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: Recommendations for equitable student support during disruptions to the higher education sector: Lessons from COVID-19

Written by Dr Lucy Mercer-Mapstone (CI)1, Tahlia Fatnowna1,  Professor Pauline Ross1, Dr Lisa Bricknell2, Dr William Mude2, Professor Janelle Wheat3, Dr Ryan P. Barone4, Associate Professor Doreen E. Martinez4, Professor Deborah West5, Dr Sarah Jane Gregory6, Professor Jessica Vanderlelie7, Professor Tricia McLaughlin8, Dr Belinda Kennedy8, Professor Amanda Able9, Professor Philippa Levy9, Dr Kasia Banas10, Dr Florence Gabriel11, Professor Abelardo Pardo11, Dr Ian Zucker12

Disasters disproportionately impact marginalised groups. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption in higher education students’ experiences. We sought to understand how twelve universities across three countries endeavoured to support students to retain access to learning through COVID-19, particularly those from minoritised and intersectional backgrounds.

We were guided by the following overarching questions: What strategies did universities employ to support students during COVID-19 and what was the uptake of these strategies by students?; How did students perceive the usefulness of institutional COVID-19 support initiatives?; and How did students experience the impacts of COVID-19in 2020? To deepen our learning, points of comparison were made between countries, institution types, and student cohorts from minoritised, intersectional, and non-minoritised backgrounds.

Read the full report: Recommendations for equitable student support during disruptions to the higher education sector: Lessons from COVID-19

Read the higher education good practice guide: Equitable student support during times of crisis


1University of Sydney
2Central Queensland University
3Charles Sturt University
4Colorado State University
5Flinders University
6Griffith University
7Latrobe University
8RMIT University
9University of Adelaide
10University of Glasgow
11University of South Australia
12University of Technology Sydney