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ASPIRE has been developed by the Director and staff of the Student Equity and Disabilities Unit (SEADU) Ground Floor John Goodsell Building (UNSW map ref F20) The University of New South Wales Sydney NSW 2052

ASPIRE Annual Report 2011 Never Stand Still

Student Equity and Disabilities Unit


ASPIRE 2012 Our regional school partners

CONTENTS 02 What is ASPIRE? 03 2011 Highlights 05 Director’s Report 07 About ASPIRE 08 Students need ASPIRE 09 Overview 10 ASPIRE Learning Framework 12 ASPIRE organisational structure 2011 13 Beyond the Levee 14 External review 16 ASPIRE partner school locations 17 Robust partnerships 19 Achieving Results 20 Offers to universities For more information about ASPIRE please contact: Ann Jardine, ASPIRE Project Director Telephone: (02) 9385 4734 Email: a.jardine@unsw.edu.au Web: www.aspire.unsw.edu.au Design: UNSW P3 Design Studio Photography: Neil Fenelon; Kate Kilpatrick-Galbraith; Members and friends of the ASPIRE team ASPIRE is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and a donation by Citi Foundation.

23 The Year in Review 24 In-school workshops 26 On-campus events 36 Ambassadors 37 Pilot Programs 2011

41 Supplementary Activities

Copyright @ 2012 The University of New South Wales – All rights reserved.

47 Future Directions

The information in this brochure was correct at the time of printing

48 ASPIRE 2012


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annual report 2011

The 10 year old boy ran excitedly across the playground in a small New South Wales regional school, clutching the mortar board he had made in one hand and the ASPIRE graduation certificate he’d been presented with in the other.

“Look auntie,” he cried. “I graduated! It won’t happen in real life, but today I graduated!” If a young boy with his whole life ahead of him has closed his mind so early to the hope of higher education, he has already established a limited view of his own potential. Research confirms that students have often formed their opinions about higher education choices before Year 7 (11-12 years old)1. ASPIRE aims to ensure those opinions are positive. By encouraging self-awareness during primary and high school, students’ aspirations and sense of achievement can be fostered and developed throughout their most receptive years. University may not be for everyone, but all students involved in ASPIRE benefit from stretching their imaginations and opening their minds to life’s possibilities.

That’s why ASPIRE matters. 1 Croll, P. (2004). Families, social capital and educational outcomes. British Journal of Educational Studies, 52(4), pp 390-416


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WHAT IS ASPIRE? ASPIRE is an outreach program that, by the nature of its depth (working with students from Kindergarten to Year 12) and breadth (working with students in school and on campus and with the local communities in which the schools reside), is unique in addressing the educational disadvantage experienced by sections of Australian society. The ASPIRE program was initiated by the Unversity of New South Wales (UNSW) five years ago as a strategy to address the continued inequality in higher education. It has grown from a small pilot in 2007 working with two Sydney high schools into an innovative and distinctive program which in 2011 worked with 27 schools reaching over three thousand school students across Sydney and over one thousand students in regional and remote New South Wales (NSW).


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2011 HIGHLIGHTS  100% increase in the number of students engaged with the ASPIRE program since 2010  3200 students from 27 schools participated in ASPIRE events and workshops – up from 1600 students and 18 schools involved during 2010  Nine new schools on board in 2011 made up of six new regional schools and three metropolitan schools  $4.6 million funding won in competitive bid to continue and expand ASPIRE until 2014  Between 2009 and 2012, there has been a 39% increase in the number of students from ASPIRE partner schools receiving offers from universities  Expansion of Regional ASPIRE program  All 18 established schools continued as ASPIRE partners in 2011  82 Kindergarten students participated in ASPIRE activities  New initiatives launched: mentoring in metropolitan schools, work experience for regional students, Parents on Campus events  55% increase in the number of university students applying to become ASPIRE Ambassadors  Successful collaboration with Canterbury Boys High School with National Australia Bank (NAB) Schools First program  Increase in requests from partner schools to visit UNSW campus  8 schools invited to join ASPIRE in 2012  External review of ASPIRE program conducted

Growth in number of students who have participated in the ASPIRE program

3500 Total Number of students (estimated)

3000 Females

2500 Males

2000 1500 1000 500 0

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011


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annual report 2011


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annual report 2011

DIRECTOR’S REPORT The fifth year of ASPIRE has been a big year for the program. In 2011, not only have we doubled the number of students and increased the number of schools participating in ASPIRE since 2010, but we have also expanded further into regional New South Wales and developed and launched exciting new initiatives. There were 3200 students who engaged with ASPIRE, and another nine new schools were added to our partnership bringing the total for the year to 27. Six of the new schools joining us were from regional New South Wales and we welcomed two metropolitan high schools. Students from every year took part in our programmed activities, both on campus and in school, including 82 Kindergarten students. We believe that one of the key ingredients in helping students to think about university as a choice they can make is to start early and give them many opportunities to interact with the university environment. The indications are that this strategy is successful, with an increase of 39% in offers to university to students from ASPIRE partner schools for 2012. With the core program established, in 2011 we were able to look at ways we could provide schools and students with additional support. During the year, we identified areas of specific need in the students’ learning experience and piloted three strategies to address them. The first initiative was a mentoring program run across six weeks with students in Year 11. Working closely with ASPIRE Ambassadors, the students had the opportunity to learn new skills and find out more about university life while preparing for the transition from school to higher education. The second initiative sought to address the limited opportunities available to students in regional areas to fulfil work experience commitments. An intensive live-in program was piloted with students from Ungarie Central School. Year 7 and 8 students explored Sydney and the university while the Year 9 and 10 students took part in a week of work experience with employers within the university and local business district. We are very grateful for the way the community helped support the students and give them some wonderful experiences. The importance of raising awareness of higher education within the family environment was the foundation on which we built the Parents On Campus pilot. We were thrilled that we were able to host visits from a number of parents across the year through this initiative, and engage with family members to support student


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annual report 2011

aspirations. More details on our pilot programs are found later in this report. The partnerships we build with schools are a key component in the success of ASPIRE. It has been heartening to see the growing strength of those partnerships and the range of additional opportunities of engagement. One such example was the NAB Schools First collaboration with Canterbury Boys High School. Throughout the year, ASPIRE staff assisted in a careers education program for students, culminating with an inspiring completion celebration at UNSW.

Other examples include a popular homework club set up with Pacific Islander students at Bankstown Girls High School to support academic attainment. One of our new regional schools took the opportunity to add a visit to UNSW as part of their school excursions to Sydney. We welcomed students from Baradine Central School and the ASPIRE team organised a tailor-made program on campus for them.

excitement continued to the very end. In November we were particularly encouraged by the findings of an external review of ASPIRE which found that our partner schools really value the program. Then to cap off the year, we were successful in winning competitive funding from the Federal Government that will enable us to continue working in partnership with our schools until the end of 2014.

It is very pleasing to note that our own UNSW students continued to be a keen and growing part of the ASPIRE program in 2011. More than 155 ASPIRE Ambassadors assisted with multiple activities throughout the year. Students really enjoy engaging with the Ambassadors and finding out about university from people closer to their own age.

For the ASPIRE team, the year ended in high spirits. We are confident we can make 2012 every bit as successful as 2011. We have set our sights on inviting more schools to join ASPIRE and taking the program to the next phase of development. We will be identifying opportunities to engage more within the communities which surround our partner schools and we will consolidate our activities both in school and on campus.

