The influence of disability, socioeconomic status and regionality on higher education access and participation: Practical advice for stakeholders working with students with disability

Julia Coyle, Kate Freire, Denise Wood, Clare Wilding, Davina Taylor, Rahul Ganguly, Jenene Burke, Liam Downing, Larissa Siliezar

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Abstract

These guidelines have been developed from research findings arising from a project conducted under the Higher Education Participation and Pathways Program National Priorities Pool. An exploratory mixed method approach was undertaken with two sequential studies. Study One involved a survey of university students with disability (respondents =540) from five regional universities across three states of Australia to investigate: making decisions to study at university; resilience and career optimism; self-advocacy; and student demographics (such as employment status, age, gender). In Study Two, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 48 university students with disability, 15 community members with disability and 9 school students with disability. Study Two sought to explore experiences and perceptions of university study by people with disability and how these influenced aspiration, participation and success in university study. Human research Ethics approval was provided by all participating universities (NB: in these guidelines pseudonyms have been used to replace participants’ names). The research found that rather than location, other factors impact upon the experience of higher education for students with disability. That is, it is the ways in which universities work with students with disability and the impact of poverty that form the key levers and barriers to students’ success. Despite this finding there remains a difference corresponding to location regarding entry to university.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherAustralian Government
Commissioning bodyHigher Education Participation and Partnerships Program National Priorities Pool
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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