Page 1

ASPIRE Annual Reports 2012 and 2013 Never Stand Still

Student Equity and Disabilities Unit


Contents 02 HigHligHtS 03 DirEctor’S rEport 06 aboUt aSpirE 16

aSpirE partNEr ScHoolS

24 acHiEviNg rESUltS 28 2012 aND 2013 iN rEviEw 34 oN campUS EvENtS 48 aSpirE ambaSSaDorS 54 rEgioNal rESiDENtialS 62 EDUcatioNal opportUNitiES 74 commUNity ENgagEmENt 86 tEStimoNialS 96 FUtUrE DirEctioNS

For more information about ASPIRE please contact: Dr Ann Jardine, Director, ASPIRE T 02 9385 4734 E a.jardine@unsw.edu.au www.aspire.unsw.edu.au Design: Melinda Jenner UNSW P3 Design Studio Printing: Fuji Xerox Photography: Neil Fenelon Photography neilfenelonphotography.com.au and members of the ASPIRE team ASPIRE is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and a donation by Citi Foundation. Copyright @ 2014 UNSW Australia – All rights reserved. The information in this brochure was correct at the time of printing.


W hat is ASPIRE?

ii

01

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

ASPIRE is an outreach program initiated by UNSW Australia (The University of New South Wales) in 2007 to address the educational disadvantage experienced by sections of Australian society. It has been developed using an approach based on the current research into widening participation in higher education. ASPIRE’s underlying philosophy is one of equality of educational opportunity. The program recognises that success at university should not be dependent on social or financial background, place of birth or location of home. The aim of the program is to dismantle entrenched stereotypes about the kinds of people who go on to higher education. These stereotypes are held, not only by the wider community, but also by the students themselves. The program provides an opportunity for students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds to discover the benefits of higher education and to make more informed choices about their future, whatever that future may be. ASPIRE is unique in its depth and breadth; not only working in schools and on campus with students from Kindergarten to Year 12, but also with the local communities in which the schools reside. The hallmarks of ASPIRE are the learning framework that sets the program sequence across year groups; the innovative workshops that engage the students; and the student-focused events that provide students with a variety of educational experiences.


Highlights 29

120% increase in the number of students engaged in in-school workshops in 2013 compared with 2011

447

new partner schools joining ASPIRE since 2011 with 20 coming from regional NSW schools and nine from Sydney

120%

4,267 4,265

in-school workshops run in 2013 compared with 161 in 2011, an increase of 177%

10,150

29

hours of volunteer time provided by UNSW ASPIRE Ambassadors in 2013, representing a 33% increase compared with 2011

447

student engagements occurring with the program in 2013, an increase of 89% since 2011

10,150

19% increase in the number of offers to university for students from all ASPIRE partner schools between 2010 and 2013

4,267

and finally‌ The ASPIRE program gained national recognition, winning the Federal Government’s 2012 Office of Learning and Teaching Award for Programs that Enhance Learning.

19%


D irector’s Report

02 03

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

Reflecting on the achievements of the ASPIRE program is always an uplifting and rewarding experience and this time more so than ever. There is much to report on as the program went from strength to strength in 2012 and 2013. New schools joined both the Sydney metro and the regional NSW programs. A particularly noteworthy feature of the growth has been the entrance, for the first time, of three primary schools from the Catholic education system. Currently the program is made up of 57 primary, high and central schools; with 27 schools in Sydney and 30 in regional NSW. In 2013 ASPIRE engaged with students on over 10,000 occasions in school, on the UNSW campus and in community based events. In many cases, students had multiple contacts with the program.

The number of students taking part in activities at UNSW continued to grow, particularly from our regional NSW partner schools.

The in-school workshops and on-campus activities are the backbone of the program. Over 440 in-school workshops and 16 major campus activities were held in 2013. The number of students taking part in activities at UNSW continued to grow, particularly from our regional NSW partner schools. We were also able to offer other opportunities for students. Year 12 students from Sydney partner schools took part in the 2012 Australasian Students’ Surgical Conference hosted by UNSW, where they listened to presentations from several notable surgeons. In another initiative, senior high school students were invited to attend the UNSW Three Minute Thesis competition and vote on what they considered to be the best presentation. In a new major initiative for regional students, 140 Year 9 students were brought to Dubbo for a day last year to take part in subject-specific workshops, such as business, drama and archaeology.

It is heartening to see the growing number of parents and carers engaging with ASPIRE and becoming enthused about the idea of sending their children to university.


The community engagement arm of the program also grew, which enabled us to bring more experiences for our school students. This included an exciting new partnership with Centennial Parklands in Sydney. Park rangers led students through hands-on science and geographyspecific activities such as water quality testing and mapping, and in the process linked these activities to possible career choices in fields such as hydrology, botany and ecology.

It is a measure of their commitment and generosity that Citi’s employees collectively donated over 450 hours of their time towards this type of support. The ASPIRE program recognises the importance of engaging with parents as well as students. It is heartening to see the growing number of parents and carers engaging with ASPIRE and becoming enthused about the idea of sending their children to university. To encourage connections with families, a number of specific events were held. These included a ‘parents and family day’ at UNSW in which parents were able to see a university campus for themselves, some for the first time. Workshops were also held to explain fees, subject selection and how to apply to enter university through the University Admissions Centre. During 2012 and 2013, ASPIRE made a special effort to reach out to students from Australian Indigenous and Pacific Island (Pasifika) communities. A peer mentoring program

designed to build relationships between older and younger students was developed for Pasifika girls. In Walgett, during the annual football competition (the Ricky Walford Shield), ASPIRE held workshops for Indigenous students which linked professional sport with other career paths in sport management, health and fitness industries. We have been fortunate to have Citi Foundation generously support the ASPIRE program since 2009. Citi employees act as mentors to potential university students, giving them a better understanding of what goes on in the corporate world and what sort of careers students could pursue. It is a measure of their commitment and generosity that Citi Australia’s staff collectively donated over 450 hours of their time towards this type of support. In 2012, the Citi Foundation also supported the employment of an Indigenous Project Officer, who is a valued role model to all students in the program. The Project Officer works to ensure the cultural appropriateness of ASPIRE’s interactions in communities and schools, particularly where there is a significant proportion of Aboriginal families. The establishment of this role has seen greater involvement of Indigenous communities connected with the schools.

The generosity of time donated by our student body is an integral part of the program and one of the reasons for the success of our work.


04 05

The schools currently involved in the program continue to convey their support and belief in the importance of the program for their students. The support we continue to receive from the UNSW and wider community has been very important to our growth and our success. Across 2012 and 2013 we also increased our subjectspecific activities. Building on a partnership with the UNSW School of Education, a number of UNSW education students were placed with ASPIRE Sydney partner schools to work in homework clubs, learning support centres, and to provide in-classroom support for small-group tutoring. UNSW and community partnerships were also drawn upon to provide experiences for students in science, medicine and the arts. We are particularly impressed and appreciative of the positive way in which our own UNSW students have been engaging with the program. Over 150 students volunteered as ASPIRE Ambassadors, running activities in schools and on campus. Medical and business students ran subject-specific workshops for regional students, and our education students provided inschool support. The generosity of time donated by our student body is an integral part of the program and one of the reasons for the success of our work.

Those of us who have been fortunate to benefit from a university degree understand the transformative power of education. The growth of the program supports the evidence that one of the key components in helping students think about university is to start early and

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

ASPIRE wins major national award for innovative outreach program The ASPIRE team, led by Ann Jardine, was honoured to win a prestigious national award from the Federal Government’s Office of Learning and Teaching for Programs that Enhance Learning. The award recognises the success of ASPIRE in creating sustainable changes to the access of higher education for students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Only 10 of these highly competitive national awards were given out in 2012.

give them many opportunities to interact with the university environment. Because ASPIRE does this, it is not surprising that the number of students from ASPIRE schools receiving offers to university has been steadily increasing. We were thrilled to gain national recognition at the end of 2012 when ASPIRE won one of the prestigious Programs that Enhance Learning awards from the Federal Government’s Office of Learning and Teaching. Two of our team attended the formal dinner in Canberra to receive the award. More important than any formal acknowledgement of our efforts however is the feedback we receive from our partner schools and their students. The schools currently involved in the program continue to convey

their support and belief in the importance of the program for their students. So we enter 2014 full of hope and excitement for the year ahead. Those of us who have been fortunate to benefit from a university degree understand the transformative power of education. ASPIRE aims to ensure that more students have the opportunity to experience that transformation as well. Higher education not only brings a full spectrum of rewards to the student and society as a whole, universities also reap rewards by opening their doors to academically capable Australians, whatever their background or financial standing. Dr Ann Jardine Director ASPIRE


W hy ASPIRE is needed In regional NSW in 2011, only one third of Year 12 school leavers went on to university compared with over 60% of metropolitan students. Despite a huge increase across the last decade in the number of students going to university, all evidence indicates that the chances of a young person being able to access a university education depends upon factors such as where they live, where they went to school and their family background. Socio-economic status (SES) has been identified as the dominant factor in educational disadvantage and attainment.1 While there have been recent improvements in access across the sector, students from low SES backgrounds remain significantly underrepresented within university populations. The long-term benefits of completing higher education for the individual are well documented. Employability and wealth are increased and university educated individuals have better health and life prospects. There are also benefits to society in investing in human capital and increasing social mobility. The OECD identifies the advantages of higher education to society as economic: through greater tax revenues, more skilled employees and people staying longer in the workforce. Social advantages of a better educated society include less crime and more civic involvement (OECD, 2010).

The level of disadvantage is clearly demonstrated by the national data on access rates to university. As at 2012, access rates for low SES students stand at 17.18% nationally. In NSW, the figure is 17.25% and at UNSW it is 8.41%. The need is further evidenced by the access rates of specific low SES cohorts such as Indigenous students, which stands at 1.66% nationally.

