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Widening Participation

The Federal Government identifies specific groups of students that have been and who are still under represented in higher education in comparison with their proportion of the population.

Higher Education Participation Programme (HEPP)

The Higher Education Participation Programme (HEPP) provides funding to providers to undertake activities and implement strategies that improve access to undergraduate courses for people from low SES backgrounds and improve their retention and completion rates.

The HEPP aims to encourage and assist providers to meet the Commonwealth Government's ambition that, by 2020, 20 per cent of domestic undergraduate students must be from low SES backgrounds.

2014 Academic School and Organisational Unit HEPP Projects

School or UnitProject NameResponsiblity
EducationThe student Experience of Low SES Students Commencing Undergraduate studies in the School of EducationProfessor Martin Hayden
Health and Human SciencesBoosting Indigenous Midwifery Students' Success (BIMSS)Professor Kathleen Fahy & Ms Carolyn Hastie
Communications and PublicationsStage 2 SCU Inspire Communication ProjectMs Brigid Veale
Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian PeoplesEmbedding Bundjalung Language and CultureDr Norm Sheehan
EducationU Kids on the MoveDr Suzanne Hudson & Dr Roslyn Franklin
Tourism and Hospitality ManagementImproving student retention and success by improving Academic practice in undergraduate Tourism programs (The Win-Win Project)Dr John Haw
Centre for Teaching and Learning (Academic Skills)Empowering Students from Low SES Backgrounds in their Transition to University StudyDr Peter Wignell
Health and Human SciencesSCU ConnectDr Jonathan Munro

Southern Cross University Strengthening Participation Action Framework

Southern Cross University's Strengthening Participation Action Framework is a whole of University statement of SCU's commitment to improve the access, participation and success of students from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Raising Aspiration and Widening Access

Southern Cross University works in partnership with regional and local schools, the VET sector and communities to inspire people to the possibility of attending university and to help them make informed choices at key life transitions to lead them there

UNI-BOUND School Outreach Program

The UNI-BOUND program is an initiative that supports Southern Cross University's commitment to improving the access, participation and support of students from low socio-economic backgrounds. The program works with both primary and high school students, their communities and families from low socio-economic backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Stellar Program

The Stellar Program, is an initiative funded by the Commonwealth Government's Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) to improve the participation rates of students from communities under-represented in higher education.

Stellar, developed by the Clarence Valley Industry and Education Forum (CVIEF), works through a whole of community approach to support students to reach their goals. Stellar provides information and support to students, families, carers, school staff and community groups necessary for young people to aspire to university

Creating Pathways and Access

Southern Cross University currently exceeds the sector average for the participation rates of students from low SES, regional, rural, remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island backgrounds. In order to maintain this level of participation and in particular to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander School leavers and adults entering university. We will provide a diverse range of alternative entry pathways and access arrangements.

Support is offered via: Strengthening Participation Scholarships

Support and Success

Southern Cross University works to enhance and enrich student transition to and engagement with university learning and study for its diverse student body. We aim for a growing number of students successfully completing their studies.

The Equity and Diversity office has a number of initiatives to support Widening Participation:

UniMentor Program

The UniMentor program connects new students with a second or third year mentor studying the same (or similar) course. UniMentors are in touch with the academic and social challenges of university life, as they've been through it themselves.

An Inclusive University

Throughout the year, in a variety of ways, the University community joins together to celebrate our diversity and to learn more about each other. This includes observance of significant national Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander events, and events relating to cultural diversity and social inclusion.

HEPP Funding has been allocated to support school and organisational unit based projects and programs focused at the retention and success of students from low SES and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

The Equity & Diversity Office manages the Southern Cross University HEPP Programs.