Increasing university aspirations amongst high school students: Impact of the First Generation UniReady Program

Joy Penman, Kalpana Goel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This article describes a regional campus initiative which set out to increase university aspirations of high school students in a regional area. Through the introduction of the First Generation UniReady program conducted in 2009 for six weeks, two hours per week, at the Whyalla campus of the University of South Australia, forty-eight (N=48) local Year 10 students from three secondary schools were introduced to university and given opportunities to explore pathways to university.
The learning that transpired and the impact of the program on students’ decision to pursue university studies were determined through surveys. Results of the post-program survey indicated that the majority of the students who participated in the program perceived the program as a valuable introduction to university. They found the program to be useful and influential on their decision to seek future university enrolment. In fact, 27% of the program Year 10 participants enrolled in various academic programs of the University in 2012 following high school graduation. Subsequent percentages of student enrolments were 21% and 34% for years 2013 and 2014, respectively. The initiative is worthwhile continuing on a regular basis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-74
Number of pages17
JournalAustralasian Journal of University Community Engagement
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • school-university partnership
  • first generation program
  • higher education
  • raising aspirations
  • high school student university experience

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