The UNI-BOUND program currently partners with 15 high schools, an increase from five in 2007
Southern Cross University’s (SCU) UNI-BOUND program is one of a number of initiatives which supports the university’s commitment to improving the access, participation and success of students from equity groups.
UNI-BOUND has four main components:
- Year 7: ‘Uni Opens Up Your World’
Students visit a SCU campus and explore their future aspirations through story-telling and mixed-media presentations. The day provides an introduction to life at university, interaction with university staff and UNI-BOUND Mentors, and an opportunity to explore a university campus.
- Year 8: ‘Thinking About Uni’
Students participate in a seminar presented by SCU staff and student mentors at their school. The seminar provides an opportunity to learn more about university and post-school pathways.
- Year 9: ‘Going to Uni’
Students visit a SCU campus, attend lectures, investigate career choices and participate in academic study skills seminars. UNI-BOUND Mentors share their stories of getting into and studying at university.
- ‘Residential School’
Students stay in a residential college on campus and undertake a longer program of events at the university. It is designed to offer not just a selection of activities in different subject areas, but an immersive experience of ‘what being a university student is really like’.
- Central School Special Projects (Years 8 and 9)
A three-day program delivered both at participating schools and on-campus; a collaboration between UNIBOUND program staff, teaching areas of the university and high school staff.
The UNI-BOUND program aims to increase knowledge and understanding of higher education and career options; build confidence and motivation towards higher education; and improve academic attainment for higher education.
The UNI-BOUND Program has been funded by HEPPP since 2010. HEPPP funds have enabled the program to expand to a greater number of regional schools and cohorts of students.
In 2012/2013 a Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement Plan was developed and implemented for UNI-BOUND. The success and impact of the program is being measured through:
- student feedback surveys (Years 7, 8, 9 and Central Schools Special Projects)
- pre- and post-event feedback surveys that include questions to gather qualitative and quantitative data on measurable change
- post-event review and evaluation meetings with key stakeholders including UNI-BOUND staff, university and school staff, and school principals and project leaders (Central Schools Special Projects), and
- longitudinal tracking of matriculation to university of participants.
“After nearly 30 years of being a teacher this is the most successful model of any outreach program I have seen. It was a great initiative to engage students at a crucial stage. The door of opportunity has now been opened to them.” – head teacher, English and history.
UNI-BOUND Program activities will continue to be enhanced and expanded to include additional events and activities and to increase the number of students participating in the program. In addition, an academic support model will be developed and delivered to high school students aimed at increasing confidence, motivation and preparation for higher education. The UNI-BOUND program aims to increase knowledge and understanding of higher education and career options; build confidence and motivation towards higher education; and improve academic attainment for higher education.
This case study is one of a series of 39 presented in our case study publication, Access and Participation in Higher Education: Outreach – Access – Support