NCSEHE Panel - "Aspiration, Partnership and Place"

Monday 28 June | 6pm - 7pm
Allan Scott Auditorium

The Panel will be chaired by Professor Trevor Gale, Director, NCSEHE

Speaker 1


Capitals, equal opportunities and educational aspirations

This paper draws on a study of the capitals circulating in two elite schools in Scotland and how the young people attending these two schools are privileged in relation to many forms of capitals which allow them to imagine (and create) exciting global futures through the very spatial-temporalities they are located within.  Implications are drawn for the widening participation in higher education agenda.

Professor Bob Lingard
Professorial Research Fellow, School of Education,
The University of Queensland

Bob will focus is presentation on work undertaken about elite students in Scotland as global citizens (place, mobility and equity).  


Bob Lingard is currently a Professorial Research Fellow in the School of Education at The University of Queensland. He has also been Professor at the University of Edinburgh (2006-2008), where he held the Andrew Bell Chair of Education, and the University of Sheffield (2003-2006) in the UK. From 1989-2003, Bob worked in the School of Education at The University of Queensland, where he was also professor. Bob has an international research reputation in the areas of sociology of education and education policy and has published widely in these fields. His most recent books include:  Globalizing Education Policy (Routledge, 2010), co-authored with Fazal Rizvi and Educating Boys: beyond structural reform (Palgrave, 2009), co-authored with Wayne Martino and Martin Mills. Bob is co-editor of the journal Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education and editor of the book series, Keys Ideas and Education with Greg Dimitriadis (Routledge, New York). Bob has published more than 100 refereed articles and book chapters. Bob was the first two year President of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), 1999 and 2000 and was also a long term Executive member. He was also the inaugural Chair of the Queensland Studies Authority (QSA), appointed by the Minister for Education.  Bob is currently a member of the Governing Board of the QSA and of the Board of the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher education at the University of South Australia. He has just been appointed to the reference committee for the Review of Teacher Education in Queensland.


Speaker 2


Aspiration, Partnership and Place

Northern Adelaide is one of the most disadvantaged metropolitan areas in the country with extremely low participation rates in Higher Education. The University of South Australia is committed through its founding act to provide higher education to those who have been traditionally disadvantaged; and has been engaged in community outreach in northern Adelaide since 2002 through UNAP (UniSA Northern Adelaide Partnerships). The momentum for a step change in this engagement was triggered by a Northern Community Summit in 2008 championed by UniSA which stimulated the flow of local scholarships from industry and benevolent associations, and $6 million in DEEWR funding through the Diversity and Structural Adjustment Fund.

The University is using this funding through the ‘University Aspirations Project’ which works with schools to build awareness, and transform aspirations into achievement. The work is being undertaken in partnership with the South Australian Department of Education and Children’s Services, with northern schools, the UniSA School of Education and the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education. The project aims to build deeply embedded and sustained engagement with schools from Year 10 and before. It also aims to embed the project within the University’s own Teaching and Learning Framework particularly building experiential learning for our students through community engagement in the northern area. A key element of the project is formal evaluation of initiatives (what works? What makes a difference?) through the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education.

Professor Hilary Winchester
Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President

Hilary will focus on UniSA's work in the northern Adelaide region from a social geography perspective.



Professor Hilary Winchester is Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President: Participation and Engagement at the University of South Australia. Her responsibilities as a member of the Senior Management Group include regional, industry and community engagement; developing and implementing a Participation Strategy for the University; managing major DEEWR funded projects, including the University Aspirations Project ($3.9M); as well as line management of major service units: the Centre for Regional Engagement (CRE) and the Centre for Participation and Community Engagement (PACE).  A human geographer, Professor Winchester completed a B.A. (Hons) and D. Phil. at Oxford University. Her geographical research has focused on key social issues such as urban disadvantage, population change and the construction of place identity. Her background in social and cultural geography has translated into playing a leading role in university engagement in northern Adelaide and regional South Australia.


