Increasing access to higher education for all – particularly students from low SES backgrounds, students with disabilities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students – is important to us. At USC, we have a range of strategies to increase participation rates in these equity groups, including school- and community-based aspiration building, academic preparation programs, on-campus experiences, diplomas, undergraduate programs and a Tertiary Preparation Pathway enabling program.
We also support students from equity groups with initiatives such as equity bursaries, and we offer a range of additional support services for students with disabilities. However, all support services are designed to increase participation of the student cohorts enrolled at USC.
There are currently 18,000 students enrolled at USC, with 51.4 percent of the undergraduate students the first in their family to attend university. From our total number of students enrolled, 20.2 percent are from low socioeconomic backgrounds, 30.1 percent are from regional backgrounds and 0.2 percent are from remote backgrounds. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students currently represent 2.67 percent of all domestic students. The percentage of students with disabilities is 6.21 percent. As a university that believes everyone deserves access to education, USC is proud to sit above the national average for access and participation rates for students from low SES backgrounds, students who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and students with a disability.
USC is proud to partner with Queensland’s eight public universities and the Department of Education to undertake a range of widening participation activities.
At USC, we believe everyone has what it takes to rise, and shine. We offer dedicated outreach programs for primary and secondary students that focus on raising aspirations and planning pathways to the future.
Institutional access and participation plan
We have a range of plans that outline our strategies to increase access, participation and success for people from low socioeconomic backgrounds – as required in the Higher Education Participation and Partnership Program (HEPPP). Our plans provide brief descriptions under the following topics:
- Equity outcomes: the achievements the university has planned for students from a low socio-economic status (SES) background.
- Strategies: the strategies the university will undertake to support attainment of the equity outcomes.
- Key activities: which will deliver an increase in the access, participation and success of people from a low SES background.
- Evaluation: how the university plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the equity strategies.
- Partnerships and collaboration: who the university will partner and collaborate with and how this will improve equity performance
To view previous Access and Participation Plans, including the Plans drawn up by other institutions. It is anticipated that the Department will update their website in April 2019 to include the new annual plans from all institutions.