For some of our partner schools and the communities in which they sit, progression to university is very low. In regional NSW in 2011, only one third of Year 12 school leavers went on to university compared with over 60% of metropolitan students. Looking at the metropolitan data the picture is not uniform, with a larger percentage from the wealthier northern and eastern suburbs going on to university compared with the south and western areas of Sydney.2 Letting such inequity continue is a waste of potential talent for both the individual and our society as a whole. There is a strong body of evidence supporting the capacity of outreach programs such as ASPIRE to break down major barriers to higher education that stem from a lack of social capital. In addition, the importance of ASPIRE’s distinctive approach in emphasising an early and sustained engagement with students across their schooling is backed by current research.3

Eg Walpole, M. (2003) Socioeconomic status and College. Review of Higher Education 27(1) Marks, G., Underwood, C., Rothman, S., & Brown, J. (2011) Career Movers. Expectations and Destinations of senior secondary students in NSW. ACER 3 Eg Moore, J., & Dunworth, F. (2011) Review of evidence from Aimhigher area partnerships of the impact of Aimhigher 1 2


08 09

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

ASPIRE is an inspirational program that has created enormous benefits for our school and community. ASPIRE is an inspirational program that has created enormous benefits for our school and community. Four years ago a student in Year 9 came into my classroom after being in an ASPIRE workshop. He clasped a brochure from UNSW showing possible degrees he could do. He was excited and thrilled with the idea of university; he wasn’t aware he could study something he was passionate about. Like many students in our school, he didn’t have parents who had attended university and hadn’t considered study after school. This week that student started university and was also the school Dux. This year, one third of Year 12 (2013) has started at uni, with over 60% being Indigenous students. Without the ASPIRE program our students are not exposed to university and therefore do not consider it an option for postschool. Lindy Moon Careers Advisor/Vet Coordinator Condobolin High School


Overview UNSW initiative

ASPIRE is a UNSW initiative that works with school students who come from low SES backgrounds. Its aim is to increase their educational aspirations and help them access a university education. ASPIRE aims to: ƒƒ build a greater understanding of university amongst students who may not have considered a university education before ƒƒ assist students to reach their academic potential ƒƒ encourage students to think about their options for the future ƒƒ help students improve their academic readiness for university ƒƒ increase university applications from student cohorts with low access rates into higher education.

ASPIRE does this by: ƒƒ building self-confidence in students who may underestimate their academic abilities ƒƒ providing access to information

ƒƒ creating multiple opportunities to interact with universities ƒƒ reinforcing positive attitudes about higher education ƒƒ providing opportunities for enrichment both academically and more broadly ƒƒ helping students navigate the sometimes complex process of entering higher education. ASPIRE helps students discover careers or job prospects they never would have thought themselves capable of pursuing.


10 11

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

Direct and personal contact between university and schools is a fundamental component of the program. Students attend the university campus and are given an opportunity to interact and talk with current university students and staff. Over time, these visits give students an insight into university life and the attractions and benefits it offers. More importantly, it makes higher education less intimidating.

The information provided to students on higher education includes:

Funding ASPIRE is currently funded primarily by the Australian Government Department of Education, through the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP). It is also funded by UNSW through substantial in-kind support and a generous donation from the Citi Foundation. ASPIRE meets all costs of partner schools to take part in the program. These include transport, food and accommodation costs for students to participate in on-campus events.

ƒƒ highlighting the variety of courses available ƒƒ enabling students to identify their personal interests and talents and showing how they can lead to further study and interesting jobs ƒƒ demonstrating that Higher School Certificate results are not the only pathway into university ƒƒ providing support and information to students in the university application process.

Evaluation ASPIRE has established an evaluation framework for assessing the impact of the program. The framework includes short-term strategies such as feedback, and longer term qualitative and quantitative strategies. Feedback received on the activities helps to inform development. Qualitative data is collected on attitudinal shifts of students over time and on the perceptions of school staff and students of the impact of the program. Quantitative data on offers to university and offers to and enrolment in UNSW is collected. In 2014 a full evaluation of the program will occur as part of a three-year cycle and following on from the external evaluation undertaken in 2011.


A SPIRE Learning Framework The learning framework is the blueprint of the ASPIRE program. It sets out the structure of the program and how the activities are rolled out across the student year groups from Kindergarten to Year 12. The foundations of the program are: ƒƒ Raising awareness ƒƒ Raising and supporting aspirations ƒƒ Assisting attainment Through a planned sequence of ageappropriate experiences, each with their own student focused outcomes, the program is able to maintain an overall coherency. Each stage of the program builds on the previous ASPIRE interactions and activities. Students progress through the sequence of experiences each year, building confidence in themselves and becoming more motivated about setting goals for their future. Students who may not have their sights on higher education also benefit from the ASPIRE program. The activities encourage more lateral thinking about what their futures may hold and how they can achieve it. Towards the final years of school, the program becomes more focused on the students who are keen to enter university and assisting them to get there.


12 13

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

K-Year 4

ƒƒ short in-school workshops

Raise awareness

Years 5/6

ƒƒ Increase understanding of Higher Education (HE)

ƒƒ short in-school workshops ƒƒ on-campus visits – XPLORE UNSW! ƒƒ workplace visits ƒƒ subject-specific days

ƒƒ extended in-school workshops ƒƒ on-campus visits – Uni for a Day ƒƒ workplace visits ƒƒ subject-specific days ƒƒ residential – Beyond the Gate

Years 9/10 extended in-school workshops on-campus visits – Taster Day mentoring workplace visits subject-specific days residential – WOW@UNSW work experience

Years 11/12 ƒƒ extended in-school workshops ƒƒ on-campus visits – Step Up; Student Shadowing ƒƒ mentoring ƒƒ tutoring ƒƒ Study Buddies ƒƒ subject-specific days

Ongoing support for all years ƒƒ ƒƒ ƒƒ ƒƒ ƒƒ ƒƒ

teacher follow-up work activities/talks for parents/carers individual school on-campus visits community events online materials information booklets

ƒƒ Increase awareness of skills and interests ƒƒ Increase awareness of pathways to jobs

ƒƒ Increase confidence in ability to enter HE ƒƒ Increase motivation to enter HE ƒƒ Increase knowledge of education and career options

Raise attainment

attainment

ƒƒ ƒƒ ƒƒ ƒƒ ƒƒ ƒƒ

ƒƒ Discover the possibilities outside their environment

Raise aspirations

aspirations

Years 7/8

awareness

ƒƒ Build self-esteem

ƒƒ Ability and knowledge to make informed choices relating to HE and career aspirations ƒƒ Increase familiarity with application process and selection requirements ƒƒ Improve awareness and ability to apply skills required to operate successfully in an HE environment ƒƒ Assist attainment through the provision of academic enrichment opportunities


A SPIRE organisational

14 15

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

structure Organisational structure as at December 2013

Director

Team Leader Metro Sydney

Team Leader Regional NSW

Team Leader Community Engagement

Project Officer

Project Officer

Project Officer

Project Officer

Project Officer

Indigenous Project Officer

Project Officer

Project Officer

Project Officer

Project Officer

Administration Officer


uilding robust B partnerships Building robust and lasting partnerships with schools remains at the very heart of the program.

In the past two years, ASPIRE has added 29 schools to the program, with the clear aim of targeting schools in areas of significant disadvantage that may be overlooked by other initiatives. Across its network of schools, ASPIRE is:

includes schools regarded as remote, schools with high Indigenous populations, and schools that, due to their very small population, will not deliver significant numbers of students applying for university. Since 2012 there has been a growing emphasis on forging stronger links with Indigenous communities.

ƒƒ working with students from Kindergarten to Year 12

ASPIRE partner school criteria

ƒƒ adhering to a learning framework from year to year

To be an ASPIRE partner, every school has to meet at least three criteria at the time of joining. These criteria include:

ƒƒ looking for opportunities within the learning framework to add extra benefits to the experiences of the students that are already offered in the core program ƒƒ establishing a program that is unique to each school and the context in which it operates (eg. residential activities in Sydney are offered to regional schools but not to metro schools). Strong partnerships have been built with different cohorts within partner schools in Sydney where there is a diverse Language Background Other Than English (LBOTE) population. Work has been undertaken particularly with students from Pasifika backgrounds. In regional NSW, there has been a deliberate strategy of setting up in areas with particularly low participation rates in higher education. This

ƒƒ being a low SES School Communities National Partnership school ƒƒ being a NSW Department of Education and Communities Priority Schools Program School ƒƒ having a score below 1000 on the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) ƒƒ having a low progression rate to higher education at the school or at the community level. It is important to note that, while these criteria may categorise schools by social or economic disadvantage, they are not a measure of their students’ academic potential.


Spartner napshot of ASPIRE schools Metro

Regional

666

755

666

No. of schools regarded as remote

15

0

15

No. of schools that have an ATSI5 population of 80% or higher

3

0

3

No. of schools that have an ATSI population of 50% or higher

9

1

8

8

8

0

No. of schools that have LBOTE population of over 50%

No. of schools that have LBOTE population of 90% or higher

22

22

0

No. of schools that have over 50% of population in bottom SES quartile

34

17

17

No. of schools that have over 25% of population in bottom SES quartile

51

24

27

6

No. of enrolments (school size)

smallest:

6

50

6

largest:

1079

1079

417

8

4 boys 4 girls

none

Single sex schools Source: 2013 data taken from My School website.

