Ethics, equity andexcellence: a case studyof supported transitionto higher education inthe Australian contextTamra Cocks &...
IntroductionIn developed nations, a shift is occurring from mass touniversal higher education provision and „thesedevelopm...
Session Structure   Equity      Australian discourses of inclusion      The Australian context      Case study of an e...
Equity
In your experience,   what prevents    people from accessing higher    education?
‘Ensuring that every Australian, no matter how  wealthy or poor, has a fair chance is one of theAustralian discoursesAustr...
The Australian ContextAustralian higher education targets 2020 – 20 % of enrolments from low SES  backgrounds 2025 – 40%...
(OECD 2011, p. 292)
(Lomax-Smith, Watson & Webster 2011, p. 116)
(Lomax-Smith, Watson & Webster 2011, p. 117)
(Lomax-Smith, Watson & Webster 2011, p. 119)
Case Study Of An Enabling ProgramThe University Founding legislation Denise Bradley and the role of the „Bradley  review...
Case Study Of An Enabling programUniSA College – combines outreach programs, researchprojects and teaching of enabling pro...
Case Study Of An Enabling Program                       (Boyle 2012) (Glover et al. 2010
Case Study Of An Enabling Program                              (Boyle 2012)
Case Study Of An Enabling ProgramThe students College video Outcomes include university preparation,  retention and succ...
Excellence
What isassociated with excellence atyour institution?
Success Stories
Success Stories           Tom‟s story            “The course was free, it            seemed really supportive and        ...
Inclusive Culture for Students     from Equity Groups  55% of Foundation Studies students = from an equity                ...
College Environment Campus location provides an authentic university  experience Learning environment comprises tutorial...
Learner Identities Large number of students from educationally  disadvantaged backgrounds High vulnerability Unfamiliar...
Inclusive Culture Position title-Lecturer: Teaching Focus Staff make themselves highly accessible  to students One-to-o...
Student reflections regarding  the College’s inclusive cultureStudents‟ work ethic and levels of motivation are influenced...
Ethics
What challenges have you  experienced in bringingequity groups into a system  designed for the elite?
Introducing Academic Culture   Diverse cohort of students with various    educational, linguistic and socio-cultural    b...
Emotional Support Students from equity groups face additional  external pressures Support is necessary- „Access without ...
ESL (English as a Second           Language) CohortApproximately 1/5 of Foundation Studies studentsidentify as NESB (Non-E...
ESL Cohort Common languages other than English    Common languages other than English       spoken at home 2011           ...
ESL Cohort Challenges Minimal entry requirements No English language entry test  difficult to  identify students with c...
ESL Cohort Challenges Diversity of language proficiency levels makes it difficult to  design a course to cater for all of...
Literacy Challenges Acquiring academic English literacy skills is an  issue that affects students from both ESB and  NESB...
Combatting ESL Challenges From 2012 we implemented a Diagnostic  Writing Task to advise students which literacy  course t...
Informed Choiceso Support for study and for informed decision-  makingo „Where withdrawal signals an informed, adult  deci...
Conclusion          Growing student demand           highlights the role of enabling           programs in HE          T...
References   OECD 2011, Education at a Glance 2011: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, viewed 14 March 2012,    <http://ww...
References   Gallacher, J, Crossan, B, Field, J & Merrill, B 2002, „Learning careers and the social space: exploring the ...
Expressions of interest in international benchmarking exerciseAny questions about the paper?
Ethics equity and excellence: A case study of supported transition to higher education in the Australian context
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Ethics equity and excellence: A case study of supported transition to higher education in the Australian context

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A conference paper presented at the Widening Participation Conference 2012 'Discourse of Inclusion in Higher Education' 24-25 April 2012, UK

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Ethics equity and excellence: A case study of supported transition to higher education in the Australian context

  1. 1. Ethics, equity andexcellence: a case studyof supported transitionto higher education inthe Australian contextTamra Cocks & Jennifer Stokes
  2. 2. IntroductionIn developed nations, a shift is occurring from mass touniversal higher education provision and „thesedevelopments involve a rethink of the exclusive nature ofuniversities and a greater shift from “elitism” to socialinclusion‟ (Ramburuth & Hӓrtel 2010, p. 156).This session will: Explore the relationship between policy and practice Consider challenges in balancing excellence, equity and ethics Provide a case study at an Australian university
  3. 3. Session Structure Equity  Australian discourses of inclusion  The Australian context  Case study of an enabling program Excellence  College environment and learner identities  Inclusive culture  Behavioural norms Ethics  Introducing academic culture  Emotional support  ESL/Policy/Ethics  Informed choices Conclusion Questions?
