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: NCSEHE National Equity Fellows Forum: Synthesis of group discussion

On 20 November 2017 the NCSEHE staged the second National Equity Fellows Forum at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

The Forum presented and promoted the current projects of the 2017 Equity Fellows, Matt Brett, Louise Pollard and James Smith.

Perhaps more significantly, by examining the commonalities and synergies of those projects, critical issues for equity in higher education were raised through an interactive session with experts in equity. Through this discussion, key strategic directions for equity policymakers, researchers and practitioners were established.

The strategic directions section of the Forum was titled Shaping the Future of Australian Higher Education Equity Policy, and was facilitated by Robert Latta, Manager of the Quality and Access Branch in the Higher Education Group in the Department of Education and Training (DET).

This communiqué sets out the questions raised by the three 2017 Equity Fellows, each of which selected key issues in three themes that need to be addressed by the equity and higher education sectors. Each Fellow introduced a theme and posed a series of critical questions.

The three themes were:

  • Research – what questions should we be prioritising for student equity? (James Smith)
  • Policy – What is the relevance of student equity for tertiary education policy reform? (Matt Brett)
  • Practice – how can we ensure the value and impact of student equity practice? (Louise Pollard)

The questions raised by the Equity Fellows were strongly informed by their projects:

  • James Smith – Strengthening evaluation within Indigenous higher education contexts in Australia
  • Matt Brett – Equity, performance and accountability
  • Louise Pollard – Remote student university success: an analysis of policy and practice

PowerPoints, audio recordings and transcripts of the presentations and discussion at the Forum are available here.

The 2017 Equity Fellows Forum was a great success in generating fresh insights into equity challenges and the responses to them. Importantly, this was achieved in a collective and collaborative way through discussion and debate among invited delegates who were experts in equity in higher education and engaged in policy, research and practice.

We would like to thank all of the delegates to the 2017 Equity Fellows Forum for participating in the gathering and for the constructive way they combined to advance the equity agenda in Australian higher education.

NCSEHE National Equity Fellows Forum: Synthesis of group discussion
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