To coincide with our visits to regional schools, the ASPIRE team members took part in two local agricultural shows at Ungarie and Coonamble. This gave us a great opportunity to talk to a range of people about the benefits of a university education and to get to know a bit more about the communities we are working with. I think it is fair to say that 2011 surpassed 2010. It has been a most successful year, full of excitement and creativity. The

We look forward to opening up educational opportunities for more Australian students across NSW. ANN JARDINE Director Student Equity and Disabilities Unit ASPIRE Project Director


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annual report 2011

ABOUT ASPIRE


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STUDENTS NEED ASPIRE Socio-economic status (SES) has been identified as the dominant factor in educational disadvantage and attainment2. Despite the move of higher education from an elite system to a mass system, students from low SES backgrounds remain significantly underrepresented within university populations. The need for the establishment of programs such as ASPIRE to address such disadvantage is clearly demonstrated by the data on access to higher education. Currently, access rates for low SES students stand at 16.8% nationally. In NSW, the figure is 16.9% and at institutional level such as UNSW it is 8.1%. The need is further evidenced by the participation rates of specific low SES cohorts such as Indigenous students, which stands at less than 1.5%. The continued inequity was highlighted in the influential Review of Australian Higher Education (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2008). As a result of the review, the Federal Government has clearly signalled the need to address the issue of underrepresentation by setting a specific target for the university sector to achieve. This target is that 20% of all enrolments will be from students from low SES backgrounds by 2020. The long term benefits of completing higher education for the individual are well documented. Employability is increased, as is wealth. University educated individuals have better health and life prospects and are more likely to engage with society through civic involvement (OECD, 2010). There are benefits to society in investing in human capital and increasing social mobility. The OECD identifies advantages to society as economic, through greater tax revenues, more skilled employees and people staying longer in the workforce. Social advantages of an educated society include less crime and more civic involvement (OECD, 2010). The ASPIRE program operates from a base of social justice and by its very nature promotes and supports inclusiveness and widening participation within the higher education sector.

2 James, Baldwin, G, Coates, Krause, & McInnis, 2004; Walpole, 2003


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OVERVIEW Over time, these visits give the school students an insight into university life and the attractions and benefits it offers. More importantly, it makes higher education less intimidating.

ASPIRE is a UNSW initiative that works with school students who come from low SES backgrounds by supporting their aspirations and helping them to access a university education.

or job prospects they never would have thought themselves capable of pursuing.

The aim of the program is to:

highlighting the variety of courses available

Funding

enabling students to identify their personal interests and talents and showing how they can lead to further study and interesting jobs

demonstrating that Higher School Certificate results are not the only pathway into university.

ASPIRE is funded primarily by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations – Diversity and Structural Adjustment Fund Grant. It is also funded by UNSW, the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) and a donation by Citi Foundation.

build a greater awareness about university amongst students who may not have considered a university education before encourage students to think about their options for the future

help students to improve their academic readiness for university

increase university applications from student cohorts with low transfer rates into higher education.

The information provided to students on higher education includes:

ASPIRE also supports students in the university application process by: 

providing information on the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) process, including the Educational Access Scheme

assisting with the research and application for scholarships

discussing the forms of financial support available.

ASPIRE does this by: 

building self confidence in students who may underestimate their academic abilities

reinforcing positive attitudes about higher education

helping students to navigate the sometimes complex process of entering higher education.

Working with students from Kindergarten to Year 12, ASPIRE helps students discover careers

Direct and personal contact with universities is a crucial element in the program. Students attend university campuses and are given an opportunity to interact with current university students and staff.

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.


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ASPIRE LEARNING FRAMEWORK The building blocks of the ASPIRE program are to raise: 

awareness

aspirations

attainment

From this foundation, a learning progression framework has been constructed across the student year groups from Kindergarten to Year 12. Emphasis is placed on raising awareness and aspiration from primary school through Years 7 to10 in high school. The focus on supporting attainment begins from Year 10 through to Year 12 as students start to consolidate what they want to do after school, the choices open to them and how they are going to achieve it.


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Raise awareness short in-school workshops

short in-school workshops

on-campus visits – XPLORE UNSW!

workplace visits

subject-specific days on campus

Years 5/6 

extended in-school workshops

on-campus visits – Uni for a Day

workplace visits

subject-specific days on campus

Years 7/8

Increase understanding of HE3

Build self-esteem

Discover the possibilities outside their environment

Increase awareness of skills and interests

Increase awareness of pathways to jobs

Raise aspirations

aspirations

K–Year 4

awareness

Increase confidence in ability to enter HE

Increase motivation to enter HE

Increase knowledge of education and career options

Taster Day

mentoring

workplace visits

subject-specific days on campus

Years 9/10 

Step UP

Student Shadowing

mentoring

tutoring

Study Buddies

subject-specific days on campus

teacher follow-up work

activities/talks for parents/ carers

individual school campus visits

community events

online materials

information booklets

Years 11/12

Ongoing support for all years

attainment

Raise attainment 

Ability and knowledge to make informed choices relating to HE and career aspirations

Increase familiarity with application process and selection requirements

Improve awareness and ability to apply skills required to operate successfully in an HE environment

3 Higher Education


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ASPIRE ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE 2011

Director SEADU ASPIRE Project Director

ASPIRE Project Manager

ASPIRE Project Officer (Regional)

ASPIRE Project Officer

ASPIRE Project Officer (Regional)

ASPIRE Project Officer

ASPIRE Project Officer (Regional)

ASPIRE Project Officer

Administration


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BEYOND THE LEVEE


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EXTERNAL REVIEW A review of the UNSW ASPIRE program was commissioned by UNSW and undertaken in November 2011 by Jo Wiggans, Director of the Greater Manchester Aimhigher partnership in the UK. Methodology The reviewer conducted structured interviews with eight ASPIRE partner schools; five in Sydney and three in regional New South Wales. The Director of ASPIRE, and ASPIRE staff in a number of roles were also interviewed, along with student ambassadors and two senior UNSW staff in the office of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Students). Structured interviews were conducted in each school with the link member of staff. The Principal or Deputy Principal was also present in five of the eight schools.

Schools in the Review Jo Wiggans, Director of the Greater Manchester Aimhigher partnership (left) and Ann Jardine, Director of the Student Equity and Disabilities Unit and Project Director of ASPIRE.

The title ‘Beyond the Levee’ refers to the geographic barrier that surrounds a regional town that residents use to indicate the ‘rest of the world’ outside their local environment. It is also a term used metaphorically to describe the additional barriers, both real and imagined, that prevent young people from seeing possibilities and opportunities about their future beyond what they currently know and have experienced. Here are some excerpts from the external review ‘Beyond the Levee’.

ASPIRE targets schools with an ICSEA4 score below 1000 and most also have a very diverse ethnic mix, particularly in the city suburbs. Six of the schools in the review were secondary schools. Two, in regional New South Wales, were central schools taking pupils from Kindergarten to Year 12. One of the regional schools had a school population in which almost 50% were Indigenous students. The regional schools and one of the metro schools had first become involved in ASPIRE in 2011. The remaining metro schools had been involved in the program for two or three years.

Intellectual capital and UNSW reputation ASPIRE enhances the reputation of UNSW as a high status Go8 university that demonstrates a genuine interest in reaching a wider range of students, particularly those from low SES backgrounds, those from regional schools, and those from particular ethnic minority communities. ASPIRE is building models of partnership that are based on negotiation and mutual

4 The Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage is the measure the Federal government uses to determine the levels of educational advantage or disadvantage that students bring to their academic studies.


