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You are reading: Discussion Paper: Critical Interventions Framework

Developing a Critical Interventions Framework for advancing equity in Australian higher education’, a discussion paper prepared for the former Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education by Ryan Naylor, Chi Baik, and Richard James from the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education hosted by The University of Melbourne.

This paper was presented for critical discussion at the Equity in Higher Education Policy Forum held in Sydney on 30 April and 1 May 2013.

Executive Summary

This report presents a Critical Interventions Framework designed to assist in advancing equity in Australian higher education.  The purpose of the framework is to assist in identifying the characteristics and foci of initiatives and strategies that are most effective and to contribute to a better understanding of how activities and resources can be best targeted to generate positive outcomes.

The report:

  • summarises the patterns of access and participation for key equity target groups in the period following the 2008 Review of Australian Higher Education (the ‘Bradley Review’);
  • reviews the national and international literature in search of available  evidence in support of the effectiveness of specific initiatives and programs implemented to advance equity;
  • presents a typology of equity initiatives, styled as a Critical Interventions Framework, to assist in conceptualising policy and practice and informing research and evaluation;
  • presents a summary of the plausibility and apparent evidence base for the types of initiatives described in the Critical Interventions Framework; and
  • presents a broad summary of the national patterns of equity initiatives drawn from an analysis of the institutional reports provided to the Commonwealth as part of the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships program (HEPPP), again against the Critical Interventions Framework.

The report’s emphasis is on low SES access and participation given the importance that has been assigned to this group in public policy.

Read more: Critical Interventions Framework