As one of the leading Universities in Australia with a proud history of providing enabling education, the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre

Our research

Two ELFS students

The English Language and Foundation Studies Centre aims to be a global research leader in the fields of access, equity and enabling education. Our research supports evidenced based change in the provision of alternative pathways to higher education. Our research into widening participation and enabling education investigates the social and economic benefit to students, their families, and the general community. It also seeks to improve enabling pedagogies, diversified modes of educational delivery to ever-wider constituencies, and academic outcomes of students from various equity groups.

  • Enabling retention: processes and strategies for improving student retention in university-based enabling programs;
  • Social and economic outcomes of enabling education for disadvantaged students;
  • Young student engagement and experience in University based enabling program, and their progress in first year undergraduate degrees;
  • Enabling education and its contribution to teaching and nursing professions;
  • The efficacy of independent m-learning for non-traditional students enrolled in university enabling programs, with a focus on their ability to develop their own literacy skills and confidence to pursue undergraduate study

In late 2013, the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre in partnership with the University of Newcastle's Centre of Excellence in Equity for Higher Education demonstrated its commitment to leadership in the field with the establishment of the academic journal International Studies in Widening Participation , which publishes two volumes of papers per year. The Centre has also played a leading role in the establishment of the Centre of Excellence in Equity for Higher Education at the University.

Our research priorities are outlined in the Research Plan 2013-2014 based on extensive consultation with our staff.

The site is dedicated to staff, students, academics, and researchers who have interest in enabling education. You are welcome to be part of our research on enabling education which has made significant contribution in the lives of many students and their families.

ELFS staff have been actively involved in publishing papers related to enabling education and also in their disciplinary areas in journals and conference proceedings. A full list of papers published between 2009- 2013 (to date) by our staff can be found here.

For more information about the research activities of the University of Newcastle's English Language and Foundation Studies Centre, please contact Associate Professor Mahsood Shah.