  4. 4. Equity
  5. 5. In your experience, what prevents people from accessing higher education?
  6. 6. ‘Ensuring that every Australian, no matter how wealthy or poor, has a fair chance is one of theAustralian discoursesAustralian most important challenges for of inclusion universities... Our reputation as an egalitarian nation and our future prosperity rests on the outcome... The task now is to expand access and opportunity to everyone, regardless of the family or community they come from’. The Hon Julia Gillard MP, Deputy Prime Minister 2008 ‘Only citizens who are resilient, informed, adaptable and confident will manage the consequences of the new global economy with all its opportunities and threats. A strong education system designed to ensure genuine opportunity for all to reach their full potential and to continue to improve their knowledge and capacities throughout their lives will build such
  7. 7. The Australian ContextAustralian higher education targets 2020 – 20 % of enrolments from low SES backgrounds 2025 – 40% of 25-34 year olds hold a bachelor degree (Bradley et al. 2008, p. xiv)
  8. 8. (OECD 2011, p. 292)
  9. 9. (Lomax-Smith, Watson & Webster 2011, p. 116)
  10. 10. (Lomax-Smith, Watson & Webster 2011, p. 117)
  11. 11. (Lomax-Smith, Watson & Webster 2011, p. 119)
  12. 12. Case Study Of An Enabling ProgramThe University Founding legislation Denise Bradley and the role of the „Bradley review‟ UniSA equity demographics (DEEWR 2011) A young institution grounded in older South Australian technical institutions Values and role
  13. 13. Case Study Of An Enabling programUniSA College – combines outreach programs, researchprojects and teaching of enabling programs 2006 – Foundation Studies program established (Klinger & Murray 2011, p. 139) 2011 – UniSA College established 2012 – Diploma programs added, 50% growth in enrolments Programs Options for students Located at the university
  14. 14. Case Study Of An Enabling Program (Boyle 2012) (Glover et al. 2010
  15. 15. Case Study Of An Enabling Program (Boyle 2012)
  16. 16. Case Study Of An Enabling ProgramThe students College video Outcomes include university preparation, retention and success
  17. 17. Excellence
  18. 18. What isassociated with excellence atyour institution?
  19. 19. Success Stories
  20. 20. Success Stories  Tom‟s story “The course was free, it seemed really supportive and meant I could get into university and also understand what would be required to succeed”  Alumni offered places in flagship degrees e.g. Law, Physiotherapy, Journalism, Pharmacy  Alumni have a higher undergraduate retention rate and „higher mean GPA‟ than other undergraduates (Klinger & Murray 2011, p.144)
  21. 21. Inclusive Culture for Students from Equity Groups 55% of Foundation Studies students = from an equity groupEquity groups ATSI (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) Disability Isolated Low-socio economic status (Low- SES) Non-English-Speaking Background (NESB) Rural Women in non-traditional areas(NBEET, cited in Klinger & Murray 2011; DEEWR 2011)
  22. 22. College Environment Campus location provides an authentic university experience Learning environment comprises tutorial rooms, staff offices and the Student Common Room Student Common Room is a place for study and socialising. Build peer networks and friendships. Social relationships that are supportive of learning are a key factor in motivating and maintaining the development of learner identities (Gallacher et al. 2010)
  23. 23. Learner Identities Large number of students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds High vulnerability Unfamiliar with university setting and tertiary programs Low-SES students may feel identities are devalued in comparison to those of high status social identity (Ramburuth & Hӓrtel 2010) „Providing room for different ways of thinking about and different ways of engaging with knowledge‟ Gale (2010, p.5)
  24. 24. Inclusive Culture Position title-Lecturer: Teaching Focus Staff make themselves highly accessible to students One-to-one student consultation in the Student Common Room
  25. 25. Student reflections regarding the College’s inclusive cultureStudents‟ work ethic and levels of motivation are influenced bythe teachers who build supportive relationships with them(Mullen 2010). The respect I received, the trust I felt I was given in decision making and not being judged (What was the best part of the course? EDUC 1031 CEI 2009). The tutor was very receptive and inspiring showing a positive and motivated attitude to our course and each individual catering differently to each of our needs (LANG 1002 CEI 2011). A good teacher is the strength of this course. I like the way she tries to assist all students with a smile on her face (LANG 46 CEI 2011).
