and living skills.
- Between February and November 2016, participants: moved onto campus; met with the case manager and agreed on a case plan; adhered to the requirements of their course; registered with an on-campus club; commenced employment with the AIM HIGH team; completed six weeks of University of Newcastle mentoring with a second year student; undertook career counselling; and addressed areas for improvement identified in a skills assessment.
- The Live, Learn, Grow program engaged with over 800 people in 10 months, which included providing and talking about genuine options and opportunities for people to consider university when they otherwise would not have.
- Observations from one attendee noted the following: “It has been a big part of my university experience”; “it has given me some great opportunities and help with confusing things like enrolling in classes and navigating confusing sites”; “I’ve been helped by my mentor”; “the program has given me confidence and encouraged me to do some things out of my comfort zone”; and “the program offered me subsidised on-campus living and helped me gain employment through the university”.
- The University concluded that the program provided valuable insights into systemic factors that both help and hinder access and successful participation in higher education. This is demonstrated in the University of Newcastle funding Live, Learn, Grow beyond 2016.
- The University has been approached to present on the program as well as consult with other universities about how the program implementation worked for the University of Newcastle.
- There were plans to translate the practice into research in 2017 so that other institutions can gain an understanding about tertiary systemic barriers to higher education.
Summary prepared by the NCSEHE.