The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Programs and Pathways, Professor Sean Brawley, guided the University’s Widening Participation Unit (WPU) to strategically and proactively respond to sectoral changes around equity in higher education. The new approach, outlined in the Widening Participation Strategic Framework 2018 – 2023, resulted in many innovative and successful approaches to new partnerships and positive student engagement.
A year on from the launch of the Widening Participation Strategic Framework 2018 – 2023 paper has enabled the unit to reflect on the achievements so far realised. Professor Brawley attended the WPU’s first HEPPP Lunch and Learn workshop for the year to not only welcome the growing network of equity community at the University and to formally announce the successful applicants of the 2019 LEAP PEGS program, but to also celebrate WPU’s 2018 Highlights.
A recap of WPU’s top six achievements in 2018 include:
- LEAP Roadshow and inROADS – both programs were successful in engaging regional and remote students from various regions and schools across NSW
- WP Compact Model partnership commitment and the introduction of LEAP PEGS helped encourage innovative initiatives and opportunities for low-SES students
- Supporting our humanitarian students (refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds) via the delivery of LEAP Refugee Transition Support program, the provision of a Drop in Centre and the formalisation of Asylum Seeker Fee Waiver in close work with Faculty’s, Macquarie International, MUIC and Coursework Scholarships and Prizes Unit.
- Production and publication of The Sweetest Memory cookbook, which brought together participants from across the University to celebrate our shared humanity and raise funds for the Refugee Financial Grant.
- 2018 Australian Rural Education Award by the Society for the Provision of Rural Education in Australia (SPERA) for the University’s Lighthouse Virtual Reality 360 Outreach project, developed with the Department of Computing
- New partnerships to broaden of our community of equity practitioners, within and external to the University
At a glance, widening participation engagement and impact in 2018 included:
To further glimpse what it is that the WPU do, and to better understand how teams and programs can connect and become involved with WPU, please click on the link to the Widening Participation Highlights 2018.