Students in enabling programs need support not deterrents

Paul Chojenta


This article argues that the Australian Government’s 2017 Higher Education Reform Package represents a significant reduction in support for underrepresented groups to access higher education in Australia. It suggests that proposed changes to funding models for enabling (access) education programs will disproportionately disadvantage people in the six equity groups recognised by the Australian Higher Education Policy: low socioeconomic status (low SES) students; students with a disability, Indigenous students, students from regional and remote areas, women in non-traditional areas of study (WINTA); and students from a nonEnglish speaking background (NESB). It further proposes that beyond those six categories, many students in enabling programs face additional barriers that are not formally recognised or supported, which make their success even more challenging, but ultimately more rewarding. Finally, it considers the larger role that enabling programs play in supporting diverse communities of learners.


enabling, access, student equity, funding, support

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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.





This journal is published on the lands of the Pambalong Clan of the Awabakal People.

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