[Sub ID 4888] University educator and student interventions (The University of Queensland)

Submission ID: 4888
Organisation name: The University of Queensland
Contact name: Dr Wojtek Tomaszewski
State: QLD
Contact email: w.tomaszewski@uq.edu.au

Our idea will support young students at risk of long-term unemployment by focusing on providing better support to low-SES students in higher education. Over the last two decades, there has been a significant policy effort to increase university participation among low-SES students; but simply increasing access to higher education is not enough.

Once enrolled, students from low SES backgrounds are still much less likely to succeed in higher education and to graduate, and have poorer long-term labour market outcomes upon completion. Financial barriers are an obvious factor leading to poorer outcomes of students from low-SES backgrounds; however, non-financial barriers such as socio-cultural and aspirational factors, and the institutional barriers encountered by students at university, are arguably more important and also more readily overcome.

Our idea is to introduce an innovative, low-cost and high-impact program aimed at tackling the non-financial barriers that young people from low-SES backgrounds face by working with both the students and university educators to boost low-SES students’ potential to succeed in higher education; increase their capacity to work; and ultimately, improve their long-term workforce participation.