La Trobe bridging program expanded

Foreground: A dentistry student hard at work. Background: Dignitaries, including Senator The Hon Gavin Marshall, touring the La Trobe Rural Health SchoolThe Minister for Higher Education Senator Kim Carr today announced a $1.3 million expansion under the Higher Education Participation and Partnership Program of La Trobe’s successful Curriculum Bridges program, which targets senior secondary school students in Bendigo and the northern suburbs of Melbourne to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar today welcomed the funding decision, which was made by government before the election was called.

‘La Trobe University already enrols the largest number of students from regional Victoria and those from a low socio-economic status and we are committed to further grow this number under our Future Ready strategic plan,’ Professor Dewar said.

‘This program aims to challenge, inspire and empower Year 10-12 students to think seriously about going to university.

‘This additional funding will open up the prospect of even more young people gaining a university education at La Trobe, particularly in the important subject areas of the sciences and mathematics,’ he said.

Curriculum Bridges is currently a pilot program conducted in partnership between La Trobe University, Quantum Victoria, the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and three state secondary schools, with the guidance of respected education expert Professor Richard Teese. Its focus is on schools where students are currently recording relatively low levels of university attendance.

The additional funding means the pilot will now be expanded to another nine schools, to include all five senior secondary schools in Bendigo and seven schools in northern Melbourne. 

Bendigo schools that will be taking part under the expanded program include:

•    Bendigo Senior Secondary College (existing)

•    Bendigo South East 7-10 Secondary College

•    Crusoe 7-10 Secondary College

•    Eaglehawk 7-10 Secondary College

•    Weeroona 7-10 College

Schools from the northern suburbs of Melbourne that will take part in the expanded program include:

•    Glenroy Secondary College

•    Bundoora Secondary College

•    Charles La Trobe Secondary College

•    Gladstone Park Secondary College

•    Epping  Secondary College

•    Mill Park Secondary College (existing)

•    Reservoir High (existing)

Professor Dewar said the program also aimed to address teaching practices and techniques by connecting secondary school staff with university teachers, researchers, science curriculum experts and indigenous education bodies.


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