Widening Participation Strategy
Everyone should have access to education.
The UTS Widening Participation Strategy increases students from underrepresented groups accessing and completing university.
We focus in particular on students from low SES backgrounds and Indigenous students.
The strategy is overseen by the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion. We operate activities under five themes:
- Aspiration and Attainment
- Widening Access
- Transition, Retention and Success
- Inclusive Community
- Completion and Employability
Aspiration and attainment
Encouraging aspiration and improving academic outcomes is the first step. It comes well before the point of enrolment.
- The U@Uni Academy is our unique, two-year learning experience starting in year 10. Workshops and tutoring take place on-campus and in-school. Students experience the university environment first-hand, build confidence through hands-on, interactive experiences. Along the way, they gain insight into university study and develop 21st century skills.
- Accredited professional development and networking opportunities build teacher and school capacity. We offer these to teachers in priority schools.
- The Galuwa outreach experience. Targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Years 9-12. Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research runs this program.
- We support community partners with education-oriented goals, including the Smith Family.
The diversity of our student community as one of the best things about university life.
We aim to make university available for people of all backgrounds through targeted access schemes. We offer admissions pathways that recognise academic potential beyond ATAR marks. And we give support to those who need it.
- Diversity Access Scholarships to assist students in financial hardship. Other forms of disadvantage are also considered.
- Equity-focussed Educational Access Schemes (EAS) for those who have experienced educational disadvantage. Eligible students receive up to 10 points towards their ATAR or UAC admission rank.
- Humanitarian Access supports the admission and participation in higher education for students from Refugee or Asylum Seeker backgrounds. Support is available to students with permanent protection residency status through UTS’s educational access schemes – inpUTS and Schools Recommendation Scheme (SRS), and for students with temporary protection residency, the UTS Humanitarian Scholarship Program – which provides full tuition for students unable to access Commonwealth Supported Places and loan schemes. As students commence their undergraduate study they are supported through specially tailored programs aimed at supporting their transition into UTS, their academic attainment, financial and personal needs.
- Care leavers support for people in formal out-of-home care (foster care, residential care, kinship care, being a ward of the State). Prospective students receive advice and guidance before applying. Current students receive ongoing support and advice while studying at UTS.
- The Jumbunna Pathways Program for prospective undergraduate Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students to demonstrate capability for university. This is done through a testing, assessment and interview process. Selection is also based on factors including previous life, education and work experience.
- The Jumbunna Unistart Program. A pathway into university study for people of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent. A one-year course designed for those who may not have met the entry requirements for university study. Students who succeed in Unistart go into the first year of their course at UTS with credits towards their degree.
- Financial Support and Equity Grants. Available for students who are: experiencing financial hardship; live a long distance from the university; have a disability or illness; have carer responsibilities; or are Indigenous Australians.
- Weekly rental subsidies for local students living in UTS Housing who are experiencing financial hardship.
- The U@Uni TAFE Pathways Project expands and develops entry pathways for noncurrent school leavers into university.
Transition, retention and success
University support shouldn’t end at enrollment.
Raising aspiration and enrolling students from disadvantaged backgrounds is just the beginning. Students also need support in their transition to university. So we address all areas of the student life cycle.
- The Transition and Academic Support Program provides individual learning plans, brokered referrals, mentoring and subsidised tutoring for students who entered UTS via the Schools’ Recommendation Scheme, Humanitarian Access or as a care leaver.
- Free (non-credit) Maths and Science bridging courses for UTS students beginning tertiary study.
- The Jumbunna Learning Assistance Program and the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme provides academic support and tutoring for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students.
- The Mathematics and Science Study Centre provides students with one-on-one tutoring on maths, statistics, science and software/IT.
- U:PASS provides students with free peer-driven study sessions to support them in subjects seen as difficult, or with high failure rates.
- The Enhancing Computer Access program aims to improve the academic success of local low SES students by providing computers, internet access and course-specific software.
- UTS Student Services assists students with their medical, counselling and/or accessibility requirements.
We promote the importance of inclusive community programs and policies. They contribute to building a university community in which students from diverse backgrounds can thrive. And as our community grows, we respond to the changing needs of an increasingly diverse student cohort.
- Orientation and workshops to give students advice on transitioning to life at university, and introduce support services available.
- UTS HELPS provides academic literacy support to students through assignment advice, workshops and writing support. The unit also coordinates English speaking volunteer programs, such as the HELPS Buddy Program and Talkfest that encourage cultural exchange through casual conversation.
- The Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion runs events and forums, such as Diversity Week, to promote social justice, diversity and human rights at UTS.
Completion and employability
We work hard to ensure our graduates are well-rounded professionals who are ready for their chosen future when they leave UTS.
We support students in developing and showcasing key employability skills. We also provide career and employment support, facilitating connections with industry, and providing financial support to assist students who are experiencing disadvantage.
- Equity Grants supporting soon-to-graduate students by assisting with the costs of interview attire and preparations. Open to students who participate in UTS Carers’ work-ready programs and are experiencing financial hardship.
- Accomplish Intensive is a free program designed for recent UTS graduates. The program helps refine key skills and develop confidence in applying for jobs.
- Alumni Career Coaching, drop-in employment support, online resources and job boards available to graduates.
- Benefits for UTS Alumni. These include continued use of UTS medical services, networking opportunities, free UTS Library membership, and discounted degree programs.