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annual report 2011

understanding of the opportunities and needs of universities and schools. Moreover, the ASPIRE team holds within it a depth of understanding of the barriers to progression to higher education and the ways in which these can be overcome, which has the potential to contribute to the scholarship of the university. The Director provides strong intellectual leadership … she has also steered the initiative through successive bids and developments and increasingly, alongside other staff in the team, she represents the UNSW ASPIRE program at national level. ASPIRE partner schools see UNSW through the lens of ASPIRE and their perception of UNSW is largely dictated by their relationship with ASPIRE. This review shows that ASPIRE enhances the reputation of UNSW. Schools, both regional and metro, spoke of the greater understanding that UNSW has of their needs and circumstances compared with other universities they link with. Schools in the review appreciate the commitment that UNSW is showing, through ASPIRE, to progression for their low SES students.

Impact of ASPIRE Based on the evidence generated by the review, there is no doubt that ASPIRE is changing the way that many low SES students see their own path through education and influencing individuals to make different choices and rise to the challenge of a better future.

The benefits of ASPIRE for the schools were immediately visible. Students were reported as still talking about their experiences of ASPIRE days after the events. One careers adviser was pleased to note that students were asking questions in the playground and in sessions following ASPIRE workshops so that ASPIRE was opening up avenues for her to explore with the students. Two schools said pupils were ‘clamouring’ to be included in ASPIRE.

Long term gains After three years of participating in the program, one metro school said they could see the results in better engagement in classwork. Moreover, there had been a significant increase in the number of students applying to higher education. Most were still heading for the University of Western Sydney, whose campus is close to their homes, but UNSW is now the next most popular university, in spite of the distance. The school puts this down directly to the familiarity gained through the ASPIRE program. Other schools were less able to quantify the outcomes but pointed to parental appreciation of the program. Two schools specifically said that Year 9 students were asking for more information about subject options because they wanted to reconsider their choices as a direct result of ASPIRE. Engagement and positive behaviour were seen to have improved.

One school said that students came in for the ASPIRE workshop at the end of the day even when they were truanting from school classes! Several schools told of pupils for whom the ASPIRE opportunities had made a real difference, including one Indigenous young woman in a rural school who, through participation in ASPIRE, had joined some of the Nura Gili programs for Indigenous students at UNSW and now looked likely to pursue an application to study law. The school had worked very hard with the girl’s family to make it possible for her to attend residential sessions at UNSW and the change for that one individual was immense.

School links with other universities Some metro schools were also involved in programs offered by other universities but found ASPIRE more holistic and flexible in its approach. Regional schools had no other university partnerships. Schools appreciated the fact that ASPIRE encourages progression to whichever university best suits the needs of their students and expected that the local universities would still be the first choice for most pupils. Nonetheless, schools saw the work of ASPIRE as evidence that UNSW had a genuine interest in encouraging applications from low SES students. One school reported an increase in applications to UNSW as a result of the knowledge of university students had gained through ASPIRE.


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ASPIRE PARTNER SCHOOL LOCATIONS Sydney Parramatta

Ryde

Lane Cove

Rosehill

Crows Nest

Greystanes

Mosman

Gladesville

HOLROYD

GRANVILLE

North Sydney

Sydney Olympic Park

Guildford

Drummoyne

Concord

AUBURN

Balmain Vaucluse

Lidcombe Fairfield

Five Dock

SYDNEY

Strathfield

CHESTER HILL

Leichhardt Stanmore

Cabramatta

BASS HILL

Bondi Beach

Redfern

DULWICH HILL MARRICKVILLE BANKSTOWN

Liverpool Punchbowl

Kensington

CANTERBURY WILEY PARK

ROSEBERY

Tempe

Earlwood

UNSW Randwick

Coogee

MASCOT Maroubra Kingsgrove Revesby

Padstow

Holsworthy

Rockdale

MATRAVILLE Brighton-Le-Sands

Kogarah Hurstville

Established ASPIRE partner schools

Botany Bay

New ASPIRE partner schools in 2011

LA PEROUSE

Regional New South Wales COONAMBLE

BARADINE

e

ban

Bris

Coolabah

Tamworth Coonabarabran Cobar

Nyngan

BINNAWAY

Broken Hill

Gilgandra

Warren

Coolah

DUNEDOO

Trangie

Nymagee Tottenham

Dubbo Gulgong

Gilgunnia Wellington

Tullamore

Mudgee

Mount Hope Trundle

CONDOBOLIN

Parkes Orange

Forbes

LAKE CARGELLIGO

Bathurst

Approximate distance from Sydney Baradine Binnaway Condobolin Coonamble Dunedoo Lake Cargelligo Quandialla Tullibigeal Ungarie

TULLIBIGEAL UNGARIE Adelaide via Mildura

Grenfell

QUANDIALLA Established ASPIRE partner schools

New ASPIRE partner schools in 2011

SYDNEY Cowra

Canberra

511kms 436kms 460kms 560kms 357kms 600kms 430kms 563kms 530kms


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ROBUST PARTNERSHIPS In 2011, ASPIRE welcomed another nine schools to the program with the clear aim of targeting schools in most need and that may be overlooked in other programs. ASPIRE’s underlying philosophy acknowledges that students capable of achieving well at university come from a range of backgrounds, circumstances and schools. ASPIRE aims to combat entrenched stereotypes of the type of people who go on to higher education. Its distinct approach provides those students involved with every opportunity to make an informed choice about their future, whatever that choice may be, by: 

Working with students across every year of their school life cycle from Kindergarten to Year 12 Adhering to a learning framework from year to year that takes into account the key stages of the school curriculum Establishing close partnerships with each school to create a program that is unique to that school and the context in which it operates (eg the components run in a high school in Western Sydney may not be the same as a regional central school).

Strong partnerships have been built with different disadvantaged cohorts, particularly in Sydney where there is a diverse Language Background Other Than English (LBOTE) population. In regional NSW, there has been a deliberate strategy to set up in areas with particularly low

participation rates in higher education. This includes National Partnership schools regarded as remote, schools with high Indigenous populations, and schools, which due to very small populations, will not deliver major outcomes.

These are: 

access to information

physical exposure to and interaction with tertiary institutions

reinforcement and proof that higher education is possible

ongoing encouragement and support in their academic ability.

ASPIRE partner school criteria To be an ASPIRE partner, every school must meet at least three of the following criteria: The school is: 

listed as a low SES School Communities National Partnership School

is currently or was previously a NSW DEC Priority Schools Program School

has a score below 1000 on the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA)5

has a low progression rate to higher education

is in a geographic area with low progression rates to higher education.

It is important to note that while these measures may categorise schools by social or economic disadvantage, they are not a measure of their students’ academic potential. The level of social and economic disadvantage contributes to the missing ingredients that prevent a student reaching their academic potential.

Snapshot of partner schools 2011 

All schools identified by Federal and State governments as disadvantaged

Lowest school ICSEA is 657

Nine schools have Indigenous populations greater than 20%; three are over 50% and two are over 80%

Twelve schools have a Language Background Other Than English (LBOTE) population over 50%; eight are over 90%

Nine schools have over 50% of the population in the bottom SES quartile

Smallest school size is 38 students and the largest is 1143

University participation of 17 to 24 year olds in some regional communities is approximately 11%, significantly under the national figures of over 30%.

5 A measure the Federal government uses to determine the levels of educational advantage or disadvantage that students bring to their academic studies.