ICSEA (Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage) ATSI (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) data unavailable for two regional schools 6 LBOTE (Language Background Other Than English) data unavailable for 17 regional schools 5

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

All schools Lowest school ICSEA4

4

18 19


regional NSW partner schools Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA)7 table for ASPIRE regional partner schools as at 20138 Year joined ASPIRE

Type of school

ICSEA

Number of students in school

Location

2010

Condobolin High School

provincial

High

830

221

52

5

58

2010

Lake Cargelligo Central School9

remote

Central

856

241

38

2

57

2010

Quandialla Central School

provincial

Central

953

24

0

NA

40

2010

Tullibigeal Central School

remote

Central

979

44

2

NA

29

2010

Ungarie Central School

provincial

Central

967

88

7

NA

42

2011

Baradine Central School

remote

Central

779

117

50

6

76

2011

Binnaway Central School

provincial

Central

875

93

22

7

62

2011

Coonamble High School

remote

High

800

199

61

1

62

2011

Coonamble Public School

remote

Primary

717

227

89

NA

74

2011

Dunedoo Central School

provincial

Central

916

204

18

NA

49

2012

Carinda Public School

remote

Primary

1007

17

0

NA

26

2012

Condobolin Public School

provincial

Primary

821

279

49

3

64

2012

Coonabarabran High School

provincial

High

933

377

20

6

41

2012

Euabalong West Public School

remote

Primary

856

17

41

NA

51

2012

Gilgandra High School

provincial

High

886

325

27

1

55

2012

Gilgandra Public School

Provincial

Primary

831

197

44

2

59

2012

Gulargambone Central School

remote

Central

736

69

71

NA

77

2012

Saint Francis Xavier Lake Cargelligo

remote

Primary

792

42

71

80

65

2012

Lightning Ridge Central School

remote

Central

820

417

45

9

65

2012

Walgett Community College

remote

High

666

108

95

2

84

2012

Walgett Primary

remote

Primary

671

134

96

NA

84

2013

St. John’s Baradine

remote

Primary

941

48

8

NA

48

2013

Marra Creek Public School

remote

Primary

NA

6

0

NA

na

2013

Quambone Public School

remote

Primary

922

24

29

NA

39

2013

Coolah Central School

provincial

Central

948

227

10

NA

42

2013

Sacred Heart Coolah

provincial

Primary

1024

47

0

NA

23

2013

St. Michael’s Dunedoo

provincial

Primary

1036

36

0

NA

9

2013

Mendooran Central School

provincial

Central

909

100

19

2

55

2013

Caragabal Public School

provincial

Primary

999

18

6

NA

34

2013

Bribbaree Public School

provincial

Primary

916

16

0

NA

64

An ICSEA score below 1000 indicates disadvantage Information about schools taken from My School website 9 In regional NSW, combined primary and secondary schools are known as Central Schools 8

% in bottom quartile of SES

School

NA - Not available

7

Indigenous %

Language Background Other than English %


20 21

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

regional NSW partner school locations LIGHTNING RIDGE

Queensland

WALGETT

Bourke

ne

sba

Bri

CARINDA QUAMBONE Coolabah

COONAMBLE

BARADINE Tamworth

MARRA CREEK Cobar

COONABARABRAN

GULARGAMBONE

Nyngan

BINNAWAY

Broken Hill

GILGANDRA MENDOORAN

Warren

Trangie

Nymagee Tottenham

COOLAH

DUNEDOO Dubbo Gulgong

Gilgunnia Wellington

Tullamore Mount Hope

Approximate distance from Sydney

Mudgee

Trundle

EUABALONG WEST

CONDOBOLIN

LAKE CARGELLIGO

Parkes Orange

Forbes

Bathurst

TULLIBIGEAL Adelaide via Mildura

UNGARIE CARAGABAL

Grenfell

Cowra

QUANDIALLA BRIBBAREE

Canberra

Sydney

Baradine ........................... 511kms Binnaway........................... 436kms Bribbaree........................... 415kms Caragabal ........................ 410kms Carinda.............................. 660kms Condobolin ..................... 460kms Coolah .............................. 370kms Coonabarabran.................. 460kms Coonamble........................ 540kms Dunedoo ........................... 357kms Euabalong West ............... 570kms Gilgandra........................... 445kms Gulargambone .................. 495kms Lake Cargelligo.................. 600kms Lightning Ridge ............... 735kms Marra Creek ..................... 600kms Mendooran........................ 390kms Quambone ........................ 590kms Quandialla ........................ 430kms Tullibigeal ........................ 563kms Ungarie ........................... 530kms Walgett.............................. 660kms


sydney partner schools Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA)10 table for ASPIRE Sydney partner schools as at 201311 Year joined School ASPIRE

Location

Type of school

ICSEA

Number of students in school

Indigenous %

Language Background Other Than English %

% in bottom quartile of SES

2007

Dulwich Hill High School

Metro

High

1059

609

4

44

15

2007

Marrickville High School

Metro

High

965

359

7

81

42

2008

JJ Cahill Memorial High School

Metro

High

970

374

5

72

40

2008

Matraville Sports High School

Metro

High

881

275

31

24

55

2009

Auburn Girls High School

Metro

High

885

785

0

96

74

2009

Bankstown Girls High School

Metro

High

950

642

1

94

49

2009

Bass High School

Metro

High

910

765

2

78

63

2009

Canterbury Boys’ High School

Metro

High

980

449

1

89

37

2009

Gardeners Road Public School

Metro

Primary

1026

259

5

70

21

2009

Granville Boys High School

Metro

High

873

488

0

95

76

2009

Holroyd High School

Metro

High

945

490

1

82

51

2009

La Perouse Public School

Metro

Primary

755

50

74

0

73

2009

Wiley Park Girls High School

Metro

High

942

582

0

96

53

2010

Soldiers’ Settlement Public School

Metro

Primary

964

204

20

28

33

2011

Chester Hill High School

Metro

High

937

1179

2

86

54

2011

Chester Hill North Public School

Metro

Primary

943

530

3

79

52

2011

Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School

Metro

High

889

513

2

88

71

2011

Granville South Public School

Metro

Primary

933

251

2

87

56

2012 Alexandria Park Community School

Metro

Combined

1029

458

15

77

18

2012

Birrong Boys High School

Metro

High

908

348

1

92

64

2012

Chester Hill Public School

Metro

Primary

950

536

1

82

50

2013

Belmore Boys High School

Metro

High

934

349

0

97

56

2013

Birrong Girls High School

Metro

High

944

809

1

91

54

2013

Guildford Public School

Metro

Primary

954

420

2

87

47

2013

James Meehan High School

Metro

High

889

333

11

39

67

2013

Old Guildford Public School

Metro

Primary

882

296

1

96

74

2013

Strathfield South High School

Metro

High

937

677

1

89

55

An ICSEA score below 1000 indicates disadvantage Information about schools taken from MySchool website

10 11


22 23

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

sydney partner school locations Parramatta

Ryde Rosehill

GREYSTANES

Sydney Olympic Park

Drummoyne

Concord

AUBURN

STRATHFIELD CHESTER HILL BIRRONG BASS HILL

Liverpool

Balmain

SYDNEY Leichhardt Stanmore

Redfern

MARRICKVILLE

CANTERBURY BELMORE Earlwood

Tempe

ROSEBERY MASCOT

MACQUARIE FIELDS

Coogee

Maroubra

Kingsgrove Padstow

Kensington

UNSW Randwick

WILEY PARK

Holsworthy

Bondi Beach

ALEXANDRIA

DULWICH HILL

Punchbowl

Revesby

Vaucluse

Five Dock

Fairfield

BANKSTOWN

Mosman

North Sydney

Lidcombe

Cabramatta

Crows Nest

Gladesville

GRANVILLE GUILDFORD

Lane Cove

Rockdale Brighton-Le-Sands Kogarah

MATRAVILLE

Hurstville

LA PEROUSE Botany Bay


we are proud... r esults 2010-2013

We are proud of the growing impact of the ASPIRE program. The qualitative data from the staff and students in our ASPIRE schools tell us of the positive impact on the higher education hopes and dreams of individuals. The quantitative data that is emerging tells us that there has been a positive impact on attitudes towards higher education and on enrolments in university. This is significantly higher in schools that have had a longer association with ASPIRE and indicates the longitudinal effect of the program.

Results between 2010 and 2013 for current Year 12 school leavers:

28%

19% increase in offers to university for students from all ASPIRE partner schools

increase in offers to university for students from schools who have been with ASPIRE since 2010 or before compared with an 18% increase for a control group of schools

increase in enrolments to university for students from schools who have been with ASPIRE since 2010 or before

increase in enrolments of students to UNSW from all ASPIRE partner schools

of all university enrolments in 2013 of students from ASPIRE partner schools were to UNSW. In 2010 this was 4%

19% 160% increase in offers to UNSW for students from all ASPIRE partner schools

21%

28% 12% 236%

21%

236% 12% 160% 80% 75%

Attitudinal shifts 2013:

38%

of students from ASPIRE regional schools indicated a positive shift in attitudes towards higher education

of Year 9 and 10 ASPIRE metropolitan students indicated positive attitudes overall towards higher education

of Year 11 ASPIRE metropolitan students indicated they would go to university

80%


26 27

O ffers and Enrolments

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

The full data tables follow: Number of University Offers12

2013

2010

% change

All ASPIRE schools

568

479

19%

ASPIRE schools 2010 and before

281

220

28%

ASPIRE schools after 2010

287

259

11%

ASPIRE girls’ schools

186

160

16%

ASPIRE boys’ schools

88

76

16%

ASPIRE co-ed schools

294

243

21%

2013

2010

% change

Number of University Enrolments All ASPIRE schools

404

359

13%

ASPIRE schools 2010 and before

203

168

21%

ASPIRE schools after 2010

201

191

5%

2013

2010

% change

100

52

92%

77

41

88%

77%

79%

-2%

Number of Offers and Enrolments to UNSW13 Offers (all ASPIRE schools) Enrolments (all ASPIRE schools) % of offers that enrolled Offers (ASPIRE schools 2010 and before)

55

20

175%

Enrolments (ASPIRE schools 2010 and before)

