Research grant to explore student equity

Associate Professor Buly Cardak and Dr Mark Bowden of Swinburne University have been awarded a grant in the latest competitive funding round run by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education. 

The grant for $68,000 will run between 2014-2015 and support research to determine whether low socioeconomic status (SES) students are disadvantaged in the university application process. 

Are low SES students disadvantaged in the university application process?

This project is motivated by the fact that high SES students are almost 3 times as likely as low SES students to attend university in Australia. 


Led by Dr Buly Cardak, Associate Professor, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law and Dr Mark Bowden, Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology, the project will contribute to our understanding of the SES gradient in university participation. 

The La Trobe – Swinburne team will undertake research that focuses on student’s university application rankings before and after they receive their final high school results (ATAR) to understand how students process the information in their results, how they incorporate it into their university applications and if there are differences in this process between high and low SES students. 

Better understanding how students from different backgrounds interact with the application process will help practitioners and policy makers to develop strategies,like providing better information on the university application process, to address the SES differences in university participation in Australia.

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