We are excited to announce the Executive Group has endorsed the Widening Participation Strategic Framework 2018 – 2023.

Despite an overall expansion of the Australian Higher Education sector during the last decade, and greater access to further education, students from low socio-economic backgrounds continue to be under-represented in Australian tertiary institutions.

This strategic framework, with its ambition to develop a coordinated and sustainable approach to widening participation, will help realise our ambition to further increase representation at Macquarie from our identified equity groups

 – Professor Sean Brawley (Interim PVC, Programs and Pathways)

The ultimate ambition of the widening participation strategy is to encourage individuals who come from identified equity groups to enrol in and successfully complete a tertiary education program of study. We seek to ensure this ambition through the implementation of a strategy that aims to increase the enrolment, retention and success of students from our equity groups.

Education is a transformative mechanism for addressing risk factors for marginalisation by providing the basis for young people to develop skills and knowledge, improve their personal living standards and is a way to break cycles of entrenched disadvantage.

In recent years, Macquarie University’s Office of Widening Participation (WP@MQ) has enjoyed significant community success and recognition through our ‘LEAP’ programs. LEAP stands for ‘Learning, Education, Aspiration, Participation’. We have taken this popular acronym associated with our activities and applied it to the identification of four pillars which underpin the strategy framework:

Pillar 1: LEAP UP: Outreach

Strengthen the capacity of students from equity groups to participate in higher education.

Pillar 2: LEAP IN: Pathways

Increase opportunities for students from equity groups to study at Macquarie University.

Pillar 3: LEAP THROUGH: Participation

Enhance support to students from equity groups, from enrolment through to graduation.

Pillar 4: LEAP ON: Impact

Improve graduate outcomes, employment and professional opportunities for students from equity groups.

With a strong commitment to meeting the needs of our equity groups by being collaborative and socially responsive, LEAP will take a whole of institution lifecycle approach to widening participation at Macquarie University.

We encourage everyone at Macquarie University to engage with the strategy and consider how holistically we can all contribute to student success over the coming years, by embedding Widening Participation principles in our research, outreach and engagement activities, student experience activities, learning and teaching activities.

Posted by Sonal Singh

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