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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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The Bridges to Higher Education initiative

Annette Cairnduff
Annette Cairnduff is Chair, Bridges to Higher Education, and Director, Social Inclusion, University of Sydney

Secondary students are much less likely to go onto higher education if they come from a low socio-economic background, or from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background, or if they live outside one of the metropolitan centres. The Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) provides resources to encourage universities to recruit and retain students from low socio-economic backgrounds as well as motivate and inform a new generation of students to consider and prepare for university attendance. One of the programs funded through HEPPP is Bridges to Higher Education, a partnership of five NSW universities. Bridges to Higher Education works with schools and communities, TAFE, professional organisations, and key government and non-government agencies to encourage school students from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue higher education. The partnership includes around 80 projects, and in the year 2012 alone participating universities worked with more than 260 schools and had 30,000 engagements with students, parents and teachers. A preliminary evaluation published this year provides early indications that the Bridges program is contributing to positive outcomes for students, parents, teachers and schools.


Subject Headings

Socially disadvantaged
Tertiary education
New South Wales (NSW)