49

14

250%

89%

70%

19%

Offers (ASPIRE schools after 2010)

45

32

41%

Enrolments (ASPIRE schools after 2010)

28

27

4%

% of offers that enrolled (ASPIRE schools after 2010)

62%

84%

-22%

Breakdown of UNSW Offers and Enrolments by Student Type

2013

2010

% change

Current Year 12 (all ASPIRE schools)

52

20

160%

Enrolled

47

14

236%

9

4

12

4

Previous Year 12 (all ASPIRE schools)

6

n/a

Enrolled

5

n/a

Other (all ASPIRE schools)

42

n/a

Enrolled

25

n/a

% of offers that enrolled (ASPIRE schools 2010 and before)

Offers as a % of total of all university offers Enrolments to UNSW as a % of total of all university enrolments

Offers and enrolments are taken from data provided by the University Admissions Centre. The data relates to students who entered university directly from school defined as current Year 12 school leavers. 13 Offers and enrolments to UNSW are taken from UNSW data. The data relates to all students from ASPIRE schools: current Year 12 school leavers plus students who had one year gap between school and university (previous Year 12) and students who have left school for more than one year (Other). 12


G rowth of ASPIRE 2007-2013 Student Engagement Opportunities 2013

student engagements

2012

on-campus activities

2011

in-school workshops

2010

other activities

2009 2008 2007 0

2000

4000

6000

8000

10000 12000

Expansion of the ASPIRE Program 2013

ASPIRE partner schools

2012

on-campus activities

2011

other activities

2010

metro in-school workshops

2009

regional in-school workshops

2008 2007 0

50

100

150

200

250

300


Eour ngagement with students

30 31

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

Highlights across 2013 include:

ASPIRE is proud of the depth and breadth of its engagement with students across all age groups. In 2013 the number and variety of engagements increased. While most emphasis is placed on Year 8 upwards, we are particularly pleased with the number of primary aged students who are given an early opportunity to learn about university and possible futures.

57 10,150

NSW schools were partnered with ASPIRE in 2013 and took part in one or more parts of the program. Of these, 27 were Sydney metro schools and 30 were regional schools instances of student engagement with ASPIRE occurred in 2013. Many students had multiple engagements which included in-school, and on-campus activities and as part of special events

447

in-school workshops were held covering Years 5 to 12 in metro schools and Kindergarten to Year 12 in regional schools

1,355

students from metro and regional schools attended on-campus events. Major events were held for Years 5, 8, 9, and 11

1,939

primary aged students from regional and metro schools took part in in-school workshops

125

regional students attended residential programs held in Sydney for Years 8, 10 and 11. 14 Year 10 students from four schools lived on campus while undertaking their work experience

161

regional students attended a day of subject-specific workshops held in Dubbo

535

students were sponsored by ASPIRE to attend careers fairs to help them make decisions on future directions

135

students took part in ASPIRE activities for the Ricky Walford Shield in Walgett

95

students took part in a workplace visit to Citi

126

students went to Centennial Park for science-based subject-specific workshops

149

parents and carers took part in on-campus events, workshops, camps and university information sessions


Iworkshops n-school In-school workshops are a core component of the ASPIRE program. They are conducted by the ASPIRE team and in Sydney partner schools supported by ASPIRE Ambassadors.


32 33

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

In 2013, ASPIRE held a total of 447 workshops across all partner schools. This represented an increase of 27% from 2012 and 177% from 2011. The increase can be attributed to an additional 15 schools joining the program in 2013; six in Sydney and 9 in regional NSW. The workshops include a wide range of age-appropriate activities which build on previous parts of the program as students progress through the stages of the ASPIRE learning framework. In Kindergarten and the younger years, stories and art are used as the medium to draw out of students what they want to be when they grow up and discuss who they might know who went to university. The dream-catchers and kites they make help them articulate how they imagine their lives to be, which starts them thinking of life’s possibilities. In the older years, students work together using different skills – strategic thinking, maths, science, data-recording – as they launch water rockets, measure the length of a blue whale, build

structures with straws, or design new products. These skills and activities are then linked to possible degrees and the multiple career opportunities that can flow from those degrees.

in. This could be anything from engineering, town planning and architecture, to Shakespearean acting, information technology, law, curing disease and construction management.

The activities and discussions that occur in the workshops aim to stretch the students’ imaginations and make them step outside their comfort zone. While a fun and hands-on approach underlies the activities they are also structured so that students can see the connection between these activities and their application to the higher education context.

The information students gain stands them in good stead when it comes time to choose subjects in later high school years. The choices they make in Years 10 and 11 can influence the types of university courses available to them when they leave school. By having a better idea of what they want to do when they leave school, students have a goal to strive for and this allows them to become more focused in their final school years.

At every stage, students are encouraged to think more creatively and broadly about their natural strengths and abilities. By using craft, drawing, construction, science experiments, puzzles, board games, stories and in-class graduation ceremonies, students begin to articulate their hopes and dreams for their future. Through the workshops, students discover that there are university courses available that are extensions of what they are already good at, or are interested

In the senior years, the emphasis is less on helping students learn about themselves and more on providing practical information, advice and guidance on university. The workshops help students find out how to navigate the university application process and access scholarships, financial and accommodation assistance.


ASPIRE held 16 days of major events on UNSW campus in 2013 for 1355 students from Year 5 to Year 12. These figures are up from 1181 students attending a total of 14 days on campus in 2012. For students in the earlier years, the events have the broad aim of familiarising them with the university environment and what it has to offer. Being able to visit a university campus at an early stage is critical in raising student awareness about higher education. XPLORE UNSW! for Year 5 primary students is the first opportunity for Sydney students in the ASPIRE program to come on campus as a cohort. One of the key aims of the event is to introduce students to the importance of university rituals and what it means to graduate.

Subsequent events, such as Uni for a Day in Year 8 and Taster Day in Year 9, introduce students to specific faculties to sample activities that relate to different degrees. In this way, students gain a better understanding of the types of degrees that are available. This in turn will help students in their subject choices at school. By the time they reach Year 10, students are well-informed about university and the degrees available. On-campus experiences start to build the links between subjects, degrees and career choices. This helps to inform their decision-


36 37

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

making regarding subjects they want to focus on in Years 11 and 12. Events such as Student Shadowing and Step UP target Year 11 students who could benefit from a more intensive interaction with the university. Sydney and regional partner schools are asked to select students who have academic potential, have leadership qualities or a strong positive influence within their peer group or ƒƒ lack motivation or confidence ƒƒ may think that university is ‘not for me’ ƒƒ would be the first person in the family to have ever entered higher education

ƒƒ have adverse home or family circumstances that affect the student’s academic performance. For all students, the opportunity of coming to a university campus can be a positive and life changing experience. Many haven’t been to a university campus before. These events help to bring a familiarisation of a very different learning environment from school and make the idea of university less frightening. The following are reports on ASPIRE’s core oncampus activities.


X PLORE UNSW!


38 39

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

I thought that today was awesome, I learnt a lot about what I would become maybe in the future. The coordinators were really knowledgeable and helpful. I’ve been to experience days hosted by other unis and was pleased to see that the ASPIRE program had a solid understanding of their target audience and catered well to their needs/interests.

Year 5 primary students discover a university campus

The students are dressed in mortarboards and gowns and attend a ceremony where they are presented with a certificate by a senior academic dressed in full academic regalia. The re-enactment of a graduation ceremony helps reinforce the significance of reaching a hardearned goal and introduces one of the university’s most important rituals – the conferring of a degree.

Purpose: ƒƒ Increase primary school students’ awareness of university ƒƒ Encourage the idea that ‘people just like me’ go to university ƒƒ Experience a university environment ƒƒ Gain an understanding of what people study at university ƒƒ Discover the importance of achievement and the significance of university rituals

Number of schools Number of students

Overall the day was really fun, it was a great way to see what university was like. I’d really like to come again.

2013

2012

8

5

297

275

Year 5 students leave their classrooms behind and head on-campus for a day to explore university. Most have never been on a campus before and through a range of stimulating educational activities, soon gain a better understanding of what a university is and why people go there. The highlight of the day is experiencing the thrill of a formal graduation ceremony.

Students take home a mortarboard they have made and a formal photo of themselves in their graduation gown as keepsakes to show their parents and carers.


U ni for a Day

Raising awareness for Year 8 students

This was a fantastic opportunity for our Year 8 students to see what university looks like. They were able to bust a few myths and many were introduced to a whole new world. Thank you very much ASPIRE.

2013

2012

Number of schools

32

20

Number of students

313

263

Purpose: ƒƒ Give students an insight into university life ƒƒ Show students the difference between school and university ƒƒ Enable students to experience university subjects ƒƒ Meet and talk to current university students

Uni for a Day is a comprehensive, hands-on experience to raise awareness about the vast array of courses available at universities that can open up future career possibilities. The event brings together on campus, often for the first time, hundreds of Year 8 students from Sydney and regional partner schools. Facultybased activities give them an insight into the range of courses available at universities. The full day includes interactive workshops so students can experience the wide choice of subjects across UNSW faculties. Students might present legal argument in the Moot Court, perform dance exercises in the drama studio, look at the world through 3D glasses in the iCinema and learn to think fast in quizzes. Students tour the campus, eat lunch in the food court and discuss student life with ASPIRE Ambassadors.


40 41

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

I have found out that university is fun and you can study anything you want. It is not that scary to reach this level in uni, but people have to try their best effort to get what they want. The day was awesome!


TDay aster

I never thought of going to university before, but after going there for the day and meeting the Ambassadors, I think I could go there in the future. Thanks for a great day. ‌That it’s not always about working hard, it is about making new friends and building a new chapter in life.


