The range of social issues faced by universities such as student alcohol use and balancing the diversity of students' cultural beliefs and backgrounds will be considered at a conference at the University of Newcastle Central Coast campus tomorrow.
The 2008 Enhancing Student Success Conference brings together student support personnel, academics and administrators under the theme of 'working collaboratively with students in a diverse university environment'.
Manager of Transition and Retention at the University of Newcastle, Sarah O'Shea, said student support is a vital component to a positive university experience.
"As student participation in higher education grows, support services are increasingly challenged to meet the needs of this student population in a timely and appropriate manner," Ms O'Shea said.
"Developing practical strategies to address the broad spectrum of issues confronting students within these diverse university communities and discussing how these issues impact on student success are just some of the objectives of this conference."
Conference highlights include:
- Dr Hamish Coates, Director of the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement, will discuss the findings of a survey of 9,000 students from Australia and New Zealand. The survey suggests that students feel their educational experience has been most valuable when it happens in a supportive environment and they have encountered work-relevant learning experiences.
- Professor Richard James, Director, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne, will discuss his recent review of the participation in higher education of people from low socio-economic backgrounds and Indigenous people. The review discusses the factors associated with the persistent under-representation of these two cohorts with a view to informing policies and strategies to increase participation.
The conference is hosted by Student Support Services at the University of Newcastle, in association with the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association and the National Disability Coordination Officer Program.
Further details are available at the conference website
The 2008 Enhancing Student Success Conference will be held between 9am and 4.30pm Friday 12 December 2008 at the University of Newcastle Central Coast campus, Brush Road, Ourimbah.
Media are welcome.