Alternative pathways to traditional destinations : higher education for disadvantaged Australians
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Trevor Gale, P McNamee
In 1985, the Higher Education Equity Program was introduced by the Australian Government to improve the participation of persons from social groups traditionally under-represented within higher education. In 1990, the program was incorporated within A Fair Chance For All which provided more specific details of the government's desire for a system-wide approach to equity issues. One result has been the proliferation of access and equity programs conducted by universities around the country and aimed at redressing the disadvantage of potential students. The alleged success of these [programs are prone to co-opt the language of equity and social justice, dependent as they are on satisfying statistically-orientated program performance indicators in order to receive recurrent government funding. Further, the paper argues that success in achieving equity within Australian higher education will remain limited unless the structural arrangements that work to construct social inequalities in mainstream higher education are addressed.