42 43

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

A Year 9 event focusing on subject variety Purpose: ƒƒ Raise awareness about the broad range of courses available at university ƒƒ Give students an opportunity to visit a university campus ƒƒ Attend lectures to experience university-style teaching ƒƒ Meet and talk with current university students 2013

2012

Number of schools

16

13

Number of students

301

277

Taster Day gives Year 9 students the opportunity to sample university education and begin thinking about possible subject choices for their final school years. Throughout the day, the students are taken through a rotation of exciting, interactive activities and lectures hosted by a number of UNSW faculties. Through the activities, the students experience a ‘taste’ of what it would be like to study engineering, law, architecture and science. The event also gives them an understanding of the differences between the school and university learning environments. A popular feature of the day is the Taster Day Festival showcasing the variety of clubs and societies in which students can become involved. From Quidditch matches to building racing cars, the Festival highlights that there is something for everyone at university.


SShadowing tudent

It was very fun and I learnt a lot. Our Ambassador was also very helpful and friendly.


44 45

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

Year 11 students team up with a UNSW student for a day Purpose: ƒƒ Experience the university learning and teaching environment ƒƒ Discover the range of support services available on campus ƒƒ Gain an understanding of the realities of university life by spending one-on-one time with a university student 2013

2012

Number of schools

15

3

Number of students

73

11

The differences between school and university can come as quite a shock to new university students. Student Shadowing provides a great opportunity for Year 11 students to see first-hand the difference between studying in school and studying at university. The program is designed to help prepare them for independent learning and the change in teaching style. Students are nominated by their class teacher to participate and are asked to submit the subject areas they are interested in. They are then matched with an ASPIRE Ambassador who is studying a similar course. Together, the students attend scheduled university classes, have lunch, meet other uni students and explore the variety of support services and facilities on campus.

It was a very helpful day to get a good understanding of what university is like.


SUPtep Three-day student convention for Year 11 Purpose: ƒƒ Encourage senior high school students to think critically about their educational choices ƒƒ Learn about the differences between high school and university study ƒƒ Build academic skills ƒƒ Inspire students to set goals and work to achieve them through their senior years of high school ƒƒ Build confidence and increase student motivation ƒƒ Enable schools to select students they believe would benefit from a more intensive program 2013

2012

Number of schools

22

15

Number of students

107

83

ASPIRE regional and metro partner schools select a small group of Year 11 students whom they believe would benefit from a rigorous three-day program designed to build confidence, increase motivation and prepare them for independent learning. Students are immersed in everyday university life by attending lectures and study workshops. Regional students attend Step UP as a residential. Initially the most confronting aspect of Step UP for the students is being placed in mixed work groups without their friends when they first arrive at UNSW. This action is intended to mirror their first day of university where they don’t know anyone on a university campus. Surviving the initial shock of being separated from school friends, the students surprise themselves by learning how easy it is to make new friendships. A

key experience is working in a mixed-school team to present a creative project to a large audience. After three days, strong bonds have been formed between students from diverse backgrounds and a range of schools. In addition to project work, students gain important insights from interaction with current university students and hear the variety of personal stories about overcoming financial, cultural and health challenges to pursue and achieve a university education. Such interactions illuminate the many different pathways to university.

Step UP was beneficial to me personally as it really taught me more about uni, student life and the opportunities offered.


46 47

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

I felt it (Step UP) was really worthwhile, particularly as otherwise this experience wouldn’t be available for me without this program.


50 51 The ASPIRE Ambassadors play a significant role in the success of the ASPIRE program. Interactions with current university students provide the school students with a friendly fount of information and a ‘grass roots’ perspective of the realities of studying at university. Closer in age and enthusiastic in their role, the Ambassadors relate to the students on an equal level. Strong bonds are created between the students and Ambassadors and this social interaction enhances ASPIRE’s key messages about the opportunities to be gained from pursuing higher education. Ambassadors are selected from the UNSW student body by a three-phased process of recruitment, selection and training. To be selected, Ambassadors must be able to commit to a minimum of approximately 20 hours of volunteering per semester. After the initial cull of written applications, potential candidates are invited to attend a group interview. During set activities, their skills in teamwork, presentation, communication, problem solving and leadership are assessed. Also taken into account is their knowledge and sensitivity towards the circumstances of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The successful applicants are then requested to attend a training session where their roles in the program are outlined in more detail. For on-campus events, Ambassadors lead workshops and engage the students with the campus environment, familiarising them with lectures, facilities and student services. Over the past two years, as the number of schools has increased and the program content has expanded, many Ambassadors have gone above and beyond their initial commitment. Activities such as homework clubs, residential events and city experiences have led to Ambassadors being more involved outside a typical day. Juggling their study

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

and university commitments has at times been difficult, but the program has been extremely fortunate to have so many Ambassadors who make themselves available to participate. So much so, their graduation from UNSW means their presence is sorely missed by ASPIRE staff and the school students. A core group of Ambassadors has found the role so rewarding they regularly volunteered in 2012 and 2013 for a number of ASPIRE events and were hugely popular amongst the school students. They are also invaluable because of their in-depth knowledge and experience of the program and easy rapport with the students. Of the 123 Ambassadors who actively volunteered in Semester 2, 2012 (ie. volunteered at least once that semester), 86% continued in Semester 1 of the following year. In 2013, there were also 11 Ambassadors who had attended ASPIRE partner schools. Returning to their old high schools is another positive element of the program for both groups of students. The Ambassador is able to give back to the school with a greater understanding of what the school students require. For the school students, it is reassuring to see for themselves that people they know with similar backgrounds do go to university. During the 2012-2013 period, the recruitment process changed. In a bid to avoid mass applications, promotion of vacancies has become more targeted to specific student groups and to faculties with low Ambassador representation. Training capacity is limited to 35-40 Ambassadors per semester, and in 2013 there was a high number of trained Ambassadors who continued from the previous year. The following charts provide a picture of the commitment of UNSW students to ASPIRE.


Ambassador involvement between 2011 and 2013: Active Ambassadors 250 200 150 100

230

241

156

2013

2012

2011

47%

2011-2013

50 0

Total instances of volunteer participation 1200 1000 800

43%

600 400

965

1143

677

2013

2012

2011

2011-2013

200 0

Estimated hours volunteered 5000 4000 3000 2000

4267

4629

3212

2013

2012

2011

33%

2011-2013

1000 0

Ambassadors by Faculty 2013

27%

18%

Australian School of Business

16%

15%

Engineering Science

8%

8%

Law Arts & Social Science

6%

2%

College of Fine Arts Medicine

Built Environment


52 53

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT


B eyond the Gate

Through Beyond the Gate, students gain confidence to try new things.


56 57

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

A residential program for Year 8 regional students Purpose: ƒƒ Create an opportunity for students to broaden their outlook outside their local environment ƒƒ Build student confidence in trying new experiences ƒƒ Provide information about higher education and the variety of courses at universities 2013

2012

Number of schools

14

9

Number of students

69

41

For many students, overcoming the fear of travelling outside their home town is a major step towards realising their future is full of possibilities. Beyond the Gate is their opportunity to experience what a big city and a university have to offer. More importantly, they are able to see for themselves that being at university and being away from home isn’t as scary as they might have thought, even though the campus has more people and facilities on it than many of their home towns. The program is designed as a week-long journey of discovery. It involves a combination of city and cultural activities as well as a day on campus mixing with students from Sydney partner schools. ASPIRE Ambassadors play a key role during Beyond the Gate. They are instrumental in helping the student groups to relax, socialise and get the most out of all the experiences. The Ambassadors are excellent role models and are able to give the school students a realistic insight into student life. Through Beyond the Gate, students gain confidence to try new things. The experience helps remove some of their pre-conceived ideas about how much where they come from limits their choices about their future. The students are able to start thinking more broadly about their own aspirations.


Beyond the Gate meant overcoming fears about staying in Sydney and meeting new people. This was really helpful and I would come back. The experience meant that it was a week away from home and to meet new friends. It was very helpful because I can now broaden my horizons! I found it very helpful that the ASPIRE people have made the opportunity for other students to come here and see what it is like to be in university. Coming to this was very encouraging about going to uni and living in Sydney. Although I already wanted to attend university I wasn’t quite sure about what Sydney life would be like. It has been such an incredible experience and it was extremely helpful. It made me realise that it is possible to follow your dreams and it is achievable.


58 59

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

WOW@UNSW 2013

2012

Number of schools

4

2

Number of students

14

12

health, childcare, aviation, counselling, law, art, medicine and music. The generous support of UNSW and local businesses in offering the students placements enabled ASPIRE to meet most of the students’ requests. The employers provided experiences and opportunities that the students do not have access to in their local communities. Work placement staff are very supportive and embrace the spirit of the program, ensuring the students are fully engaged in the workplace each day.

A Week of Work experience for Year 10 regional students Purpose: ƒƒ Provide a range of work experience opportunities for regional students ƒƒ Broaden student perspectives about career and job options ƒƒ Establish the link between degree choices and career opportunities ƒƒ Build confidence in adapting to new environments and experiences

WOW@UNSW brings Year 10 students from regional schools to Sydney for a week of work experience. Each student nominates a career field they want to know more about, and ASPIRE staff try to match the student with a workplace that corresponds with their interests. In the past two years, students attending WOW@UNSW have challenged the team to find placements in the following fields: dentistry, fashion, food technology, social work, engineering, sport, optometry, drama, psychology,

The students stay in on-campus accommodation and enjoy an afterwork program of city-based activities. A significant outcome of WOW@UNSW is the noticeable increase in confidence the students develop through the variety of social and cultural situations provided. These include: trying different cuisines, meeting new people, working in an adult environment and navigating Sydney’s public transport system – quite a challenge considering many of the students come from towns without a single set of traffic lights. For everyone involved, WOW@UNSW has become a life-changing experience.


I appreciate everything. This was an amazing experience. I loved it. As a result of my placement I am definitely going to Uni.


