Access and equity initiatives in higher education: How far have we come?

Year: 1996

Author: Murray-Harvey, Rosalind, Francis, Marigold

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Universities across Australia are introducing a range of Special Entry schemes to increase participation in higher education of targeted disadvantaged groups. In this study, ten randomly selected students from each of four University access and equity initiatives (N=40) were interviewed to gauge their perceptions of: (1) preparedness for tertiary study; (2) knowledge and utilization of existing services and resources to support their learning and studying; (3) factors influencing successful academic integration; and (4) problems associated with achieving academic goals. Results indicate potential problems for students who hold traditional, stereotyped views of academics, have simplistic views about learning and studying at the tertiary level, and are ill-informed about the range of resources and support systems that are available to support their progress. Quantitative and qualitative data are presented to evaluate the University's aim to meet the needs of its increasingly diverse student population.