Students from 24 schools with a low transfer to tertiary education will be given the opportunity to get a university degree under a new program run by The University of Western Australia.
Aspire UWA, to be launched by the Honorable Gary Gray next Monday, was made possible by a $2.4 million grant from the Federal Government. UWA has contributed a further $1.25 million of in-kind resources.
Under the program UWA will target 24 schools whose students, many of whom are from Indigenous, refugee or low socio-economic status backgrounds, are under-represented among UWA's 21,000 students. Six are in the Pilbara and 18 in metropolitan Perth.
Schools will identify Year Nine students with the ability to succeed in higher education. The students will be invited to activities on campus and there will be camps for students from the Pilbara. The University is developing partnerships with the schools involved and will maintain support and encouragement for the students, their families and communities. UWA has also appointed "ambassadors", current students who came from the Aspire schools.
UWA Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Robson, said the University had been a long-time advocate of equity and inclusion.
"This University has a proud history of assisting students to commence and complete a university degree, through its scholarships and support services," he said. "This project will expand our outreach program to create better opportunities for high school students."
Professor Robson said financial and other disadvantages should never be barriers to learning. "Those barriers may be due to lack of resources at home, in their school, or in their community. There are often hurdles set before many young people who could easily thrive at university if given the encouragement and opportunity."
WHAT: Launch of Aspire UWA, by Parliamentary Secretary for Western and Northern Australia, the Hon Gary Gray
ATTENDED BY: UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson; UWA staff and student ambassadors; staff and students of Aspire UWA schools
WHEN: Monday 21 September, 9.45am
WHERE: The University Club, parking area 3, Hackett Entrance 1