60 61

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

Some of the organisations that have generously supported WOW@UNSW in 2012 and 2013: UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services Creative Practice Lab Early Childhood Services Early Years Health Services Kingsford Legal Centre Lifestyle Clinic Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Medicine Education and Student Office National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) Optometry Clinic School of Aviation School of Chemical Engineering Student Life and Learning UNSW Gym Water Research Laboratory External Art Gallery of NSW Black Dog Institute Centennial Smiles Dental Clinic Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia (CCIA) Downing Centre Local Court Eastside FM Gastronomy Catering Just Smiles Dental Clinic Museum of Contemporary Art Prince of Wales Hospital South Sydney Sports Medicine VetMed Whitehouse Designs


Eopportunities ducational As ASPIRE’s relationship with partner schools develops over time, opportunities arise to further assist schools to enhance their students’ learning experience and provide academic enrichment opportunities. This assistance can take many forms and is often tailored to individual school requirements or requests. ASPIRE has been able to provide additional resources to schools to complement the school curriculum or organised events. The positive contact that develops between ASPIRE staff and schools often generates a reciprocal relationship. This has meant that ASPIRE staff and Ambassadors have been invited by partner schools to participate in a number of school activities, such as: ƒƒ school presentations ƒƒ student leadership forums ƒƒ strategic planning days ƒƒ job interview practice ƒƒ study skills workshops ƒƒ subject selection information events ƒƒ cultural celebrations ƒƒ school camps In addition, ASPIRE partner schools were also able to take advantage of UNSW’s world-class resources, facilities and expertise to access experiences which are outside the core ASPIRE program and would otherwise be unavailable to them. During 2012 and 2013, ASPIRE supported students to attend a rich array of externally organised events and programs. An outline of some of those additional educational opportunities afforded to ASPIRE partner schools is presented here.


64 65

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

ASPIRE@Citi Years 10 and 11 workplace visits Purpose: ƒƒ Increase students’ awareness of the diversity of employment available as a result of university education ƒƒ Expose students to a corporate work environment they might not otherwise get the chance to experience ƒƒ Highlight the relevance of education for later career opportunities 2013

2012

Number of schools

5

5

Number of students

95

67

The development of the ASPIRE@Citi program further extends the student experience by providing them with opportunities to see people with degrees at work. Students visit the corporate head office of Citi in Sydney’s business district. For many, it is their first time inside a high-rise office block. It is an eye-opening experience to see firsthand a major multinational corporation and the diversity of jobs and personnel a single company employs. Citi employees volunteer their time to talk to the students about their own jobs, what qualifications are required and how the corporate work environment operates. The employees also facilitate a variety of activities so students can explore their own strengths and think about the types of careers that may interest them.


YDoing ear 9 We’re Fine Subject-specific workshops for regional ASPIRE schools Purpose: ƒƒ Provide regional students with academic enrichment opportunities ƒƒ Enable students to learn from the subjectspecific expertise of UNSW staff and students, and members of the wider community ƒƒ Bring regional students together in a different learning environment

2013 Number of schools

14

Number of students

161

The success of the ASPIRE program relies on multiple interactions with students throughout their school years. This can present significant challenges due to the logistics involved in visiting all the ASPIRE partner schools in rural and remote areas. The Year 9 We’re Doing Fine event evolved in 2013 as an innovative way to help enrich the academic experiences of students. All Year 9 students from regional ASPIRE partner schools were invited to the city of Dubbo to attend a one-day student convention. The central location

Being here today for ASPIRE was great, it made me have a clearer mind of what I want to do.


66 67

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

meant students from many schools were able to participate. A series of interactive workshops introduced the students to the worlds of photography, business, theatre, science, archaeology, sports management, sculpture and medicine. Students preselected two workshops they would like to attend. UNSW staff and students, as well as experts in specific fields from the local community, ran the workshops. Each session was designed to increase motivation and broaden knowledge in subject-specific areas, focusing on the interests of the students.

Budding archaeologists mummified oranges and collected ancient artefacts from a mock archaeological dig. Young entrepreneurs designed and marketed t-shirts to a panel of hard-nosed investors. Junior industrialists discovered (and tasted) the art of making ice cream with liquid nitrogen. Promising doctors tested their plaster casting on broken limbs. Future actors gave outstanding performances. Sports managers learnt there’s more to a game than what happens on the field. Artists transformed a piece of clay into a work of art. Digitalage photographers unleashed

Was extremely helpful, made me really think ahead.

their creativity using an oldfashioned darkroom. Students had fun discovering hidden talents, socialising with new and old friends, and feeling more connected to other ASPIRE partner schools. The success of the convention will see the event incorporated into the 2014 event program.


ASPIRE@COFA It showed me what would motivate me and give me ideas on my HSC.


68 69

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

Inspiring students creatively Purpose: ƒƒ Provide focused academic enrichment activities The first ASPIRE@COFA was held at the College of Fine Arts in 2013, with 19 Years 10 and 11 students from JJ Cahill Memorial High School attending. The event was designed to give students skills and knowledge that can be used when planning their Visual Arts major work for the Higher School Certificate (HSC). The program

featured a range of educational and interactive experiences to inspire and motivate the students when creating their own work. Activities included a university-level animation workshop in which students used iPads to create their own stop-motion animation then uploaded the finished product onto the social networking site, Tumblr. Students were also given a tour of the college facilities and gained an insight into life at COFA and the courses and opportunities available in creative industries. The day ended with a master class on the different ways students could approach the HSC body of work. The class also included some impromptu art-making.


Tcompetition hree minute thesis Purpose: ƒƒ To open minds to the full range of study opportunities at university including at postgraduate level 2013

2012

Number of schools

3

2

Number of students

13

12

In 2012 and 2013, the UNSW Graduate Research School invited Year 10 and 11 students from ASPIRE partner schools to form one of the judging panels for the ‘Three Minute Thesis Competition’, an academic competition for PhD and Research Masters candidates. Some of UNSW’s brightest research candidates are given three minutes to explain what they are doing, how they are doing it and why it is important. The candidates are challenged to condense many years of work into a short presentation so a diverse audience can understand it.

It was actually quite a fun event! It felt intriguing to have the power to decide which thesis should receive an award. Every thesis was interesting and was viewed from a different perspective, with topics from gender difference and penguins to global warming and DVD releasing. I’d love to see something like this again.

The ASPIRE Award is one of four award categories in the competition. The ASPIRE student judging panel vote on their preferred speaker after listening to all the candidates and present the winner with the ASPIRE Award. The event is a thoughtprovoking experience for the school students who are able to see another side to university education and the results of intensive research into a specific subject area. The ASPIRE Award winners are invited to visit a partner school to further share their research with students as well as their journey through higher education.


70 71

P rofessional Engagement Course

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

ASPIRE shared teaching role with the School of Education ASPIRE provides educational opportunities for UNSW students. ASPIRE staff share the teaching of a professional engagement course to students from the UNSW School of Education. The students develop a deeper understanding of the range of learning environments and the diverse ways in which school students learn. As part of the course, ASPIRE coordinates the fieldwork placements into ASPIRE partner schools. The students provide educational support for the

schools in a variety of settings, such as homework clubs, learning support centres and in-classroom support for small group tutoring. As a result of their work in ASPIRE schools, in 2013 nine of the UNSW education students signed up to be ASPIRE Ambassadors. 2013

2012

Number of schools

14

11

Number of students

73

31


Cenrichment ollaborative


72 73

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

Students participated in a number of academic enrichment experiences requested by schools, and facilitated by ASPIRE. Several are outlined here. ƒƒ With support from ASPIRE, eight partner schools took the opportunity to send a total of 586 students to the Australian Museum’s Science Unleashed Festival 2013. The Festival was initiated to stimulate an interest in studying science and show school students the many career options available with a science degree. Six regional schools also attended the Museum’s Science in the Bush workshops, held at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst. ƒƒ At the request of a partner school, ASPIRE hosted a combined subject-specific workplace visit for 13 Year 12 students at UNSW. The students had an interest in studying medical science. A full program was designed beginning with a Q & A panel with ASPIRE Ambassadors currently studying medical science. Medical researchers at the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia gave a presentation on careers in the field and the students toured the world-class facilities. At a workshop run by the Museum of Human Disease, students were introduced to the processes by which the body and nervous system communicate with each other.

This initiative and collaboration resulted in two work placements for ASPIRE’s WOW@UNSW 2013 work experience program. ƒƒ ASPIRE supported a three-day camp specifically held for 22 Pasifika students in Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 from James Meehan High School. The camp was organised in recognition of their leadership potential and application to their studies over the year. Kayaking, ropes courses and archery were just a few of the activities set to challenge the students and increase their confidence and team work skills. Building leadership and persistence were key themes of the camp, as well as setting goals for the future and working out the steps to take to get there. The importance of family in the Pasifika community was recognised in the workshops as a strong influence and motivating factor to do well. Parents commented that the students returned to school with a more positive outlook to tackle school challenges. ƒƒ Two ASPIRE staff were invited to a camp for 30 Year 7 students from Canterbury Boys’ High School on the NSW Central Coast in 2013.

The ASPIRE team developed an activity for the camp which focused on the hopes and dreams of the students and keeping those dreams alive. Sixteen Year 11 students were trained by ASPIRE to help facilitate the activity on the day, giving the boys valuable leadership and peer mentoring skills. ƒƒ In 2012, ASPIRE played host to primary school students from Years 2, 3 and 4 on campus. Students from the regional central schools of Tullibigeal and Ungarie visited UNSW as part of a prearranged excursion to Sydney. ASPIRE organised a series of activities and tours to introduce the students to what goes on in a university. ASPIRE staff and Ambassadors joined the students and a number of their parents in an actionpacked day. Their visit culminated with Professor Ann Jardine McGonagall and the Harry Potter sorting hat enlightening them about future careers. ƒƒ ASPIRE staff and Ambassadors accompanied approximately 900 students from a number of year groups to career expos across Sydney in 2012 and 2013.


