Recent activity

Matt Brett, Dr Catherine Burnheim, Dr Andrew Harvey (eds) Photo: Photography & Digital Imaging La TrobeBook launch: ‘Student Equity in Australian Higher Education: Twenty-five years of A Fair Chance for All’

La Trobe University’s Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research (CHEEDR; formerly known as the Access and Achievement Research Unit) hosted the launch of a new book titled ‘Student Equity in Australian Higher Education: Twenty-five years of A Fair Chance for All’ on 3 May 2016 at the State Library of Victoria.  Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar launched the book.

"I congratulate Andrew, Catherine and Matt on editing an excellent book – it is substantial and important, but also thoughtfully edited so there is a natural continuity and flow from chapter to chapter. As editors, they had the foresight to identify equity as a significant issue but, perhaps more importantly, were able to engage some of the best thinkers, scholars and writers on higher education anywhere in the world today.''

Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar.

Download the full speech [PDF 464KB]

Book Launch Photo: Photography & Digital Imaging La TrobePublished by Springer and edited by Andrew Harvey, Catherine Burnheim, and Matt Brett, the book reflects on the legacy of equity policy in Australian higher education, the effectiveness of current approaches, and the likely challenges facing future policymakers.

The launch was attended by over 50 senior representatives from higher education institutions, community service organisations, the Department of Education and Training, Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the media.

Preview the book

Media coverage

book and reports Photo: Photography & Digital Imaging La TrobeTowers, K. (2016, May 4). Dawkins led overhaul ‘needs an update’. The Australian. [PDF 313KB]

Bexley, E. (2016, April 13).Ideas for Australia: Degrees are more necessary than ever before, but the rewards aren't as great. The Conversation. [PDF 245KB]

NCSEHE (2016, April 26). NCSEHE Roundup 26 April 2016. NCSEHE Newsletter. [PDF 264KB]

Ziguras, C. (2016, April 25). Access the advantage: industry will benefit from international students, regardless of wealth. Campus Review.

La Trobe University. (2016, May 16). Book launch: Student Equity in Australian Higher Education: Twenty-five years of A Fair Chance for All. UniNews. 28(15).


Reach for La Trobe: event for young people in out-of-home care and their support networks


La Trobe University’s Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research (CHEEDR; formerly known as the Access and Achievement Research Unit) hosted Reach for La Trobe on Friday, 23 September 2016.  Held at our Bendigo campus, the event provided young people in out-of-home care (kinship care, foster care, ward of the state etc.) with an experience of university life. Carers, case workers, teachers, service providers and support people attended the parallel sessions which provided information about entry pathways, and the services and support offered by the University.

The young people, aged 12 to 16, engaged in activities including a ‘Race around La Trobe’, tour of the student accommodation, and a LaserTag making workshop and confidence building session. La Trobe student facilitators helped run the activities and shared their own experiences of university life.

The support network attended parallel sessions where they learnt about La Trobe’s care leaver initiatives, university admissions processes, and the support available to students from out-of-home care backgrounds. The afternoon featured presentations by Joanna Humphries (Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare), Carolyn Wallace (Anglicare), and Jan Smith (Department of Education and Training) who spoke about their respective projects and campaigns which aim to support young people in out-of-home care.

The day ended with two inspiring presentations by La Trobe students from out-of-home care backgrounds about their experiences and achievements at university.

This event was organised as part of La Trobe’s commitment to improving the educational outcomes of people who have spent time in formal out-of-home care. La Trobe is a partner in the ‘Raising Expectations’ project funded by the Sidney Myer Fund and led by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.

The Centre Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research would like to thank everyone who was involved, including staff from La Trobe’s School Partnerships Program, Tertiary Enabling Program, Accommodation Services, Counselling, Equity and Diversity, and Future Students.


Equity Policies in Admissions seminar with visiting fellow Dr Stella Flores from New York University

La Trobe University’s Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research (CHEEDR; formerly known as the Access and Achievement Research Unit)) hosted the Equity Policies in Admissions seminar with Dr Stella Flores from New York University in August 2016 at the Melbourne campus. Dr Flores is a visiting fellow at La Trobe funded by the Research Focus Area: Transforming Human Societies. The event was introduced by Professor Jane Long, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Dr Flores, Director of Access and Equity at the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at New York University, spoke about the ‘College Equity Trajectory’ in the United States and why it might matter for other nations. Dr Flores highlighted the unequal university access and completion rates in the United States and emphasised the benefits of diversity on university campuses.

Dr Andrew Harvey, the Director of the Centre, and Dr Flores spoke about their current project on international access to higher education funded by the University of Pennsylvania: Margin Buster Micro Grant. The aim of this project is to develop an empirical framework for international comparative evaluation of higher education admissions policies, specifically in relation to students who are defined as minorities, disadvantaged, underserved or under-represented.

The event was attended by over 40 La Trobe University staff, including researchers, lecturers and representatives from Diversity and Inclusion, Alumni and Advancement, Educational Partnerships, and the Enabling and Pathways program.

If you are interested in obtaining further information about our external grants or the Centre, please contact the Centre on cheedr@latrobe.edu.au

‘Cooperative Learning and the Tuākana Advantage: Towards Equity in Higher Education for Māori’ seminar with visiting fellow Dr Carla Houkamau

The Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research (CHEEDR) hosted the ‘Cooperative Learning and the Tuākana Advantage: Towards Equity in Higher Education for Māori’ seminar with visiting fellow Dr Carla Houkamau from the University of Auckland. The event was held at the La Trobe Melbourne Campus on 15 June 2017. Dr Houkamau is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management and International Business at the University of Auckland and the Academic Director of the Tuākana program.

Dr Houkamau outlined some of the challenges facing Māori in higher education, specifically at how unconscious bias towards Māori shapes educational outcomes. Dr Houkamau also spoke about the University of Auckland’s Tuākana program; a mentoring program dedicated to enhancing the academic success of Māori and Pacific students. The Tuākana program offers small-group learning, face-to-face academic coaching and assessment workshops, to connect Māori and Pacific students with senior Māori and Pacific students (tuākana), academic teaching staff, and key people across the University. By adopting Tuākana as a model, Dr Houkamau’s presentation looked at ways of mitigating bias and raising the bar for Māori in higher education.

The seminar was attended by La Trobe University students and staff including researchers, lecturers, and representatives from Educational Partnerships, Human Resources and Learning and Teaching.