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ASPIRE partner schools 20116 National Partnership School

NSW Priority Schools Program

ICSEA7

Number of students in school

Indigenous %

Central8

Yes

Regional

Central

Yes

Yes

810

105

42

0

NA

Yes

879

97

21

3

NA

Chester Hill High

Metro

High

Coonamble High

Regional

High

Yes

Yes

943

1092

1

82

44

Yes

Yes

763

195

54

2

NA

Primary

Yes

Yes

659

211

82

3

NA

Central

Yes

No

926

201

16

2

37

High

Yes

Yes

841

505

2

87

NA

Metro

Primary

Yes

Yes

937

197

2

85

NA

Regional

Central

No

No

972

59

5

0

NA

Regional

High

Yes

Yes

817

253

43

2

41

Regional

Central

Yes

Yes

860

228

36

2

61

Matraville Soldiers Settlement Public

Metro

Primary

No ASPIRE High School feeder

No

948

208

26

26

NA

2010

Quandialla Central

Regional

Central

Yes

Yes

957

37

22

0

NA

2010

Ungarie Central

Regional

Central

Yes

Yes

980

99

3

0

NA

2009

Auburn Girls High

Metro

High

Yes

Yes

863

742

0

98

NA

2009

Bankstown Girls High

Metro

High

No

Yes

952

650

1

93

31

2009

Bass High

Metro

High

Yes

Yes

940

844

2

71

64

2009

Canterbury Boys High

Metro

High

No

Yes

972

495

3

87

NA

2009

Gardeners Road Public

Metro

Primary

No ASPIRE high school feeder

No

1014

257

4

69

NA

2009

Granville Boys High

Metro

High

Yes

Yes

937

445

0

94

61

Year joined ASPIRE

School

Location

Type of school

2011

Baradine Central

Regional

2011

Binnaway Central

2011 2011 2011

Coonamble Public

Regional

2011

Dunedoo Central

Regional

2011

Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High

Metro

2011

Granville South Public

2011

Tullibigeal Central

2010

Condobolin High

2010

Lake Cargelligo Central

2010

Language Background Other Than English %

% in bottom quartile of SES

2009

Holroyd High

Metro

High

Yes

Yes

865

508

1

89

NA

2009

La Perouse Public

Metro

Primary

Yes

Yes

725

45

76

6

NA

2009

Wiley Park Girls High

Metro

High

Yes

Yes

946

596

1

94

53

2008

JJ Cahill Memorial High

Metro

High

No

No

964

378

4

68

41

2008

Matraville Sports High

Metro

High

Yes

Yes

866

284

35

25

NA

2007

Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design

Metro

High

No

No (Yes until 2007)

1062

611

3

39

11

2007

Marrickville High

Metro

High

Yes

Yes

938

300

6

74

NA

6 Information about schools taken from websites as at March and August 2012. 7 The Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage is the measure the Federal government uses to determine the levels of educational advantage or disadvantage that students bring to their academic studies. 8 Seven of the regional schools are combined primary and secondary schools, known as Central Schools.


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ACHIEVING RESULTS


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OFFERS TO UNIVERSITIES The work ASPIRE has been conducting in its partner schools is beginning to pay dividends as an upward trend of offers being made to ASPIRE partner schools emerges. With the inclusion of regional schools, we anticipate that the results will not be so marked in percentage terms due to the variables in numbers of students completing Year 12. Depending on the school population, from year to year, regional schools could have only one student in Year 12 or none at all in one year and then the following year have 12 students completing Year 12. Table 1 shows the change in offers to university for students from ASPIRE schools. It is important to note that these offers are offers to any university in NSW. As an educational outreach program and not a recruitment activity, success is not measured by offers to UNSW. The table relates to the schools that were ASPIRE partners in 2011. The figures represent the aggregate offers to university in 2009 and again in 2012. The final column shows the percentage change between these two points in time.

The outcomes are all positive. The overall result is a 44 per cent increase in offers to university but it is worth noting that the overall increase is reflected in offers to boys’ schools, girls’ schools and co-educational schools. It is also reflected in offers to prestige faculties such as law and medicine. Offers to universities are increasing regardless of whether the level of engagement with ASPIRE is high or low but schools with high levels of engagement in the program are showing a larger increase in offers to university than schools with low levels of engagement. This suggests the level of contact with ASPIRE does

make a difference to student outcomes, as would be expected on the basis of existing research9. High engagement is defined as a take-up rate of over 90% of activities on offer, have more than 60% of students participating in ASPIRE and with the school requesting at least one ad-hoc support activity in the year. Low engagement represents a take-up rate of below 50%. It should be noted that certain long term effects of ASPIRE cannot be measured due to the lack of sector-wide data. These include measuring the student uptake of TAFE courses and how many students enter university in later life.

Table 1

Measure

2009*

2012

% change

Offers to uni

516

719

39%

Offers to uni where there is high engagement with ASPIRE

288

406

41%

Offers to university where there is low engagement with ASPIRE

46

56

22%

Offers to girls’ schools

156

228

46%

Offers to boys’ schools

63

87

38%

Offers to co-ed schools

297

404

36%

Offers to prestige faculties (Law and Medicine)

96

126

31%

Offers to UNSW

43

60

40%

*2009 figures represent an increase from those published in the 2010 ASPIRE Annual Report. This is due to the inclusion of all ex-students of ASPIRE partner schools and the inclusion of new partners. This allows a direct comparison between 2009 and 2012.

9 Moore, J., & Dunworth, F. (2011). Review of Evidence from Aimhigher Area Partnerships of the Impact of Aimhigher. Retrieved from http://www.aimhigher.ac.uk/sites/practitioner/resources/Evidence%20Report%2031%20January%202011.pdf


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annual report 2011

Opportunities of engagement

Student Engagement

6000

No. of students at in-school activities

5000

No. of students at on-campus activities

4000

No. of instances of student engagement

3000 2000 1000 0

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Growth of ASPIRE

100

No. of on-campus activities No. of regional in-school activities

80

No. of metro in-school activities

60

No. of schools 40 20 0

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

The graphs above show the growth in the ASPIRE program from small beginnings in 2007. The first graph shows the aggregate level of engagement with students from ASPIRE partner schools, across each year from 2007. In 2011, the number of students involved in the program increased significantly from the previous year. The second graph shows the growth in schools and activities from 2007. As expected, there is a marked growth in partner schools and opportunities to engage in 2011, with a consolidation of on-campus activities.


22

annual report 2011


23

annual report 2011

THE YEAR IN REVIEW


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annual report 2011

IN-SCHOOL WORKSHOPS In-school workshops growth Events

2007

2008

2009

2010

Metro in-school workshops

0

10

40

53

2011 75

Metro in-school workshops (student numbers)

0

264

996

997

1823

Rural roadshow workshops

0

0

0

26

86

Rural roadshow (student numbers)

0

0

0

400

1127

Workshops and events by year groups Number of times the ASPIRE program has interacted with students by year group Year

Metro School workshops

Regional workshops

On-campus events

Total workshops and events

Females

Males

Other activities (Citi, etc)

K

-

82

-

82

41

41

-

1

-

80

-

80

39

41

-

2

-

89

-

89

42

47

-

3

-

76

-

76

40

36

-

4

-

74

-

74

41

33

-

5

-

97

97

194

98

96

-

6

-

90

83

173

94

79

-

7

-

121

-

121

58

63

100

8

326

126

211

663

353

310

179

395

355

409

312

298

408

9

395

95

260

750

10

444

113

53

610

11

303

50

161

514

289

225

270

12

355

34

47

436

267

169

134

Total activity 2011

1823

1127

912

3862

2069

1793

1500

1430

-

617

2178

1130

1048

131

-

421

1519

804

583

91

-

208

472

N/A

N/A

-

Totals 2010 Totals 2009 Totals 2008 *M + R = Metro + Regional

(M+R)*

1007 (M+R)*

264


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annual report 2011

The core component of the ASPIRE program is the inschool workshops conducted by ASPIRE staff and supported by volunteer ASPIRE Ambassadors. In metropolitan schools, ASPIRE works with Year 5 to Year 12. In regional schools, ASPIRE works with Kindergarten to Year 12 students. In 2011 there was a 42% increase in the number of workshops held in metropolitan high schools, and the number of regional workshops held nearly trebled. In total, ASPIRE staff and UNSW student volunteer ambassadors conducted 161 workshops in 2011. The workshops include a wide range of age-appropriate activities designed to assist students to progress through the various stages of the ASPIRE learning framework . In metropolitan schools, workshops also provide the added opportunity for school students to connect with the ASPIRE Ambassadors in their classroom. ASPIRE Ambassadors are trained to lead workshop sessions and be an on-the-spot reference for questions about university, courses and student life. The regional ASPIRE program takes into account the constraints of distance and frequency of personal contact. ASPIRE team visits to schools are less frequent, however the impact of the ASPIRE