76 77

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

Such influencers in a student’s life not only shape their decisionmaking but also their academic attainment, especially in early years. In the development of ASPIRE, there has been a recognition that students are not only influenced by their teachers but have many influencers and sources of information and guidance. Of obvious importance are family and friends but also of importance are positive role models within communities. Such influencers in a student’s life not only shape their decision-making but also their academic attainment, especially in early years14. To this end, the program has actively set out to engage with the wider community in two significant ways: Firstly, activities have been designed to actively involve and inform families of students within partner schools. Secondly, ways of using the expertise of community members and identifying role models have been explored. ASPIRE continues to establish a growing network of groups and organisations that are keen to extend their support and be more involved with broadening the educational experiences of the students. In several instances, an initial oneoff contact or a pilot scheme has subsequently developed into ongoing relationships with thirdparties. This has allowed ASPIRE to tap into other resources and experiences that build on and enhance the program. For example: ƒƒ Citi Foundation’s support of ASPIRE has led to the employment of an Indigenous Project Officer that in turn has paved the way for stronger connections for ASPIRE with Indigenous communities in Sydney and regional NSW.

14

ƒƒ A water-safety exercise organised for regional students in WOW@UNSW has seen the Coogee Surf Club generously donate Bronze Medallion programs over two consecutive years. ƒƒ A joint association with Centennial Parklands outreach program established last year has exposed more students to environmental fieldwork. ƒƒ ASPIRE attends, on average, five agricultural shows per year across regional NSW. The stalls and interactions at the shows help cement ASPIRE’s commitment to local communities. Taking full advantage of opportunities to connect to the wider community wherever possible generates ongoing benefits and goodwill for all involved. Bringing people together to help build social capital across the community supports the higher education aspirations of students and helps them make more informed choices about their futures that are right for them.

Moore, J., Sanders, J., & Higham, L. (2013) Literature Review into Research into Widening Participation in Higher Education. HEFCE


P arent and Family Engagement parents and carers were involved with ASPIRE through workshops, camps and information sessions.

UNSW Parents and Family Day

An important component of student attainment and aspiration is the support they receive from their parents and carers. Many families within the communities in which ASPIRE works have: ƒƒ little or no knowledge or experience of higher education ƒƒ no family members who have attended a university ƒƒ no exposure to the university environment. Where possible, ASPIRE has always extended invitations to parents and carers to visit the campus during ASPIRE events. By visiting a campus, parents and carers can see the university facilities for themselves and ask

questions that relate to their personal circumstances and experiences. Gaining a better understanding about university and the long term benefits of higher education can assist in supporting their child’s educational aspirations and potential. ASPIRE has also established strong links with school Community Liaison Officers (CLO) to work together in engaging with families in events outside the school environment. In 2013, a total of 72 parents and carers participated in on-campus activities at UNSW. Another 77

In 2012, ASPIRE held its own Parents and Family Day for three partner schools, hosting 23 parents and their pre-school aged children. The day involved a tour of the university and advice about the application process and the different pathways into university that do not rely on the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). The 2013 Parents and Family Day was designed in consultation with the schools’ CLOs. Sixty-two parents and family members from eight metropolitan schools attended. Fifty per cent of parents had never visited a university before and, for 80% of the parents, this was their first visit to UNSW. The increase in attendance by parents can be attributed to the deepening of relationships with the school communities. During the year, ASPIRE held a series of workshops in five schools for parents and families on managing university costs, subject selection and understanding the University Admissions Centre.


78 79

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

Youth and Parents Forum Working with the Community Liaison Officer and the Migrant Resource Centre, ASPIRE helped develop a Youth and Parents – Shaping our future forum with Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School. Sixteen students in Years 11 and 12 and six parents and community members were brought together to help the students focus on what they wanted out of their future. ASPIRE facilitated the youth session with activities such as story-boarding, aimed at students identifying goals and dreams post-school, any barriers that could stop them achieving their goals and how their families could support them. In June, the school held a two-day Parents and Family Camp with 18 students ranging from pre-school through to Year 12. Twelve parents attended, along with three community members from the Community and Migrant Resource Centre, the NSW Police and Parramatta City Council. The school’s CLO requested ASPIRE’s support to help promote intergenerational communication and team building within the school community. The camp gave the families an opportunity to experience outdoor activities and challenges in a relaxed, fun and supportive environment. By the end of the camp, they all knew each other a little better and more about ASPIRE.


CConnections iti Citi Foundation has generously supported the ASPIRE program since 2009. The relationship with Citi provides students with an invaluable experience of seeing, first-hand, the diversity of degrees in a modern workplace. Citi employees have also been engaged by volunteering over 450 hours to mentor students during the visits.

Since 2012, the Citi Foundation has supported the employment of an Indigenous Project Officer who is a valued role model to all students in the program. The Indigenous Project Officer works to ensure the cultural appropriateness of ASPIRE’s interactions in communities and schools, particularly where there is a significant proportion of Aboriginal families. With the establishment of this role within ASPIRE, there has been greater involvement of Indigenous communities connected with the schools.


80 81

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

Good sports at Ricky Walford Shield The annual Ricky Walford Shield held in Walgett provides ASPIRE an opportunity to be part of the local community and to engage with Indigenous students. The event is one of the largest sporting competitions in the region and brings together teams from communities across north-western New South Wales to play rugby league and netball. In 2013, ASPIRE contributed to the community excitement and student involvement in the event by running in-school workshops for 49 young Indigenous athletes at the Walgett Community College. During the week, students in Years 6, 7 and 8 explored the higher education pathways which can lead to careers in sport off the field and in health and fitness and related industries. Discussions also revolved around sporting role models who have achieved both a professional sporting career and a degree from university. On the day of the Ricky Walford Shield, an additional 69 students from the college’s infant classes enjoyed an outdoor sporting circuit organised by ASPIRE.

Indigenous Cultural Events ASPIRE participates annually in the Yabun Festival and the National Indigenous Day of Celebration (NAIDOC). Both events showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture, art, music and achievements. At both events, ASPIRE team members host a stall and take the opportunity to interact with the Indigenous community.


ECentennial xploring Parklands


82 83

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

I will tell my family that it was fun and it was the best time of my school life!

In a joint initiative sponsored by the Centennial Parklands Foundation, Year 6 ASPIRE metro primary school students experienced the world of environmental science and geography. With a keen eye and dipping nets at the ready, students were guided by park rangers through water quality testing, mapping skills and spotting sleeping flying foxes. The hands-on activities help the students see the importance of managing eco-systems and the diverse skills and qualifications required to do that. Park rangers were on hand to talk about their own career paths and give an insight into the areas of study associated with some of the activities such as hydrology, zoology, ecology and botany. The activities helped students understand that not all learning has to take place inside a classroom. For the primary school

Number of primary schools Number of high schools

2013

Number of students

3

129

14

69

students, the excursion concluded with a visit to the UNSW campus where they discussed the highlights of the day. The visit to UNSW reinforces the connection between further study and career choices and builds on the Year 5 XPLORE UNSW! on-campus event. Year 8 regional students also took part in a visit to the Park as part of the Beyond the Gate program. The visit opened their eyes to green spaces in urban environments.


Sinurf’s up regional NSW

Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club One of the rewarding aspects of ASPIRE has been the unexpected opportunities flowing from the partnerships built by the program. As a result of the WOW@UNSW work experience program, the regional towns of Condobolin and Dunedoo now have fully qualified surf lifesavers patrolling their local pools. Following water safety sessions held during WOW@UNSW, Tate Leal from Condobolin High School (2012) and Ethan Adams from Dunedoo Central School (2013) were both invited back by the Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club’s Junior Development Officer, Doug Hawkins, to participate in an intensive 10-day Lightning Bronze camp. The boys gave up their school holidays in January to attend the course which the Club generously donated so that the students could attend. Both boys passed the course with flying colours, and were awarded their bronze medallions. They are now keen to further their qualifications in life saving.


84 85

Itime! t’s show

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

Supporting local communities The local agricultural show is an important calendar event in regional NSW. ASPIRE’s presence at the shows provides an opportunity for friendly and informal contact with the local community outside the classroom. Where possible, attendance is planned around the same time as the ASPIRE team holds workshops in the partner school. ASPIRE’s display stand is a highly visible and successful way staff can touch base with the community and talk about ASPIRE’s work with the local school. In 2013 staff spoke with over 1,000 community members at the shows. Families of the school students and members of the local community not specifically attached to the school visit the stall to find out more about ASPIRE

and higher education. The school students also drop by to talk to staff they know or about the workshops and events in which they have participated. ASPIRE staff, including the Director, enjoy the personal contact with the locals and the opportunity to support the community event.

Community Shows Aspire attended 2013

2012

Coonabarabran

Condobolin

Dunedoo

Coonamble

Lake Cargelligo

Gilgandra

Mendooran

Gulargambone

Ungarie

Walgett


Testimonials Ateeq-ur Rahman I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Mining Engineering here at UNSW. I graduated from Holroyd High School in 2013 and I was a part of the ASPIRE program during Years 11 and 12. Originally I have come from a family where none of my family members has made it to university, except my stepmother; she has acquired a Bachelor of Nursing degree. My father has always supported me and believed in my decisions of which uni and degree to choose. I realised the importance of the ASPIRE program after I started university and truly thanked you guys for running this program for high school students. During my Year 12, I received an early offer from USyd (University of Sydney) to do Bachelor of Medical Science along with a $5000 scholarship. On the other hand, UNSW offered me a place in Bachelor of Mining Engineering along with a AAA scholarship after my HSC. I was confused between these two universities, but soon after I attended the USyd Open Day, I realised that this uni is not the right place for me. I then made a decision to choose my career at UNSW. The main point here is that ASPIRE made it really easy for me to choose the best uni and degree out of those two. You guys explained the life here at UNSW to us in such a positive manner that I couldn’t think of going to any other university. ASPIRE really strengthened my basic understandings about a uni life, for example: essay writing skills, getting in contact with tutors and lecturers through emails etc. Due to those workshops I did with ASPIRE here in UNSW, my first day of uni didn’t seem like a first day at all. I was so aware of the university’s environment that I didn’t need to seek help from anyone.

