University of Wollongong recognised as leader in equity and opportunity
Outreach and Pathways team named finalists at Australian Financial Review Higher Education Awards.
The University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Outreach and Pathways Team has been recognised for their outstanding work in facilitating access to university education for students from low socioeconomic, rural and remote and Indigenous backgrounds.
The team received the national recognition as finalists in the Equity and Opportunity category at the Australian Financial Review Higher Education awards held at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth last night (29 August, 2017).
The award was judged on initiatives undertaken by the university to significantly improve participation rates, engagement, educational outcomes, personal development and employment opportunities of these under-represented student groups.
UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Joe Chicharo, says it is a wonderful and well-deserved achievement for the team. “I want to congratulate the Outreach and Pathways Team and commend them for the fundamental grassroots work they’ve delivered to enhance awareness of the alternative pathway options for whom higher education hasn’t always been either accessible or a priority.
“To put their success in context, in the last twelve months, 86.5% of students who participated UOW’s Outreach and Pathways (O&P) activities, and were eligible for university, received an offer to transition to higher education – a figure significantly higher than the sector average.
“It’s a great result for the thousands of students who have had the chance to find an alternative route into pursuing higher education studies which they may not otherwise have had access to,” Professor Chicharo said.
This latest recognition comes just days after the 2018 Good Universities Guide named UOW as Australia’s leading public university for the student experience it offers.
UOW’s program sits within a broader regional strategy to prepare young people for emerging skills demands throughout the region. Since 2011, the O&P team has engaged with more than 23,000 students from 79 primary and 51 high schools resulting in a significant increase in students applying for university via Early Admission.
UOW’s success in broadening higher education accessibility has been supported by the significant contributions of Faculty or Department staff who invest more than 100,000 hours to O&P engagement annually.