07 August 2013

Announced today by Senator Kim Carr, Higher Education Minister, the grant  is part of a $50 million funding announcement for the latest round of the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP). 
Deb Turley, Senator Kin Carr, Professor david Lloyd, Edoardo Rosso and Stephen Dowdy.

The grant is the largest awarded to a university group in this national funding round. 

Led by the University of Adelaide, in collaboration with Flinders University and University of South Australia, the project Journey to Higher Education aims to build aspiration and access, and support retention of disadvantaged students throughout the entire student life cycle, from early primary right through to senior secondary.

There will be a strong theme of Indigenous support throughout this project.

"We want to unlock the higher education ambitions and potential of Indigenous and other disadvantaged students so that higher education becomes a viable and realistic option for them,” said University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Warren Bebbington and Chair of the South Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee which includes 

Professor David Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor of UniSA, and Professor Michael Barber, Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University. 

“Bringing together all three of the state’s universities means we can implement a program that will make a difference to communities across South Australia. It will expand our reach by sharing resources and expertise, and identifying communities of greatest need.

“This sector collaboration, and working closely with local communities, will ensure we achieve positive and sustainable outcomes.” 

The grant will fund partnership activities with schools, families and communities, utilising the strengths and successes of each university’s outreach to provide a full suite of programs to engage and support students throughout their school life. 

It will operate through three key themes, Aspire, Support and Achieve, with a strong focus on community engagement and involvement in the creation and driving of activities. 

The programs will include mentoring, leadership training and additional tuition to address skills and knowledge gaps through a range of outreach and support activities that facilitate retention, aspiration building and access.

Grant supports science and sport as a path to higher learning at UniSA

Vice Chancellor of UniSA, Professor David Lloyd says support for projects that ensure more Australians are able to take part in higher education are vital for the nation.

“Finishing school and moving on to higher education or skills training have a direct relationship to better life outcomes – better income, better health and a greater positive contribution to society,” Prof Lloyd says.

“We know that there are barriers to participation for many young people - programs such as those UniSA have in place to encourage science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education in schools and use sport as a bridge to learning life skills and building aspirations are invaluable.

“About 21 per cent of our students are from low SES backgrounds and many of those are the first in their families to attend university so every day and every year as graduations take place we see how education makes a difference.”

UniSA plans to boost its already strong STEM program partnerships with schools and develop programs that include Indigenous cultural perspectives.  Last year the UniSA Connect STEM activities involved 156 school interactions with 450 teachers and 3000 students. The funding announced today will support a doubling of these interactions by 2015.

The UniSA Football United program will expand also doubling its engagement with secondary schools working to conduct sports clinics where University students and staff are mentors and coaches. Another key target will be to develop Indigenous mentoring and participation through sport.

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office: 08 8302 0966 mobile: 0418823673 email: Michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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