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I would’ve been so overwhelmed...: the importance of TAFE in supporting success for low SES students in HE
conference contributionposted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by Norah HoskenNorah Hosken, Sophie GoldingaySophie Goldingay, Clare Land, P Barnes, K Murphy
The Federal Government Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program includes a renewed push to redress the persistent under-representation of students from low socio-economic status backgrounds in higher education in Australia. The discipline of Social Work at Deakin University has been successful in attracting a wide range of students into the Bachelor program and is committed to giving students the best chance of success. This paper presents findings from qualitative research aimed at building two-way bridges between The Gordon (formerly The Gordon Institute of TAFE) and Deakin University to widen access and to support and retain students. The research presented here illuminates the experiences of students who commenced university following studies at TAFE, as well as the multiple, complex and intersecting factors impacting on this particular cohort’s educational opportunity. Our findings suggest that the TAFE pathway functions as an equity mechanism in our particular study site. Further, findings regarding students’ support needs underpin our argument that universities must do more to meet their responsibilities towards students.