presence is more pronounced because the schools are usually considerably smaller than metropolitan schools and the team is in attendance for a number of hours during the day working with year groups across the school. The future use of technology and finding ways to bring more regional students onto campus is being investigated in 2012. The activities and interactions employed in the workshops aim to stretch the students’ imaginations, enabling them to think beyond what they are familiar with. Many of the activities are fun and hands-on but also structured in a way so that students see the connection between the activity

and how it applies to higher education. For younger students, this may involve an understanding of some of the rituals of university such as graduation and what it means to have a degree. For older students, this may mean discovering that there is probably a university course available that is an extension of what they are already naturally good at, enjoy or are interested in. Activities and workshops also provide information on how to navigate the university application process and access scholarships, financial and accommodation assistance.


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annual report 2011

ON-CAMPUS EVENTS Anecdotal evidence suggests school students are often put off by the thought of continuing education because they think it will be more of the same type of experience that they have had in high school. ASPIRE events on campus target such misconceptions to show students that university is different from school and that success relies on students being more responsible for their own education and more independent in managing their learning.

have proven academic success but may think that university is ‘not for me’

would be first generation in family to enter higher education

have adverse home or family circumstances, where this affects the student’s ability or motivation to achieve academically

have leadership qualities which suggest they are key influencers within their peer group.

Once this difference is realised, students are often more receptive to the idea that higher education could be a possibility for them in the future. Removing the ‘fear of the unknown’ often assists the students to focus on their own abilities and interests and to further investigate higher education.

For the younger years, the program aims to give all students involved a variety of experiences to highlight the depth and breadth of knowledge to be gained in higher education. The combination of fun and learning opens the students to the idea of wanting to gain a deeper understanding of how the world works.

For some specific activities and oncampus events that target students in older years, schools are asked to select students to attend based on the following criteria: 

have academic potential but may lack motivation or confidence

ASPIRE Ambassadors are on hand throughout the day and are specifically trained for each event. In 2011, some of the on-campus events were targeted at different year groups from the previous year. In 2010, Taster Day was targeted at

Year 10 students and Uni for a Day was aimed at Year 9. Rethinking this strategy in 2011 led to Taster Day being held for Year 9 students and Uni for a Day for Year 8. The aim was to give students a more comprehensive introduction and understanding of university and the subjects available at an earlier stage in their school life. By the time they reach Year 10, students would be better informed about university and the courses available. This would have a positive impact on their decision making regarding subject choices they want to focus on in Years 11 and 12. Starting their goal setting and planning earlier could assist them in making choices about their life after school finishes and help them select a university course if they decide to choose that path and apply. To support course selection the program hosts visits from students to Open Day. Feedback from teachers and students about the events suggests the change has been a success and will be continued in 2012. The following are reports on ASPIRE’s regular on-campus activities.


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annual report 2011

“Many of my students knew very little about uni and thought only really smart people with lots of money could go there. Now they are interested in setting uni as a long term goal for themselves.”

Purpose: 

Increase primary school students’ awareness of university

Encourage the idea that ‘people just like me’ go to university

Experience a university environment

Gain an understanding of what people study at university

Discover the importance of achievement and significance of university rituals

“University is how most people’s dreams come true.” “It’s the best day of my life.”

XPLORE UNSW! Target group: Years 5 and 6 Number of schools: 4 Number of students attended: 180 When: 30 November and 1 December Program ASPIRE ran its largest primary school on campus event with 180 Years 5 and 6 students attending XPLORE UNSW!, almost double the number that attended in 2010. The program was expanded to include new activities and features. All students were full of energy and enthusiasm and had great fun with a range of workshops involving the science behind making ice cream, rewriting the Australian Constitution, playing business games, learning new dance moves and watching robotic dogs do tricks. The faculties of Law, Engineering, Science, Arts and Social Sciences and the Australian School of Business opened their doors to the students to allow them to see for themselves the vast variety of courses available at university. Nura Gili, UNSW ‘s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student centre, and Youth Scientists of Australia also held workshops. Through the various hands-on activities, students were able to gain a better understanding of what a university is and why people go there. For students in younger years, visiting a university campus and being given information at an early stage are critical to raising their awareness about higher education. A formal graduation ceremony completes the XPLORE UNSW! event. The students wore mortar boards and graduation gowns as they were presented with a certificate by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Students), Professor Joan Cooper. The re-enactment of a graduation ceremony helps reinforce the significance of reaching a hard-earned goal and the university rituals involved to celebrate completing a degree.


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annual report 2011

“I love this program that you are running. It is very educational and I had a lot of fun. ASPIRE has thoroughly informed me on university. A great experience. Thank you!”

Purpose: 

Give students an insight into university life

Show students the difference between school and university

Provide students personal experience of a university campus

Meet and talk to current university students

Uni for a Day Target group: Year 8 Number of schools: 11 Number of students attended: 231 When: 29 and 30 June Program ‘Expect the unexpected’ was the theme of Uni for a Day and by the end of the event, many students had discovered new skills they didn’t know they had. Finding themselves in a mock trial as judge or jury and learning some fancy footwork in a professional dance studio were all part of the activity mix to show the Year 8 students that there is more to university than they had imagined. The students were also exposed to different faculties and activities and some of the more sophisticated levels of higher education such as cutting edge 3D interactive technology in the iCinema. Together with their ASPIRE Ambassadors, students toured the campus to experience first-hand what life is like for a university student and the facilities available. Students were also given a glimpse of some on-campus accommodation. Team activities were designed to put the students’ creative thinking and general knowledge to the test. A ‘Fact Relay’ challenged them to think outside the square, and a forum on discussing the reasons why people do or don’t go to university completed the day.

“I think today was an amazing experience and it really got me thinking about my future.” “Excellent! Students and the parents of the students were very pleased that they were given this opportunity.” “It’s a good idea to start the boys thinking about their future from a younger age.” “The day raised a lot of awareness in the students especially when many of them had never been to uni before.” “Students now have a greater understanding of university and their possibilities after high school.”


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annual report 2011

Purpose: 

Encourage senior high school students to think critically about their educational choices

Learn about the differences between high school and university study

Inspire students to set goals and work to achieve them through their senior years of high school

Build confidence and increase student motivation

Allow schools to select students they believe would benefit from a more intensive program

Step UP Target group: Year 11 Number of schools: 12 Number of students completed full program: 48 When: 22, 23 and 24 June Program Building on the success of the pilot in 2010, the 2011 Step UP program was extended from two days to three to provide the students with a more challenging and thought provoking experience about university life. Students from 11 metropolitan schools and one regional school attended. The Step UP program introduces the students to the different teaching styles used in university and the concept of ‘independent learning’. Over the three days, students attend lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops on improving study skills, and complete small group work assessments and presentations. The activities are more rigorous than other ASPIRE on-campus events targeting younger year groups. 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 campus of 50,000 students. Surviving the initial shock of being separated from school friends, the students surprise themselves by learning how easy it is to make good friendships and work closely together on study projects. 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. The 2011 Step UP event culminated in a graduation ceremony attended by senior management from Citi Australia and special guests and parents. Students were presented with a completion certificate by the Pro-ViceChancellor (Students), Professor Joan Cooper.


