Research is fundamental to understanding and addressing the complexities of student equity in higher education. The National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) conducts an annual competitive research program, building a solid evidence base to improve access and outcomes for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Over the three annual funding rounds so far, $1.4 million has been made available for 34 research projects undertaken by Australian universities and other research organisations. These insightful reports have contributed to a national narrative on the importance of equitable access to tertiary education, and its benefits beyond the individual.
It now gives us great pleasure to present the third in the NCSEHE’s Informing Policy and Practice series. This publication features the ten commissioned research reports from the 2016 research grants funding round, as well as three progressive projects from the inaugural NCSEHE Equity Fellows Program.
Our first cohort of Equity Fellows have advanced policy development in a strategic way through targeted, sector-wide research projects, with an emphasis on translating their research into practice. In line with their promotion of policy change at the highest level, Dr Cathy Stone, Dr Erica Southgate and Dr Nadine Zacharias spent time with the Department of Education and Training, promoting collaborative engagement between government and the education sector. Driving and inspiring progress for student equity in higher education, these three emerging leaders have contributed our collective endeavours to secure positive outcomes for equity students.
The NCSEHE is proud to publish and collate these 13 reports through Informing Policy and Practice III, each complemented by individual commentary from policy analysts, academics and practitioners. This publication will be distributed in print and online through the NCSEHE website.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the contributors who have brought this year’s research together, and commend all of the authors on their valuable work. We would also like to recognise the Australian Government Department of Education and Training for their ongoing support of the NCSEHE’s activities.