  26. 26. Ethics
  27. 27. What challenges have you experienced in bringingequity groups into a system designed for the elite?
  28. 28. Introducing Academic Culture  Diverse cohort of students with various educational, linguistic and socio-cultural backgrounds  Teaching university conventions such as academic integrity can be challenging  Specific induction into academic conventions such as: - Assessment submission - Communicating with staff & peers respectfully - Attendance and participation - Building learner autonomy - Juggling work & study commitments
  29. 29. Emotional Support Students from equity groups face additional external pressures Support is necessary- „Access without support is not opportunity‟ (Engstrom & Tinto 2008) Staff meet regularly to discuss any student concerns and allow a responsive approach to student needs. The College connects students to various support services- Learning and Teaching Unit (LTU), counsellors, career advisors and disability advisors.
  30. 30. ESL (English as a Second Language) CohortApproximately 1/5 of Foundation Studies studentsidentify as NESB (Non-English Speaking Background)English versus non-English language English versus non-English language spoken at home 2011 spoken at home 2012 Non- Non-EnglishEnglish, 20.7 17% % English, 79.3 % English 83% (Boyle 2012)
  31. 31. ESL Cohort Common languages other than English Common languages other than English spoken at home 2011 spoken at home 2012 35.0%35.0% 30.0%30.0% 25.0%25.0% 20.0%20.0% 15.0%15.0% 10.0%10.0% 5.0%5.0% 0.0%0.0% (Boyle 2012)
  32. 32. ESL Cohort Challenges Minimal entry requirements No English language entry test  difficult to identify students with critically low language proficiency levels Some students would fall below 5.5 International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Most English language entry requirements for international students wishing to enter undergraduate level are typically a score of 6 to 6.5 on the IELTS Research has shown it takes 5-10 years for a student to develop cognitive academic linguistic proficiency (Bretag 2007)
  33. 33. ESL Cohort Challenges Diversity of language proficiency levels makes it difficult to design a course to cater for all of the students Our challenge is making sure students all come out with positive learning outcomes. What is the aim of the course? Prepare students for undergraduate level and equip them with academic reading and writing skills? Or… Design a course that builds upon their grammatical knowledge and develops their communicative competence? Either way, some students feel disengaged as the course tasks and assessment items may not match their specific aptitudes.
  34. 34. Literacy Challenges Acquiring academic English literacy skills is an issue that affects students from both ESB and NESB. Assuming that ESB students have sufficient grammatical knowledge and are confident with academic reading and writing tasks is erroneous. Ensuring that English literacy support is available to both NESB and ESB students is important in order not to show favour or discriminate towards one group.
