Regions get a taste of higher education

The communities of Mildura, Renmark and Swan Hill are the focus of an exciting new program that brings higher education opportunities to those who may never have had the chance to study.

bite into higher education Called a "Taste of Tertiary," participants will study two introductory university subjects, in sociology and history, and upon successful completion of the program will be guaranteed admission in a Bachelor of Arts degree at one of La Trobes regional campuses.

"This is a novel initiative as it allows any member of the public living in regions that have been poorly served by the tertiary sector, to dip their toe into the water of higher education," said Evan Willis, Associate Dean (Regions) and Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences.

"The scheme is about confidence and contacts as it aims to give people who might have always wanted to try university a chance, leading to an I can do this" attitude," said Professor Willis.

Participants in the program are not required to have any prior level of education.

A tutor will travel to the communities to teach a workshop once a fortnight, and twice in each semester participants will be bussed to Mildura to take part in a day of lectures and other activities. Once both subjects are successfully completed, students will be able to enrol in other subjects at the Mildura or other La Trobe regional campuses and have those two subject credited towards a degree.  

"There is a cost for participating but that cost is being subsidised by the Universitys Access and Equity office as we are keen to work closely with regional communities to provide them with new opportunities and pathways into higher education," said Kent Farrell, Executive Director of La Trobes Mildura campus.

La Trobe University's introduction of a "Taste of Tertiary" comes at an auspicious time. A number of recommendations in the recent Bradley Review of higher education highlighted the urgent need for better access for regional communities to higher education.

Applications for this pilot program close on 16 February 2009. For more information, please contact T:03.5051.4000