The Australian Centre for Student Equity and Success acknowledges Indigenous peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands on which our campuses are situated. With a history spanning 60,000 years as the original educators, Indigenous peoples hold a unique place in Australia. We recognise the importance of their knowledge and culture, and reflect the principles of participation, equity, and cultural respect in our work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future, and consider it an honour to learn from our Indigenous colleagues, partners, and friends.

You are reading: Access and Widening Participation at the University of Newcastle: Synergies, Strengths and Challenges for Enabling Programs

Event information


The National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education is pleased to be welcoming colleagues Associate Professor Seamus Fagan and Dr Anna Bennett from the University of Newcastle to join us on Thursday 9 March 2017.

They will be running a session providing a brief overview of the enabling programs and research projects about access and widening participation at the University of Newcastle. Participants will be invited to discuss synergies, strengths and challenges for enabling programs and research about them, in order to identify collective areas of interest and focus.

This event is free to attend. Please RSVP via email to by Monday 6 March 2017 to secure your place.


Seamus Fagan
Associate Professor Seamus Fagan has been the Director of the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre (ELFSC) at the University of Newcastle, NSW, since 2001. In this role, Seamus oversees a large portfolio of ELICOS and enabling programs. Seamus has played a key role in the establishment of the National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia (NAEEA) and currently serves on its executive. He is CI of the OLT funded project (Re)claiming social capital: improving language and cultural pathways for refugee students into Australian higher education and is involved in a collaborative project exploring the educational aspirations and participation of Indigenous women in regional, rural and remote communities. Seamus has also co-led another recent project titled The Ripple Effect: how enabling education impacts on the individual, the family and the community.

Anna Bennett
Dr Anna Bennett is Head of English Language and Foundation Studies Centre (ELFSC) Research Engagement and Development at the University of Newcastle, NSW. Current areas of research include: the study of discourses of access, participation and equity in higher education; exploring identities and investments in higher education, equity programme evaluation; and enabling pedagogies. In addition to leading the Critical Interventions Framework Part 2 (2015), Anna has been involved in various research projects, including two NCSEHE funded projects about student capability and belonging (2015) and experiences of time in higher education (2016). Anna is co-facilitator of the NAEEA Research Development and Collaboration Special Interest Group (with Professor Penny Jane Burke), which aims to bring together colleagues who are interested in research about enabling programs, the transition of students into and through higher education and lifelong learning, and as related to other related fields of research, such as widening participation, equity and social justice in education.