A university experience program addressing a national concern on declining interest in university participation

Joy Penman, Brian Webby, Martin R. Jones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Young people living in regional and remote Australia are under-represented in the Australian university system and, consequently, efforts have been made to encourage these students to consider attending university. A regionally based university campus is ideally placed to reach out to potential students in its locality. The article reviews such a university experience program for Year 10 students. The program aimed to provide information, learning experiences, interaction with current students and staff, familiarity with facilities, to develop planning and goal-setting, and to raise participants’ educational aspirations. The results of an evaluation of the program, measured via Likert scores of professional and personal aspiration at 3 time points, were equivocal. However, some positive trends emerged, students generally had high aspiration levels prior to the program activities, and showed a modest increase (statistically significant but perhaps not clinically significant or meaningful) in aspiration post-program. The program was found very effective for students from a remote area school and had less impact for students from regional schools. The results may indicate that the program should be refocussed for regional schools, but there were many benefits of the current design that were not measured. It is recommended that these students be followed up to determine whether the benefits were sustainable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAARE Conference 2016
Place of PublicationDeakin ACT
PublisherAustralian Association for Research in Education
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventInternational Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2016 - Melbourne Cricket Ground Function Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 27 Nov 20161 Dec 2016


ConferenceInternational Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2016
Abbreviated titleAARE 2016

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