What are we missing? Exploring meso-level institutional intervention to address persistent inequities in Australian higher education

Michelle Falconer


This paper seeks to inform Australian higher education sector conversation on ways institutional meso-level strategy could form a bridge between the macro and micro level drivers underpinning higher education inequities. There has been much academic and practitioner discussion of persistent inequities, their causes, and the ways in which these might be engaged and addressed. The paper focuses on institutional based strategic measures and the role these might play in more effectively dismantling these stubborn inequities. It considers how this approach could be used in Australian higher education to better respond to larger global, national and sectorial forces affecting inequities, and more successfully create equitable individual experiences and outcomes in universities. Relevant current literature is analysed to ascertain the potential value and critical elements of such a method. The discussion collates these insights into a suggested set of practice recommendations for a whole-of-institution strategic equity framework.


higher education; equity; widening participation; access; diversity; inclusion

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Banner image: Kira Jovanovski (2020), movement score 01 (detail): oil stick and acrylic on paper. Photograph by Kira Jovanovski. Cover image: Kira Jovanovski (2020), grunt_iteration 02 in the boughs and stamped: installation in University Gallery. Photograph by Jedidiah Cranfield. (c) the artist.





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