30 annual report 2011

“It was really good, I enjoyed it a lot, and I have a good idea of what I want to be doing when I finish high school! THANK YOU!”

Purpose: 

Experience university teaching

Discover the range of support services available on campus

Gain an understanding of the realities of university life by spending one-on-one time with a university student

Student Shadowing Target group: Year 11 Number of schools: 10 Number of students attended: 59 When: 31 March Program Student Shadowing is designed for Year 11 students to see first-hand the difference between studying in school and studying at university. Students are given their own timetable for the day to attend university classes and explore the support services and facilities on campus at their own pace, accompanied by ASPIRE Ambassadors. Students attending Student Shadowing are nominated by their class teacher to participate. Selected students register the areas of study they are interested in. Most students are matched to an ASPIRE Ambassador who is studying within the faculty of the student’s interest. Some students attended lectures in philosophy, education, business, media and design, while others went to tutorials in poetry, or clinical sessions in medicine and exercise physiology.

“It’s a good chance to experience the life and study patterns of a university student.” “Today was very helpful, it made it an easier choice of choosing to go to uni.”


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annual report 2011

“Upon asking some students, they have reconsidered university as a viable option where previously had thought that it wasn’t for them. For others it has been reassuring due to breaking down the mysteries of where it is, what it looks like inside and what you do when you are there.”

Purpose: 

Raise awareness about the broad range of courses available at university Give students an opportunity to visit a university campus

Meet current university students

Attend lectures to experience universitystyle teaching

Taster Day Target group: Year 9 Number of schools: 13 Number of students attended: 258 When: 17 and 18 November Program To break the ice, groups of students started the day developing a marketing campaign for a ‘Toilet Paper Super Hero’, testing their nerve with a giant Jenga game and finding their way around campus in a scavenger hunt. UNSW Faculties of Science, Law, Engineering, Arts and Social Science, the Built Environment and the Australian School of Business hosted a number of activities to showcase their areas of expertise in a fun and engaging way. Students were able to gaze at the galaxy in the StarLab, use teamwork to assemble intricate electrical circuits, debate a Facebook ethical dilemma in front of a judge, build a 3D house using architectural software and calculate the trajectory of water rockets.

“The tour around the uni was excellent and I now have a choice in mind for the subjects to pick in uni.” “I loved it! Because of this I figured out what I want to be! I would come again.”


32 annual report 2011

“It was a very useful experience for young teachers to experience working with children with disabilities because you don’t know where their teaching will take them. It was a pleasure to have someone from the ASPIRE program and we hope to continue this positive partnership.”

Purpose: 

Provide subject-specific academic support to students in school

Provide in-classroom support for teachers

Support the raising of academic attainment of high school students

Provide students with positive role models for higher education

“I would definitely consider the placement a success. It was a very positive experience for both parties. The ASPIRE student tutor was a great asset to my class over the time she was with us.” “The ASPIRE student tutor has been reliable and effective at all times. The students have often asked for her specifically, relying on her support and expertise.”

Tutoring Target group: Years 7 to 12 Number of schools: 8 Number of students involved: 421 approximately When: From May until November Program ASPIRE selected students from UNSW’s School of Education to complete their Alternative Practicum Experience (APE) in ASPIRE partner schools. In 2011, 18 students from a range of subject specialities were trained as ASPIRE student tutors, with 16 being placed across eight ASPIRE partner schools, including two primary schools. Overall, ASPIRE student tutors completed a total of 115 days in-school. An additional 16 tutoring placements were also established with students who were able to assist in addressing subject shortages such as maths and science. These students came from areas such as Engineering, Medicine and Science. The role of student tutors was varied and dependent on the needs of the individual schools. 

Two tutors were placed in a homework club in an all-girls school. The homework club targeted students from Pacific Islander backgrounds, with significant outcomes noted by teachers including increased self-confidence and academic achievement.

Six tutors were placed within Learning Support Centres, assisting with intensive reading programs, lesson preparation and one-onone support for individual assignments.

One tutor provided individual tutoring for a Year 11 chemistry student on-campus. The tutor was then placed in the school to assist other students with HSC biology.

Three of the tutors were engaged as classroom assistants in subject areas within their area of expertise. Tutors worked across all year groups, assisting one-on-one with students, tutoring in small groups and contributing ideas for faculty programming.


33 annual report 2011

“All Ambassadors were reliable, punctual, very good communicators and always ready and willing to give their time and skills.”

Purpose: 

Provide specialised tutoring and study skill assistance to students who may otherwise not have access to such support.

Encourage and support students’ aspirations and increase achievement at school

Provide students with a safe and quiet study environment

Encourage students to create positive study habits

Build confidence to ask questions and seek help when necessary

Homework Clubs Target group: dependent on school requirements (from Years 7–12) Number of schools: 2 in 2011 Number of students attended: Varies from school to school When: Throughout the year Program ASPIRE’s support of Homework Clubs allows Ambassadors from all faculties to volunteer their time after school to provide tutoring and mentorship to students from ASPIRE schools. Schools receive support from Ambassadors in homework clubs tailored for specific cohorts (for example, students from refugee or Pacific Islander backgrounds) as well as for school-wide homework clubs. Ambassadors have the opportunity to work closely with small numbers of students to provide assistance with subject-specific content, proofreading, assignments or general study skill development such as time management skills. Homework clubs are tailored to meet the needs of the schools. For example, at one school, afternoon tea is provided and younger siblings are encouraged to come along and work alongside their older siblings to ensure students with caring responsibilities are supported. There were some positive results from the homework clubs. Some senior students became prefects and received very high marks and ranks in HSC assessments (one student came first across the whole year group and attributed their success, in part, to an Ambassador’s help). School staff noted that many students had increased confidence and self-belief, including being able to speak in front of groups, asking for help and speaking to adults. Staff also commented that some students demonstrated an increased level of motivation and commitment to their school work.


34 annual report 2011

“I absolutely loved this experience and cannot wait to tell all my friends.” “I never knew how busy the whole banking thing was until I experienced it first hand.”

Purpose: 

Increase students’ awareness of the diversity of employment available as a result of university education

Expose students to a corporate work environment they might not otherwise get the chance to experience

Highlight the relevance of education for later career opportunities

ASPIRE@Citi Target group: Years 10 and 11 Number of schools: 8 Number of students attended: 112 When: 10 & 31 May, 8, 21, 30 June, 26 July, 4 August, 14 September Program One of the foundation stones of ASPIRE is to give the students a full range of experiences that they do not usually have. The steady relationship built with Citi Australia enables ASPIRE to take students out of their local environment and into a modern organisation to observe the workplace, its structure and advanced technology required to operate in a global financial market. Throughout the year, Citi Australia hosted groups of Year 10 and 11 students as part of their support of ASPIRE. For many students it is their first time inside a corporate head office and for others, it is their first time visiting the Sydney business district. Citi staff volunteer their time to talk to the students about their jobs, what qualifications are required and how the corporate work environment operates. Students are given a glimpse of a major multinational corporation and the diversity of jobs and personnel a single company employs. The visits are an important opportunity for the students to expand their knowledge of the types of jobs a university education can lead to. Citi staff also gain from sharing their personal experiences and higher education journey with the students and inspiring them to think big about their future.


