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Widening Participation Strategy

The UTS Widening Participation Strategy (WPS) provides a whole-of-university approach to increase the number of students from low socio-economic (low SES) and Indigenous backgrounds successfully completing university study.

The WPS recognises that raising aspiration and enrolling students from disadvantaged backgrounds into university is just the first step. Students must also be supported in their transition to university study to equip them for success and graduation.

Over 60 programs, across four themes have been funded in 2012

Management of the WPS

The WPS is managed by the Equity and Diversity Unit. Key themes are supported by cross faculty and unit networks and steering groups where appropriate. Projects are managed at a faculty and unit level.

Monitoring and Evaluation

A Monitoring and Evaluation Framework is being established to measure the success of the WPS and to inform learning and reflection processes on the best approaches to building aspiration, widening access, increasing retention and success, and building an inclusive community.

The big picture

In 2009 the Federal Government implemented recommendations of the Bradley Review of Australian Higher Education, with the aim of Australia maintaining its position as one of the most educated and skilled workforces in the world.

Two key targets are now shaping equity policies and programs in higher education:

  • Australian Graduate Profile; by 2025, 40% of 25 to 34-year-olds will hold a Bachelor Degree.
  • Low SES Participation in Higher Education; by 2020, 20% of higher education enrolments at undergraduate level will comprise people from low SES backgrounds.

Every university has established individual equity group participation targets through their Commonwealth Compact Agreements. Commonwealth funding from the Higher Educational Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) has been provided to assist universities in meeting national and institutional equity goals.