This article outlines three broad propositions for student equity in Australian higher education (HE), arising from the Australian Government's recent policy announcement to expand and widen student participation. The first is that a new relationship between student demand for places and their supply is on the horizon, unlike any other in Australia's history. Specifically, demand will struggle to match the intended supply. Given these new arrangements between government, institution and applicant, the article's second proposition is that governments and universities will need to develop a new regard for the people they seek to attract. And, following on from this, they will need to pay more attention to the nature of HE and its appeal to people who traditionally have not been all that interested. Informing this account are an examination of statistical data, analysis of university outreach programs, and a comparison of current principles of effective teaching in HE. The article concludes that advancing student equity in the current context will require new relations between institutions and students, which include a more sophisticated appreciation for the diversity of students and their communities, and for what they potentially contribute to HE.
Field of Research
130103 Higher Education 160506 Education Policy 160809 Sociology of Education