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: My Story — Student Voice


Professor Sue Trinidad, Director, NCSEHE
Ms Nina-Marie Thomas, Editor, My Story — Student Voice

The NCSEHE provides national leadership in student equity in higher education. The Centre connects research, policy and practice to improve higher education participation and success for marginalised and disadvantaged people. An emphasis on the “student voice” and evaluation and communication of best practice equity initiatives contextualises research and data analysis.

Since 2017, the NCSEHE has published the online My Story — Student Voice series. Over three years, 21 inspirational students have shared their accounts of overcoming significant challenges to achieve academic, personal and career successes.

Hosted on the NCSEHE website, the features have had widespread recognition, amassing more than 15,000 page views from 2017-19, being republished internationally, and being a central element of the 2018 World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED) Conference.

Through this series, we have challenged the notion of deficit and collectively celebrated these students’ outstanding personal and academic qualities and achievements. This group—and so many others from “non-traditional” backgrounds—have the potential to better the world in their own unique ways.

The narratives offer unique insights into the motivations, barriers, and support needs of individuals facing complex—and often compounding—disadvantage. These student stories encompass the full spectrum of the student journey — from school, into university, and on to post-graduation and employment.

This My Story — Student Voice publication is the fourth in the NCSEHE case studies series, following Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program: Seven Years On (2017), Access and Participation in Higher Education: Outreach–Access–Support (2013) and Partnerships in Higher Education (2014).

Each of these compilations has presented good practice in widening participation in higher education, with a particular focus on programs funded through the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP).

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Featured publications
The Critical Interventions Framework Part 3 (CIF 3) focuses on evaluative studies which provide details of the impacts of specific interventions on equity groups in relation to access to and success in higher education.
A case study documenting the transition of one Indigenous student, Robbie, from an underprivileged school located in the Western suburbs of Sydney to an urban Australian university.