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annual report 2011


36 annual report 2011

AMBASSADORS Data

2010

2011

Applications

187

290

Interviewed

117

170

Trained

67

115

Continued from previous year

52

75

Ambassadors

Medicine

Active Ambassadors (volunteering at least once in year)

119

156

Number of in-school volunteer participation

313

425

No of on-campus volunteer participation

167

252

Total instances of volunteer participation

480

677

2254

3212

Estimated hours

Science

Arts and Social Sciences

The team of volunteer UNSW students known as ASPIRE Ambassadors continues to be an invaluable resource to the implementation and sustainability of the ASPIRE program. In 2011 there was a 55% increase in the number of UNSW students who applied to become Ambassadors. In twice yearly recruitment drives, ASPIRE received a total of 290 applications and selected 170 new students to undergo the rigorous selection process. As a result, 106 new volunteers were trained and signed up, together with 75 Ambassadors who returned from the previous year, and nine School of Education tutors. The 2011 ASPIRE Ambassador team volunteered more than 3200 hours to the wide range of activities held both in schools and on campus. Feedback from the school students consistently rates their interactions with the Ambassadors highly. As current university students, the Ambassadors are approachable and informative and provide a friendly link for the students to learn more about courses and university life. The Ambassadors also report how rewarding and enjoyable they find working with the students and encouraging them to explore higher education as a possible option for the future.

Australian School of Business

Law

Engineering Built Environment College of Fine Arts


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annual report 2011

PILOT PROGRAMS 2011

nt


38

annual report 2011 11


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annual report 2011

WOW@UNSW

For many regional schools, providing students with work experience opportunities is very difficult because of the limited range of businesses in the local area able to take students, or the long distances required to travel to a larger town centre to go to work.

ASPIRE developed a work experience program to enable regional students to complete their work experience at UNSW and at Sydney local businesses. Ungarie Central School was chosen to pilot the scheme. The school joined ASPIRE in 2010 and has a population of 109 students from Kindergarten to Year 12. Ungarie is located approximately 500 kilometres west of Sydney and is home to around 300 residents. In November, ASPIRE launched the inaugural Week of Work at University of New South Wales (WOW@UNSW). Affectionately called UWOW (Ungarie Week of Work), nine students from Years 9 and 10 were selected to attend. In the initial planning phase, the students nominated areas of interest for their work experience and ASPIRE coordinated the placements with a range of faculties and services within the university as well as a number of employers in the local area. The list of interests from the students included construction, office work, IT, police prosecution and a vet clinic. The UNSW campus proved to be a convenient place to attempt to match as many students with their work choices as possible. With the variety of university facilities and services on campus as well as construction work underway on new buildings, a number of placements could be made directly on campus. The Faculty of Engineering, UNSW Library, UNSW Gymnasium, UNSW IT Services, Student Equity and Disabilities Unit, The Hub and Kingsford Legal Services generously gave support to the students.

The faculty and professional staff of the university who had responsibility for the students shared information about their own educational and career paths. This gave the students an insight into the opportunities available from various fields of study. Students also gained an understanding that career choices can change, take many directions and continue over a number of years. As part of their work experience, the students accompanied university staff and external employers as they conducted their daily activities. The students were assigned tasks to demonstrate the features of the career they had chosen to explore. Further afield, Bondi Junction Veterinary Hospital, Bird and Exotics Veterinarian at Waterloo and the Police Prosecutors’ Office of the Downing Centre Local Court agreed to take some students during the week. In addition, students experienced practical applications of careers by visiting Taronga Zoo and the Sydney Harbour Bridge Museum. The advice and support the students received highlighted the practical aspects of careers in law, construction and veterinary science and complemented the information the students gained from their time on campus. For a number of Ungarie students this was their first visit not only to a university but also to Sydney. A range of activities was organised to highlight city attractions and give the students a comprehensive experience of what it is like to live in a large city. Activities included a behind the scenes visit to the

Sydney Cricket Ground and the Swans home office, a water safety session at Coogee Beach, an educational tour of the Art Gallery of NSW and a video making course at the Powerhouse Museum. The group was also treated to some multicultural eating experiences at some Sydney restaurants. The week culminated with a formal cocktail party with a dress code to match the occasion. All in attendance agreed that both students and staff “scrubbed up well”! Invited guests included the new UNSW Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Students), Professor Wai Fong Chua, UNSW staff, mentors and many of the people who freely provided activities during the week. The event provided an opportunity for the students to thank and celebrate the opportunities, friendships and experiences WOW provided. Two students, on behalf of their peers, shared with guests the impact the week had on the group. They spoke of the opportunities WOW had made possible, the highlights and the sights, sounds and smells that were so different from those usually experienced in their regional environment. UWOW provided as many cultural, social, educational and career experiences as time allowed. When the students and teachers departed for Ungarie, the students expressed their enthusiasm to pursue their studies and left with a clearer direction for their future. The generosity and encouragement of all hosts and mentors was instrumental in the success of the initial Week of Work and the program will be continued in 2012.


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annual report 2011

Mentoring The ASPIRE Mentoring pilot was held over six weeks involving students from five schools who had attended Step UP earlier in the year. ASPIRE Ambassadors volunteered to be trained as mentors and the program was launched with ten Ambassadors mentoring 23 students: 14 boys and nine girls. ASPIRE Mentoring was designed to complement the Step UP program by continuing to help students to: 

develop skills in independent study, time management, notetaking, overcoming procrastination, critical thinking, presentation, educational goal setting and increasing academic achievement build confidence during their transition from school to university.

Mentors were given a mentoring tool-kit with resources and modules. Sessions conducted were both one-on-one and in small groups. The mentors were matched with schools and students on the basis of their faculty of study and interests. Mentors were encouraged to be flexible and to support the students’ specific needs and interests. For example, in some schools ASPIRE mentoring developed into a tutoring and practical study skill oriented model. In another school, mentoring was focused on supporting university aspirations, explaining the university

application process and providing practical assistance with navigating university websites and terminology. At the completion of the program, some school staff reported that individual students from newly arrived refugee backgrounds, young Pacific Islander males and previously highly disengaged students topped HSC assignments and coursework results. One student, after completing the ‘Time Management’ modules, told an ASPIRE staff member that he had completed an HSC Assessment Task before the deadline “for the first time ever”. “...It was so exciting to work with the same students week after week on their school work and to watch the light bulb lit up whenever you had done a good job of explaining something. When the girls revealed how well they had gone in class with a piece of work it was great to see, because it just pushed them to try harder. It was an amazing and satisfying experience!”

Parents on Campus Indications from feedback sheets given to the students at the end of activities show many of them self-reporting that no one in their immediate and sometimes extended family has studied at a higher education level: 

60% of students report no parental / carer experience of higher education

80% of students having no parental / carer experience of higher education within Australia.

Part of the ASPIRE strategy to support students in making an informed choice about higher education is to also engage family members and the wider community. Creating a positive influence at home and in the school reinforces key messages that students have a wide range of opportunities to choose from. Higher education is just one choice, but if the student has an ambition or a dream, seeking more information about higher education could put them on the right path to fulfil their goals. ASPIRE hosted a parents visit for thirty parents along with Community Liaison Officers from South West Sydney. Family members were able to see for themselves what goes on in a university and learn about the benefits of higher education. In addition, those in attendance were shown the significant impact engaging primary school children in discussion about higher education has on their future career options. The parent group heard a number of guest speakers tell personal stories about their journeys to university. Five bilingual ASPIRE Ambassadors shared their own experiences in a range of languages. The event was appreciated by those in attendance and gave them all a better understanding of opportunities available to their children that they may not have had themselves. The importance of lifelong learning was also emphasised and that it was never too late to start an education.


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annual report 2011

SUPPLEMENTARY ACTIVITIES


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annual report 2011

“It was very informative and practical. The workshop was great and exciting. It had me thinking about different types of opportunities there are that could help me through this part of studying. It allows me to envision different types of perspective towards town planning.” Faculty link-ups

Architecture workshop: 17 and 18 November

ASPIRE and the Faculty of the Built Environment joined forces to host two hands-on workshops for Year 10 students. The idea behind the collaboration was to provide older students an opportunity to explore specific courses in more detail and where a career in that field could lead. Schools were invited to select students who may have had an interest in or wanted to know more about architecture, design and town planning.

