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Universities Australia today released its action plan to address participation and equity levels in higher education of people from low socio-economic backgrounds and Indigenous people. The plan draws on the findings of the Universities Australia-commissioned Equity and Participation scoping study. The Chair of the Steering Group for these initiatives, Professor Alan Robson said the scoping study was framed to determine barriers to entry and factors that may influence success for Australian students from three low socio-economic status backgrounds: students from rural and regional Australia; Indigenous students; and students from metropolitan areas.
The Universities Australia action plan comprises two major elements: policy initiatives and research initiatives. The policy initiatives suggest steps that can be taken within the current policy framework. The research initiatives are aimed at supporting better evidence-based policy initiatives to improve equity and participation of students from low SES backgrounds in the future. “Australia must do all it can to ensure all those who can benefit from higher education are able to do so,” Professor Robson said.
The Universities Australia Action Plan and the full Participation and Equity Scoping Study Report are available at www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au/equity