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La Trobe and FedUni’s Care Leaver Strategy wins prestigious higher education award

Director of the Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research, Dr Andrew Harvey (right) receiving the award.

La Trobe University and Federation University Australia’s Higher Education for Care Leavers Strategy has won the Equity and Opportunity category of the Australian Financial Review (AFR) Higher Education Awards.

Now in their third year, the prestigious awards recognise innovation and achievement in Australia’s higher education sector. Over 100 entries were considered by the judging panel of eminent higher education veterans.

The Higher Education for Care Leavers Strategy is a comprehensive approach to raise university access and success for care leavers. La Trobe and FedUni have successfully collaborated to provide outreach, academic and financial support to assist people who have spent time in foster, residential, or kinship care (care leavers).

The Care Leavers’ Strategy was informed by research conducted by La Trobe’s Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research (CHEEDR). The evidence-based initiatives have successfully: improved data capture on care leavers at the point of application and enrolment; increased outreach to flexible learning schools and care(r) organisations; improved support for enrolled care leavers through the provision of bursaries and scholarships; increased awareness of the specific needs of care leavers as an equity group through the development and distribution of guidelines for university staff; and influenced institutional, state and national research and policy agendas.

The Strategy is strongly supported by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, which leads a Sidney Myer Fund grant project on which La Trobe and FedUni are partners. Research informing the Strategy has been funded by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education and the Department of Education and Training National Priorities Pool.

The winners of the AFR Higher Education Awards were announced at a gala dinner on 29 August, as part of The Australian Financial Review Higher Education Summit. Dr Andrew Harvey, Director of CHEEDR, accepted the award.

For more information, please read La Trobe’s media release.

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