Speaker 3


Place, Partnerships, and Practice - Widening Participation Activities at Griffith's Logan Campus

Universities are being urged to take up the social inclusion agenda, with significant and revenue-contingent stretch goals for improved access and educational outcomes for students from low socio-economic backgrounds and Indigenous Australian students. Suzanne will describe the range of responses, outcomes and continuing challenges in implementing widening participation strategies, derived from the experiences at Griffith University’s community-embedded and demographically-diverse Logan campus. In particular, she will focus upon:

  • school initiatives through the work of Uni-Reach with local under-represented schools
  • adult learner strategies being deployed through the current Adult Learner Social Inclusion Project, a collaborative project with QUT, and
  • Indigenous-specific initiatives.

Suzanne will describe how the student experience and their higher education outcomes are framed within specific phases of their student life-course and why a conceptual framework is needed to enhance the development of academic and social capital of all students on a far larger scale and for greater impact than currently exists.

Ms Suzanne Wilkinson
Principal Adviser, Student Equity & Educational Partnerships Student Services
Griffith University

Suzanne will focus her presentation on Griffith's work in Logan, including schooling and the adult learner partnership project with QUT.



Suzanne Wilkinson is the Principal Adviser – Student Equity and Educational Partnerships in Student Services at Griffith University.  She has a lead role in University strategic planning and reporting (student equity) and developing educational partnerships with schools and TAFE.  Her career spans some 30 years as a practitioner in Education working in schools, TAFE and University settings.  This experience has involved the development, delivery and management of services to post-secondary students, focussed on enhancing service delivery to maximize outcomes for diverse student cohorts in educational pathways, student outreach and transition support, financial assistance, employment services, career counselling, student leadership, student management and administration. At Griffith, Suzanne has coordinated the University’s Low SES Review, discrete strategic equity task groups, initiated and led specialist equity projects and partnerships, i.e. Get Set for Women in Science and IT and various Griffith University Community Partnerships Grants. She is currently a member of two Griffith Learning and Teaching Grant teams investigating social inclusion issues for Griffith and its communities.  Suzanne manages Griffith’s contribution to the Adult Learner Social Inclusion Project 2009-2011, a QUT-Griffith collaboration funded by a DEEWR Diversity and Structural Adjustment Grant. She has a special interest in Indigenous education, and has facilitated Indigenous-specific policy development and student initiatives.  Suzanne was awarded the inaugural GUMURRII Building Bridges Reconciliation Award in recognition of her commitment and advocacy for enhanced and meaningful participation opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in tertiary education.


Speaker 4


Mobility, experience and aspiration

Programs that involve on-campus visits for school students are one of the most prevalent outreach strategies employed by Australian universities. Through making students mobile, these programs seek to provide them with familiarisation experiences that encourage them to imagine university as a future possibility. However, in our globalised economic and cultural condition, the relationship between mobility, experience and aspiration captured in the logic of these programs is now deeply implicated in the (re)production of disadvantage and can only be partially mitigated by outreach of this kind. People’s capacity to aspire to and pursue future possibilities depends in large part on the archive of experiences available to them when exercising their imaginations. This advantages elites who have ready access to a large and diverse range of experiences, through physical mobility and a variety of media technologies, and disadvantages those who are less mobile both physically and virtually. This complex interrelationship between mobility and aspiration is now a central equity issue that universities need to consider when developing programs to increase access and participation for disadvantaged groups. Sam will describe a range of strategies that offer hopeful possibilities for reinvigorated outreach, which involves working in partnership with schools at the level of curriculum and pedagogy to build students’ capacities to imagine and enact their futures more powerfully.

Dr Sam Sellar
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Sam will focus on the relationship between aspiration and socioeconomic / geographic mobility for low SES students.  



Sam Sellar holds the position of Post Doctoral Research Fellow in the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education. He recently completed his PhD at the University of South Australia, where he has worked as a doctoral student on the ARC funded Redesigning Pedagogies in the North project. He has also worked as a research assistant in the Hawke Research Institute.
His research interests include the visceral and ethical dynamics of pedagogies in disadvantaged contexts, cultural dimensions of higher education access and participation for equity groups and critical policy analysis.
He has recent publications in Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education and Pedagogy, Culture & Society and co-authored chapters in the forthcoming books Changing Schools (Routledge, 2010) and Student Engagement in Urban Schools: Beyond Neoliberal Discourses (Information Age, 2010).





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