The University’s commitment towards national widening participation goals of equitable access for underrepresented students to participate in higher education continued to grow strongly in 2019.

The Widening Participation Unit (WPU) played an instrumental role in coordinating and motivating action to enable the growth, design and delivery of initiatives and partnerships to engage and empower students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

2019 highlights can be read here.

Top 10 experiences of 2019 for WPU included:  

  • Growing the number of schools and students participating in the LEAP UP Refugee Mentoring program
  • Being awarded the 2019 AFR Higher Education Award, Equity and Opportunity Category for WPU’s LEAP UP Refugee Mentoring Program  
  • Successfully supporting 16 students from asylum seeker backgrounds to participate in full time study at the University via the Asylum Seeker Fee Waiver Scholarship
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day with community partners at WPU’s Sweetest Memory High Tea at The Art Gallery of NSW
  • Engaging a growing number of students, communities and partners from regional and remote areas across NSW via our LEAP Schools Engagement programs that delivered two LEAP ROADShows on the Mid North Coast and Upper Hunter regions, along with the participation of 50 MQ staff
  • Purchase of the new ‘LEAP-mobile’ vehicle to facilitate the transportation and delivery of initiatives, resources and MQ staff to our regional audiences
  • Enabling 11 new partnerships and initiatives to be piloted via the LEAP Partnerships Engagement Grant Scheme (PEGS)
  • Encouraging students from Pacific Islander backgrounds to establish their own student community on campus and engaging them with academic mentors via the Pasifika Connections program.
  • Hosting a variety of exceptional speakers at our HEPPP Lunch and Learn series. Collectively they helped inspire our HEPPP network to better appreciate the complexity of challenges faced by disadvantaged students.   
  • Growing the number of partners who form part of our network, and our work alongside them to engage and support underrepresented students in our learning community

At a Glance

The University’s collective widening participation initiatives engaged the following numbers:

The impact of these collective initiatives resulted in the following demonstrated impact:

Posted by Carolina Morison

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