National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)

Designing Equitable Principles for Performance Based Funding

La Trobe has received a $37,250 research grant from the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education’s (NCSEHE) 2017 funding round. This project will outline effective design principles of performance based funding (PBF) models, to protect and support student equity in Australian higher education. Current Government proposals include plans for a mainstream PBF program worth $500 million, as well as a smaller PBF element of Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme (HEPPP) funding. These proposals are in addition to recent performance based measures in Indigenous support funding. Drawing on evidence from the US and UK and an analysis of national data sets, the project will explore principles required to support identified student equity groups, and to ensure equitable assessment of admissions, student success, and graduate outcomes.

The project is led by La Trobe, represented by Dr Andrew Harvey (Chief Investigator), Matt Brett and Beni Cakitaki. Project partners include Dr Tiffany Jones (The Education Trust), Professor Julia Clarke (Manchester Metropolitan University), and Associate Professor Jason Taylor (University of Utah).

Equity at and beyond the boundary of Australian universities

La Trobe has received a $39,500 research grant from the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education’s (NCSEHE) 2017 funding round. Disadvantaged higher education students are enrolled through third party delivery arrangements and non-university higher education providers. However, comparatively little is known about student demographics and learning outcomes in this domain. This project builds a much needed evidence base around student equity at and beyond the boundary of Australian universities. The project will establish baseline data and a framework for continuing analysis of student equity in third party delivery and non-university providers. The framework will support evaluation of policy changes (such as performance funding, sub-bachelor funding and provider category reforms) likely to have a significant impact on this domain of participation.

The project is led by Matt Brett (Chief Investigator) from La Trobe University. CHEEDR is represented by Dr Andrew Harvey and Naomi Tootell. Project partners include Professor Peter Noonan (Victoria University) and Buly Cardak (La Trobe University).

Out of care, into university: Raising higher education access and achievement of care leavers

The Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research (CHEEDR; formerly known as The Access and Achievement Research Unit) mapped the higher education sector in relation to people from out-of-home care backgrounds, including kinship care and foster care. The $64,000 project was selected for funding by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) to increase the visibility of the out-of-home care cohort and to provide a strong information base for future policy and research work.

Read the final report

The report is also available through the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education.

Media coverage of the report:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (2015). Out-of-home care: Interview with Chief Investigator, Dr Andrew Harvey, ABC PM, 11 March.

Cervini, E. (2015). University could transform those leaving care - but no welcome mat laid out, The Age, 23 March

Hare, J. (2015). $724K grant to boost tertiary study for abused youth, The Australian, 6 August.

Harvey, A. & McNamara, P. (2015). Out of care and into university, Australian Policy Online, 8 June.

La Trobe University (2015). Out of care and out of uni options, UniNews, 12 March.

Loussikian, K. (2015). Foster care leavers need extra support in higher education, The Australian, 11 March.

McCallum, A. (2015), Young people leaving foster homes at 18 still need care, The Age, 20 April.

Mendes, P. (2015). Young people not supported after they leave care, Eureka Street, 16 March.

Passmore, D. (2015). Queensland ejects hundreds of youngsters a year from state care as they turn 18, The Courier Mail, 14 March.

Assessing descriptors of academic program inherent requirements

This $20,553 project assessed descriptors of academic program inherent requirements across the Australian higher education sector. There has been long-standing advocacy amongst Australian university disability practitioners for the introduction of statements that describe academic program inherent requirements. These statements are perceived to be useful in facilitating the provision of reasonable adjustments that enable the participation of students with disability. There has, however, been little research undertaken on the prevalence or characteristics of these statements. The study will further knowledge on the usage of inherent requirement statements and will inform policy and practice to support the participation of students with disability.

Read the final report

The report is also available through the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education.