Low Socio-Economic Status Students

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Australian higher education establishments aim to enhance the learning experiences of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. The goal is to increase access to and participation of all groups in the community.

Tim Pitman (2012) argues that there has been the development of distinctive outline that embodies an Australian conception of inclusive teaching in higher education, as well as its approaches to teaching and supporting students who come to university through funding to a range of higher education contexts and to enhancing the experience of all students, irrespective of background. Leesa Wheelahan (2009) also contends that students from lower-status pathways deepen participation in education through existing social groups support to achieve equity of socioeconomic profile and institutional destination of student transfers from vocational education to train to reach higher education in Australia.

It will also discuss the effective approaches to teaching, supporting and providing advanced education to students and socioeconomic equity maintenance for lower-status vocational education, as well as low-SES students who struggle throughout university. Tim Pitman (2012, p.1) quoted, “location and mode of learning have got to be crucial factors. But I believe many disadvantaged students discard university at too early an age, for variety of reasons. This is why I would like to see UNIS doing more to encourage them from a much earlier age.” This is a quote passage contributing to higher education at a younger age, as well as its approaches to teaching and supporting students who goes to university. Students from low-SES background, it is not the cost of university study, but the cost of actually being able to live while studying, that is a big barrier. This is my factor to why there are fewer numbers of low-SES students attending universities.

Australian public universities need to be more inclusive, mainly when it comes to enrolling poorer students. For example, Marcia Devlin (2012) argues that undergraduate students enrolled in universities from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds are marked as inadequate when the public education system benefits from wealthier students more than others. This’ according to Tim Pitman (2012) arguably, unfair (p.1). Admission into undergraduate courses is highly competitive, so universities need to increase low-SES students’ enrolment through specific strategies to approach the subject. Universities are quick to point out that educational inequality occurs before they get involved, but could be a more deliberate to part of the solution as education expert, Gavin Moodie has observed.

Undergraduate students who are not benefited as much as wealthier students do also have a positive link between education and improvement such as health and economic outcomes as has been proven through evidence to discourage negative outcomes such as crime. Tim Pitman (2012) speaking of strategies and approaches to increase low-SES enrolments said an effective measure would be to provide a quota for disadvantaged students, but universities see this as compromising entry standards. A second option is to use compensatory scaling. For example, the university of Sydney uses Broadway Scheme with an ATAR of 5 rank points, the performance of universities using this method suggest that either poor students do not qualify for the schemes, or if they do qualify, then compensation provided is insufficient. The last approach is that universities could consider each claim on a case-by-case basis. Universities already do this but the process is naturally highly subjective and, based on current data, does not appear to be working. Universities will start making a difference when they start to work with disadvantaged students and their parents, but at this period universities will continue using direct measures, notably money (University of Sydney 2010).

Tim Pitman (2012) mentioned that universities...
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