Tertiary Access Research – May 2013
Report commissioned by the Federal Council of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association of Australia (ICPA Aust.). Executive Summary written by the ICPA Federal Council. Survey results compiled by Rural Press Marketing.
This survey was commissioned by the Federal Council of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association of Australia (ICPA Aust.) as a means to examine the key factors that limit the ability of many young people from rural and remote areas of Australia, to access tertiary education. Rationale Engaging in tertiary education, at an institution of choice, should be an option for all young Australians. However, many students living in rural and remote areas are still being denied the right of access to tertiary education due to their inability to meet relocation, tuition and living expenses. ICPA believes that the current government measure for student income support – Youth Allowance – does not adequately recognise the extra costs incurred by many rural and remote students when compared to the costs incurred by their urban counterparts.
The method of data collection was through a survey formulated by Rural Press Marketing Services in consultation with ICPA Federal Council. The survey was distributed electronically in mid April 2013. Distribution was via email, containing a hyperlink to the online survey, to all ICPA members. The initiative was promoted through federal and state/territory ICPA networks. A number of polar (Yes/No) questions were used to qualify members for initial participation from where a further set of polar questions guided members to open questions regarding the types of challenges and key factors that impacted on their children’s access to tertiary education. Individual responses outlining the specific factors stated by members as limiting their children’s access to tertiary education, are included in full, in Appendix 1. The offer to participate in the survey was made to the 2,275 members of ICPA with 30% of members (692) attempting to complete the survey. One hundred and seventy six (176) of the participants were removed due to either not meeting the qualifying criteria or through partially completing the survey. ICPA members, whose children were below Year 10 in their schooling at the time of distribution of the survey, were deemed ineligible for participation. The data used to analyse member responses was obtained from 516 completed responses, approximately 23% of the total ICPA membership.