The University of Newcastle, Australia

Changes to HEPPP

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Department of Education has recently announced changes to the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), including the National Priorities Pool Scheme (NPP).

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Under the new scheme, only projects commissioned by the Department will be funded. There will no longer be scope for institutions to propose projects.

Under the revised HEPPP NPP scheme, there will be $9.5 million available per year for:

  • Research and trials that inform HEPP policy and implementation;
  • Collaboration between universities to meet HEPP objectives.

Applications for the first round of commissioned projects will open in June 2017. If University of Newcastle (UON) staff are interested in applying for one of the below projects, notify Belinda Munn by Wednesday 31 May. This is to ensure UON projects do not compete against one another. Where multiple colleagues are interested in the same project, the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE) will facilitate discussions and collaboration to ensure applications from UON are as strong as possible.

2017 HEPPP NPP Commissioned Projects

Project titleDescription
HEPPP Evaluation FrameworkThis project will develop a national HEPPP evaluation framework to structure and guide overall evaluation of the HEPPP, as well as quality improvement and impact evaluations of HEPPP activities. The evaluation framework will support the development of an evidence base to establish the impact of HEPPP-funded equity interventions. It will be implemented from 2018.
Equity Research and Innovation PanelThis project will establish an expert, academic panel to provide strategic advice on equity research and trial initiatives.
Economies of scale in supporting low SES and other disadvantaged studentsThis project will identify the additional costs of supporting higher education students from low SES or other disadvantaged backgrounds compared to other students, and whether there are economies or diseconomies of scale in delivering support.
Widening Participation Longitudinal Study – Phase 2 – ImplementationThis project will implement the Widening Participation Longitudinal Study for a pilot period of four years, with the option of continuing the study. This important longitudinal study will allow the Government to gather detailed, longitudinal data to inform access and participation policy development and evaluation of equity programs. The project will implement a design developed by the Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Queensland, under a feasibility study previously funded by the National Priorities Pool.
Australian higher education equity rankingThis project will investigate the feasibility of developing a ranking of universities drawing on a suite of equity performance indicators. Like the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching measures of teaching quality, publishing a ranking of equity performance will form an incentive to improve institutional focus and raise the profile of inclusive equity practice within universities.
Individual-based socio-economic disadvantage measureThis project will determine the feasibility of employing an individual-based measure, in comparison to the current place-based measure, to identify socio-economic disadvantage to ensure that university support targets students from low SES backgrounds most effectively.
Publication of National Priorities Pool researchMultiple research projects, jointly worth $15 million, have already been funded through the National Priorities Pool. This project will consolidate these existing research reports and place them in the context of other known equity research for promulgation on the department’s website.
Professional development in equity interventions for school teachersAll school teachers must complete around 20 hours of professional learning each year that meets national requirements. This professional learning must be additional to their normal duties and can be formal or informal learning. This project will establish professional learning modules for school teachers that meet agreed national standards administered by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. The modules will support teachers in raising the aspirations and improving the academic skills of their students to facilitate their entry to higher education. Professional learning that meets these agreed national standards will facilitate uptake by schools and teachers to meet annual professional learning requirements.
Seed funding for Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) ExpansionThis project would support the continued expansion of the AIME mentoring program which was commissioned from 2016.

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