  35. 35. Combatting ESL Challenges From 2012 we implemented a Diagnostic Writing Task to advise students which literacy course they would be suited to Advise students of what their level should be on the IELTS Continue to provide literacy support workshops The LTU has language learning advisors who give language support to College students exclusively
  36. 36. Informed Choiceso Support for study and for informed decision- makingo „Where withdrawal signals an informed, adult decision that university is not for them, this should be viewed as a form of success because the equity objective has been served‟ (Klinger & Murray 2011, p. 143).o Gracious exits available e.g. alternate options, completing a qualification
  37. 37. Conclusion  Growing student demand highlights the role of enabling programs in HE  This paper has identified some of the challenges of putting equity policy into practice  These challenges need to be addressed in order to balance equity and excellence in an ethical manner
  38. 38. References OECD 2011, Education at a Glance 2011: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, viewed 14 March 2012, <http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/61/2/48631582.pdf > University of South Australia Act 1990 (South Australia) University of Adelaide Act 1971 Equity – Success Rates, by State Table A Higher Education Provider, 2011, DEEWR, viewed 4 April 2012, <http://www.deewr.gov.au/HigherEducation/Publications/HEStatistics/Publications/Documents/UniversitySouthAustralia.p df> Glover, J, Hetzel, D, Tennant, S & Leahy, K 2010, Understanding Educational Opportunities and Outcomes: A South Australian Atlas, Public Health Information Development Unit, University of Adelaide, viewed 4 April 2012, <http://www.publichealth.gov.au/pdf/atlases/sa_education_2009/Education.pdf> Biggs, J & Tang, C 2007, Teaching for quality learning at university: what the student does, 3rd edn, Open University Press, Maidenhead. Boyle, S 2012, Selected student equity statistics for UniSA College in 2011 and 2012, UniSA College, Adelaide. Bradley, D, Noonan, P, Nugent, H & Scales, B 2008, Review of Australian Higher Education, Commonwealth of Australia, Australia. Bretag, T 2007, „The emperor‟s new clothes: yes, there is a link between English language competence and academic standards‟, People and Place, vol. 15, no.1, pp. 13-21. CEIs and SETs 2009-2011, University of South Australia - full reference can be supplied on request. Christie, H, Tett, L Cree, V, Hounsell, J & McCune, V 2008 „“A real rollercoaster of confidence and emotion”: learning to be a university student‟, Studies in Higher Education, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 567-581. Engstrom, C & Tinto, V 2008, „Access without support is not opportunity‟, Change, vol. 40, no.1, pp. 46-50. Gale, T 2010, 2010 Occasional papers on learning and teaching at UniSA, Paper 2: Towards socially inclusive teaching and learning in higher education, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.
  39. 39. References Gallacher, J, Crossan, B, Field, J & Merrill, B 2002, „Learning careers and the social space: exploring the fragile identities of adult returners in the new further education‟, International Journal of Lifelong Education, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 493-509. Holderhead, S 2012 „Refugee‟s delight at double degree‟, Advertiser, 6 February, viewed 14 March 2012, <http://www.news.com.au/refugee-pierre-nkuriyes-delight-at-double-degree/story-fn3o6nna-1226263167459> Keller, C. 2011, „Graduate grandma makes the grade‟, Advertiser, 2 April, p. 13. Klinger, C & Murray, N 2011, „Access, aspiration and attainment: Foundation Studies at the University of South Australia‟, International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, vol. 6, pp. 137-146. Lomax-Smith, J, Watson, L & Webster, B 2011 Higher Education Base funding Review: Final Report 2011, Commonwealth of Australia, Australia. Mullen, A L 2010, Degrees of inequality, John Hopkins University Press, Maryland. Murray, N 2010, „Consideration in the Post-Enrolment Assessment of English Language Proficiency: Reflections from the Australian Context‟, Language Assessment Quarterly, vol. 7, pp.343-358. National Standards for Foundation Programs 2009, Australian Education International, viewed 16th January 2012 <http://www.aei.gov.au/regulatory-information/Education-Services-for-Overseas-Students-ESOS-Legislative- Framework/foundationstandards/Pages/Default.aspx> Ramsden, P 2003, Learning to teach in higher education, 2nd edn, Routledge Falmer, Cornwall Ramburuth, P & Hӓrtel, C 2010, „Understanding and meeting the needs of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds‟, Multicultural Education and Technology Journal, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 153-162. Ross, J 2011, „Bradley Targets threatened by high drop-out rates among disadvantaged students‟, Australian, September 14, viewed 20 December 2011 <http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/bradley-targets-threatened-by-high- drop-out-rates-among-disadvantaged-students/story-e6frgcjx-1226136074420> Ryan, J 2011, „Access and participation in higher education of students with disabilities: access to what?‟, Australian Education Research, vol. 38, no. 1, pp.73-93. Smyth, J, Hattam, R, Cannon, J, Edwards, J, Wilson, N & Wurst, S 2004, Dropping out’, drifting off, being excluded: Becoming somebody without school, Peter Lang Publishing, New York. Wintergerst, A & McVeigh, J 2011, Tips for Teaching Culture: Practical Approaches to Intercultural Communication, Pearson, New York.
  40. 40. Expressions of interest in international benchmarking exerciseAny questions about the paper?

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