Intervening to improve access to university of students from under represented groups within low decile schools.

Year: 2001

Author: Jorgensen, L.M., Gordon, B., Slater, G.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

A scholarship system was implemented by Massey University in 1999 to encourage students who show potential to undertake university study but who do not have a family history in university participation, to include such study in their expectations. The VC bursary award scheme is an intervention intended to improve their cultural capital in this area over the final years of secondary schooling and into the first year at university. Three pilot schools were chosen following strict criteria. One of these was that the schools had to have a high discrepancy between the intake of third formers and the percentage that went on to achieve high leaving qualifications. Two types of awards are given to students. One is a certificate of merit issued to deserving students at the end of year 11 and 12; the second is a monetary scholarship given to selected year 13 students before they leave. A longitudinal research project to evaluate the effectiveness of the award scheme is being undertaken and is intended to follow the students from the initial award, and into university. It is hoped that the research should lead to a better understanding of the factors that affect enrolment and subsequent successful participation at university.