Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Equity matters at CQUni

Last week I popped in on a workshop for the 21 CQUniversity projects being funded by the Commonwealth Government’s Higher Education Participation Program (HEPP). This funding is targeted at initiatives we use to better support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to be what they want to be. It was a great opportunity for me to reflect on what an inclusive university CQU is.

Being an inclusive university is something that everyone at CQUniversity is proud of. Ours is a university that defines itself by those we include rather than those we exclude. We are a university that is reflective of the society around us and that’s exactly why it’s important for us provide opportunities to those who might have otherwise thought a university education was unattainable.
It’s great that some universities pride themselves on prestige and exclusivity – and that’s great for them, but we will never be one of those universities. I don’t think that your geographical location, family background, study mode, ATAR or whether or not you have a disability should determine your ability to achieve.

The HEPP projects being rolled out at CQUniversity are evidence of this and each and every one of them has a specific aim of raising university aspirations among students from disadvantaged backgrounds.  The projects will help to ensure these students are supported throughout their studies and that they have the same opportunities for employment as anyone else upon graduation. I think that the project coordinators of these programs have some of the most exciting jobs at the University because they get to see that what they are doing is genuinely making a difference to the lives of our students.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the results of these 21 HEPP projects over the next few years and bearing witness to CQUniversity reinforcing its status as Australia’s (if not the World’s) most inclusive and engaged university! 

Me having a chat to staff at the HEPP workshop

Me and with the group of HEPP project coordinators