Budding architects and designers were given an introduction into the ways an architect thinks and works. Students were required to design and create a structure from scratch in a short time period, aided by tutors who guided and assisted along the way. The workshop showed the process involved from coming up with a concept, visualising it, sketching a draft and from there, creating a physical version of the design. Teamwork skills were required, as the students set about building their structures out of giant foam pieces. It was a fun and collaborative experience combining the talents and ideas of a dozen students into a finished creation worth remembering.

Town Planning: 21 November With clipboards and survey questions at the ready, future town planners walked the local shopping precinct in Randwick, putting together their master plan to improve the retail district. The workshop gave an insight into all the factors that influence urban planning including policy, land use, location, size of the site, environmental constraints, transport, the nature of economic activity and market potential. Students were given a broad understanding of how areas are developed, taking into consideration enhancing and protecting the existing character of the landscape.

“This was a great day for me and I enjoyed every part of it.”


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annual report 2011

“The ASPIRE guys are out here not just in the school but also doing the local show – it’s a way for such a small community to see their commitment that is way outside the 9.30 to 3.30 day. And not just being there, but setting up a stall and being interactive with the community. It’s what I call ‘walking the talk’, demonstrating commitment to our work and to our community.” Principal, NSW regional school

Community shows To raise ASPIRE’s profile in the regional towns of partner schools and promote higher education, the team organised display stalls at the local agricultural shows in Ungarie and Coonamble. This proved to be a highly visible and successful way to touch base with the community and talk about the work ASPIRE was already doing in the local schools. Attendance at the shows was planned to coincide with a visit to the local school from the ASPIRE team to gain maximum recognition for ASPIRE. Many family members and school students, as well as local community members not specifically attached to the school, came over to the stall to find out about ASPIRE. The regional red ASPIRE branding was distinctive in the crowd and staff were happy to chat and provide information about ASPIRE and university education in general. The show days were a great success and the communities of Ungarie and Coonamble were very welcoming. With the increase in the number of regional schools that have joined ASPIRE, a community event program will be further expanded and continued in 2012.


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annual report 2011

NAB Schools First Seed Funding Award ASPIRE and Canterbury Boys High School developed and implemented a Career Transition program for Year 9 students at risk, with a $25,000 NAB Schools First Seed Funding Award. School staff worked in partnership with ASPIRE to develop a program to help students explore a wide range of post school options. During the partnership, students: 

attended fortnightly careers lessons undertaking online surveys exploring their own personality, interests and learning styles in relation to future careers. Lessons were supported by ASPIRE staff and Ambassadors

were issued with feedback reports on the outcomes of the career lessons to share with their parents and family members

went on excursions to universities, TAFE colleges, careers expos and workplaces such as Microsoft

gained a first aid qualification

completed a resume which they were able to present at a mock job interview.

Schools reported that those involved in the program showed improved attendance and engagement in wider school activities.

To celebrate the students’ year long participation and dedication to the program, school staff, students, nine family members and a NAB representative attended a closing ceremony at UNSW. A number of students gave moving accounts of the positive impact participating in the program had had on their lives. All students were awarded with Certificates of Achievement for their successful completion of the program.


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Baradine Central School visit A group of Year 5 and 6 students from Baradine Central School, along with six parents and two teachers, visited UNSW campus for a half day in August. Baradine is a small town approximately 500 kilometres north-west of Sydney, with a population of about 700 people and a school population of around 100. Discussion about the potential visit began when the ASPIRE team visited Baradine Central School as part of the ASPIRE Regional Roadshow earlier in the year. The students were excited by the in-school activities and wanted to be able to see the campus for themselves. The school had already planned an excursion to Sydney and requested a stopover to UNSW to be included in their itinerary. With limited time for the visit, the ASPIRE team pulled together an action packed two-hour program which included cheering a robotic dog soccer game in the Faculty of Engineering, a tour of the campus with ASPIRE Ambassadors and a frantic race to complete a scavenger hunt. For most of the students it was their first time to Sydney and to a university campus. The visit was an opportunity to experience a university campus, see the facilities available to students and create an understanding of the diversity of people who study at university.


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FUTURE DIRECTIONS

ASPIRE will continue to develop in 2012/2013 and work towards increasing its school partnerships to 50 in Sydney and regional New South Wales. New strategies will be introduced to address the lower progression rates to higher education of certain ASPIRE cohorts. For example, an Indigenous Project Officer will join the ASPIRE team in 2012 funded through a donation from Citi Foundation. It is hoped a targeted strategy of working closely with schools with high Indigenous populations will enable more Indigenous students to participate in higher education in the future. From 2012, there will be more of a focus on building the community engagement component of ASPIRE in specific communities. The aim is to raise awareness about higher education and build social capital. Such an approach is evidenced by a growing body of international research. As part of this approach the program will seek to engage more closely with parents and carers particularly, by

inviting them to share experiences on campus. The ASPIRE team will also take part in more targeted community events such as country shows in order to spread the message about the benefits of higher education no matter where you are from. Amongst the exciting new developments for regional students will be the introduction of a camp in Sydney for Year 8 students. The camp will focus on a range of activities to demystify university and introduce students to city life. A ‘Study Buddies’ scheme will be introduced for Year 12 students to assist them in working towards the HSC. Plans are also underway to increase the number of regional students able to participate in ASPIRE activities on campus, such as Step UP. For students within the ASPIRE program in Sydney, it is planned to introduce more workplace visits across the next two years to enable students to explore the kinds of employment opportunities that result from a degree. Subject specific activities for students in

upper primary and lower high school to promote interest and help to raise attainment will also be offered. In addition, the ASPIRE program will be introduced to the younger primary school years for the first time in ASPIRE metropolitan partner schools. The funding received through to the end of 2014 will ensure that ASPIRE will continue to work in communities experiencing educational disadvantage and more students will have the opportunity to participate in exciting activities in school and on the UNSW campus.


ASPIRE 2012 Our metropolitan school partners


ASPIRE 2012 Our regional school partners

CONTENTS 02 What is ASPIRE? 03 2011 Highlights 05 Director’s Report 07 About ASPIRE 08 Students need ASPIRE 09 Overview 10 ASPIRE Learning Framework 12 ASPIRE organisational structure 2011 13 Beyond the Levee 14 External review 16 ASPIRE partner school locations 17 Robust partnerships 19 Achieving Results 20 Offers to universities For more information about ASPIRE please contact: Ann Jardine, ASPIRE Project Director Telephone: (02) 9385 4734 Email: a.jardine@unsw.edu.au Web: www.aspire.unsw.edu.au Design: UNSW P3 Design Studio Photography: Neil Fenelon; Kate Kilpatrick-Galbraith; Members and friends of the ASPIRE team ASPIRE is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and a donation by Citi Foundation.

23 The Year in Review 24 In-school workshops 26 On-campus events 36 Ambassadors 37 Pilot Programs 2011

41 Supplementary Activities

Copyright @ 2012 The University of New South Wales – All rights reserved.

47 Future Directions

The information in this brochure was correct at the time of printing

48 ASPIRE 2012


ASPIRE has been developed by the Director and staff of the Student Equity and Disabilities Unit (SEADU) Ground Floor John Goodsell Building (UNSW map ref F20) The University of New South Wales Sydney NSW 2052

ASPIRE Annual Report 2011 Never Stand Still

Student Equity and Disabilities Unit

Aspire annual report 2011  
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