Research Newsletter

Widening Higher Education Participation Book Launch

Widening Higher Education Participation: A Global Perspective, edited by Mahsood Shah and Anna Bennett (English Language and Foundation Studies Centre), and Erica Southgate (School of Education) will be officially launched by Professor Richard James (Pro Vice Chancellor- Academic, University of Melbourne) on Friday 5 February 2016 from 2.00pm to 3.30pm in the Life Sciences Lecture Theatre.  Please come along to hear about this new publication and join in the celebrations.

International Studies in Widening Participation

Volume 2, Issue 2 of the International Studies in Widening Participation journal was published in December 2015. This Special Issue focussed on 'Social Justice in the enterprise university: global perspectives on theory, policy, ethics and critical practice' and was guest edited by Anna Bennett (English Language and Foundation Studies Centre), Erica Southgate and Rachel Buchanan (School of Education).

The Issue consists of papers that grapple with the philosophical, social, theoretical and practical aspects of social justice and equity work within the context of the enterprise university. Rather than focus on a lament of the past and associated descriptions of the neo-liberal environment, the Special Issue explores the various forms of social justice and equity work that are conducted in this landscape and the opportunities that arise as a result.

Please visit to access the articles and the journal website.

Recent grant announcements

Staff from the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre have been included in a number of recent grant announcements.

Bronwyn Relf, Barry Hodges and Mahsood Shah in collaboration with partners from Edith Cowan University and University of Tasmania,received a $39,000 OLT Seed Grant to undertake a project titled "Lighting the path(way): articulating curriculum design principles for open access enabling programs".

Abstract: The project will collect data on three different institutional approaches to enabling curricula. It will articulate, and validate at a national level, a set of principles of enabling curriculum design, providing an evidence base for a national strategic discussion of enabling curricula. Addressing what constitutes the curriculum of the diverse enabling program offerings throughout Australia will provide enabling educators with a tool to assist in the design or redesign of courses and will inform assessment and improvement of quality in enabling programs.

Josephine May and Maree Gruppetta (Wollotuka Institute) are part of a team lead by Bronwyn Fredericks and Denise Wood from Central Queensland University (in partnership with Charles Darwin University, James Cook University and University of South Australia). The collaboration were successful in gaining a $320,000 OLT Innovation and Development Grant to support a project looking at addressing the gap between policy and implementation in developing strategies for improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students.

Abstract: This project involves a partnership between five regionally focused and metropolitan universities with a regional outreach addresses the need to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student access to and participation in post-compulsory education, as well as their success, retention and successful program completion. It does so through a mixed-methods approach involving semi-structured interviews with current and former students enrolled at the partner universities, and participatory action research (PAR) with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as participant researchers assisting project researchers in understanding the determinants of attrition and helping to identify culturally appropriate solutions to improving access and success through flexible re-entry arrangements. The outcomes will lead to improved pathways and success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at regional and metropolitan universities, models of best practice in supporting pathways and success, and strategies for improving the ability of academic and support staff to implement best practice guidelines.

Evonne Irwin, Helen Cameron, Maree Gruppetta (Wollotuka Institute), Stephanie Gilbert (Wollotuka Institute) and Sally Baker (CEEHE) were successful in their HEPP National Priorities Pool 2015 application for $49,977 to undertake a project aiming to develop a National conversation around enabling education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through a comprehensive audit of current provision.

Abstract: This project aims to increase understanding of the role of enabling education by auditing the existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enabling programs offered across the country.

Congratulations on being successful in these highly competitive grants!

Grant rounds currently open

National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education Research Grants Program

The National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) Research Grants Program 2016 is currently open. The NCSEHE is seeking proposals from high quality researchers and equity practitioners to conduct policy-relevant research aimed at supporting and informing policy and practice on student equity in higher education.

Applications close on Friday 19 February 2016. Details are available at

Churchill Fellowships

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Churchill Fellowships are currently open. Churchill Fellowships provide the opportunity to travel internationally to conduct research in order to bring back knowledge, experience, ideas and innovation.

Further details can be found at: Please note the Internal University of Newcastle Research Office closing date is 8 May 2016.

Upcoming conferences

Higher Education Conference 2016

National Convention Centre, Canberra 9-11 March 2016.

FACE (Forum for Access and Continuing Education) Annual Conference

Queens University Belfast, 29 June-1 July 2016


Pan Pacific, Perth 29 June-2 July 2016.

Submissions close 8 February 2016.


The Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle 4-7 July 2016


Unitec Institute of Technology, Mt Albert, Auckland, 1-2 December 2016