Programs with student equity at the core
The program seeks to support students' interest in their own learning and focuses on higher order thinking, critical analysis and literacy which are essential for success at university. Students are guided to explore and develop their learning goals and participate in experiences that are interactive, experiential, and explore a range of different contexts. That’s why we focus on learning experiences that are linked to the real-world and are co-designed with current UNSW students who can role-model their own learning trajectory and path to university.
Our programs aim to prepare students to access and succeed at university by engaging them directly, as well as their key influencers such as family, teachers and peer groups. We are creating the expectation that university education isn’t just attainable but the natural path to follow for many students.
Many students have aspirations to attend university. However, there are significant barriers for students from educationally disadvantaged contexts, primarily related to ATAR achievement, which can make university unattainable. Our work in advocating for student equity seeks to shift this dynamic within our own institution.
Sharpening our focus
In 2020, we made the proactive decision to sharpen the focus of our programs to better deliver tangible and concrete results. As part of this approach, AimHigh was renamed and restructured as Access and Equity (Students).
To build on the success of our longstanding Aspire program, we also decided to prioritise new initiatives. These include the new Gateway Admission Pathway which provides a significant ATAR adjustment making access to UNSW more equitable.
We also formulated targeted strategies for preparing students for a university education earlier in their academic career. This led to new collaborative strategies for engaging students in years 7 to 10, as well as a refined and sharpened program for students in their senior years of high school.