ASPIRE really strengthened my basic understandings about a uni life...


88 89

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

ASPIRE has played such a key role at helping me find my place at uni... Ayesha Nazir I always knew I liked meeting people and helping people but didn’t really know how. I chose a psychology degree because human behaviour fascinated me and I liked listening to people’s stories. My parents expected me to go to uni and if I hadn’t I don’t really know what else I would have done. I initially was hesitant as it is so different to high school and I was out of my comfort zone. No one I knew had been to uni before so I was unsure about what it would be like and who could help answer my questions. However, through being involved in extracurricular activities such as ASPIRE my confidence and self-esteem increased and I adapted to my new environment. ASPIRE has played such a key role at helping me find my place at uni and I experience the positive effects it has first-hand. It wasn’t until I joined ASPIRE I realised my passion for working with school students and helping youth in my community. Having been involved in ASPIRE for so long I have been lucky enough to see positive changes in schools and received such positive feedback from teachers and students. One of my favourite parts of the program is when I get to go back to my former high school and have conversations with the students about their goals and dreams. These conversations are the core part of the program as they plant the seed for achieving their best. ASPIRE is so valuable as it helps students become aware of the opportunities available and gives them the motivation to discover their potential. 


...the program inspired me to follow the steps of the ambassadors who gave me such great advice. Michelle Nguyen many people around the world don’t get that luxury. I have always wanted to do a business degree as long as I could remember and that was probably influenced by my relatives who work in commerce.   In Year 11, I attended the ASPIRE Step UP program which really motivated me to work harder to get into university because I was given an insight into the opportunities that were available. The program offered me valuable first-hand experience that I wasn’t able to get anywhere else. I felt that the ASPIRE program had been really beneficial during my school career, especially during my senior years. Through workshops and excursions, I was able to build a connection with the university which helped me visualise the possibility of attending UNSW. Over the years, this alleviated the fears I had about going to university in general. Honestly, I wouldn’t know what I would be doing if I didn’t go to university because the idea had always been on my mind.

I am a second year student undertaking a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Marketing and International Business. I am the second person in my immediate family to have attended university as my older brother was the first person in our family to attend university. As a result of the Vietnam War, both my parents weren’t able to complete their secondary education so they heavily encouraged me to attend university. They thought it was important that I take the educational opportunities that are available to me because

Furthermore, seeing how helpful the program was really inspired me to follow the steps of the Ambassadors who gave me such great advice. The ASPIRE Step UP program left such a huge impression on me to the point that I thought if I were ever accepted into UNSW, I would definitely try to apply as an Ambassador. Since I was able to connect with the Ambassadors, I realised the impact they had on students and their thought processes and I could see that they were passionate about the interests of the students. Also, coming from a low socio-economic background, I also wanted to make a difference among students who are in similar circumstances. I have been lucky enough to be able to visit my old high school and reconnect with my teachers. While interacting with the current students, I was able to contextualise what they were saying because I was once in their position. Now that I am on the ASPIRE team, I realise the extraordinary effort that is put into running these programs and I really admire all the project officers. ASPIRE has given me the opportunity to not only give back to the community but to also make new friends who share the same vision and passion as I do.


90 91

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

Elise Burrows I graduated from Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School in 2013. My brother was the first person in my family to go to university and he, along with my parents, have always encouraged me in my aspirations and pursuit of knowledge through further education. During my high school life, my teachers always encouraged me in my learning and when the ASPIRE program was announced in my Year 11 group, and the selection process of interviews and written applications were over (due to the astounding number of applicants), they offered myself and five other students a position as an ASPIRE student (for Step UP). Many of the applicants were friends of mine and each of us had dreams of attending university. In the ASPIRE program, these dreams were realised right in front of us. We were shown that anyone who worked hard could make it into university. All and any fears regarding such a monumental change and transition were assuaged by our mentors, the ASPIRE Ambassadors. The campus was amazing and the inside look we got to uni life showed us a whole new world. There were also workshops designed to cope with any stress and worries, most of which were relevant at the time as we were all about to become Year 12s. ASPIRE showed us a lot about who we could be. It helped us prepare and taught us to be unafraid of the change and challenges university would be, but to face them head on without worry because we would have an enormous support group wherever we went. I came to UNSW (to study) for a variety of reasons. One of them was so that I could become part of the group that helped me so much.

In the ASPIRE program, these dreams were realised right in front of us.


It has been Dunedoo Central School’s greatest gain to be selected to have a partnership with ASPIRE. Dunedoo Central School

Belinda Fergusson (second from right) with students from Dunedoo Central School who participated in WOW@UNSW, ASPIRE’s work experience program.

In my experience UNSW is the standalone university, through the ASPIRE program, who has proactively sought schools to be involved in a variety of outreach programs, activities and events. ASPIRE has shown great foresight and initiative in developing such programs and subsequently approaching schools to form a partnership, actively breaking down the country/city barrier that many country students face. Today, where funding is continually being cut, rural families and communities have to make up the shortfall of available funds and as such there are many students who simply

miss out on many social, cultural and educational opportunities taken for granted by both larger regional centres and city schools. ASPIRE has totally funded some of our students to attend Year 8 Beyond The Gate, Year 9 We’re Doing Fine and Year 10 Week Of Work. There is no doubt without this generosity students would never have had the opportunity to partake in such fantastic ventures. The secret to the success of ASPIRE at Dunedoo Central School is the creativity of the in-school workshops presented, the passion of the staff who travel, present and travel some more and the sincerity and passion with which the team and Ambassadors take their role. It has been Dunedoo Central School’s greatest gain to be selected to have a partnership with ASPIRE. Belinda Fergusson Careers Adviser, Dunedoo Central School


92 93

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

I think that things like ASPIRE have really given them that extra boost. Holroyd High School

If I go to a year group meeting on a Monday morning and say I’ve got 20 places for an ASPIRE excursion, I have 20 notes the next day. That’s what’s good about the program. I really feel that if you step back and look across the school, most of the students have had some kind of impact by the ASPIRE program. Even if it’s just making them believe that university is an option for them or maybe if it means that they have just been coasting

along and they need to pick up their act and they can do that. It really does impact people in different ways. Considering our student population, and a lot of the obstacles that they overcome, I think that things like ASPIRE have really given them that extra boost. And not just the individual students, but I think it has given the school a boost; the combination of the general student population, quite a few staff members, and just that feeling that it’s something achievable. It’s gone from “I finish school, what do I do now?” to a scenario of, “when I finish school, this is what I’m going to study” for a lot of our students. The organisation is brilliant, the programs are really good – it would be our favourite of our uni programs. I can say that! Teacher Holroyd High School


ASPIRE is definitely the most popular program in our school. Chester Hill High School

Without ASPIRE, students from Chester Hill High School who come from low socio-economic backgrounds would never have been able to access the university. ASPIRE not only provides students with valuable insight into university life but the Ambassadors are friendly and approachable making each experience enjoyable and engaging. The Ambassadors are wonderful role models and representatives of the university.

our school. To now take ASPIRE away from our school will mean that our students will lose the connection with the University, and the equity we have worked so hard to provide our students with will no longer be there.

ASPIRE works with around 100 students from our school from Years 8 to 12 each year. The program is so popular in the high school that students always approach me about when the next event is on and can I allow them to go. ASPIRE is definitely the most popular program in

ASPIRE is a greater leveller for all students regardless of postcode, family background or financial situations. All students are treated equally and fairly and given the same opportunities to succeed and enter university.

ASPIRE allows the school to go beyond the classroom to engage students and show students that with work, determination and proper preparation, university is not beyond their reach. Last year, a Year 12 student who was part of the holiday program that allowed students to gain extra marks towards their ATAR got into COFA due to his involvement with ASPIRE. This student would never have made it to university without ASPIRE.

Lucy Criola Head Teacher Student Engagement Chester Hill High School


94 95

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT


FDirections uture While 2014 promises to be a very busy year for the ASPIRE team in running the core program for our partner schools, it will also be a time of consolidation. The number of partner schools will not be increased, however we will look for further opportunities to engage our current partners and their communities. As part of the normal annual review of ASPIRE, some of the in-school activities have been redeveloped to take into consideration the feedback from our partner schools. The focus on Pasifika and Indigenous cohorts will continue to grow. Further academic enrichment opportunities will be offered for both metro and regional students. Across the year, a full evaluation of the program will be undertaken to inform future development. At the time of writing this Annual Report, the future and extent of the ASPIRE program from 2015 onwards remains unclear. ASPIRE is at a crossroads at this time as we seek new funding to continue the program. We have been fortunate in the past in winning competitive funding from the Federal Government, however this major source of funding ceases at the end of 2014. Some ongoing government funding for outreach under the Higher Education Participation Program (HEPP) will continue. It is clear though, that this in isolation will not support the cost of the current program. We have received much assistance from UNSW, including invaluable help given by the UNSW Foundation, and we hope this continues. We have also greatly appreciated the valuable support Citi Foundation has provided ASPIRE over several years. The ASPIRE team remains strongly committed to helping communities experiencing significant educational disadvantage. We now hope that others in the wider community – be they individuals, government or corporations – will come on board to help ASPIRE continue its work in helping young Australians to change their lives by degrees.


96 97

ASPIRE ANNUAL REPORT

...helping young Australians to change their lives by degrees.


ASPIRE annual report 2013  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you