A fresh focus on giving a voice to students who may otherwise be marginalised

Published:29 November 2018

Top: CQUni's School of Access Education held its first ever research symposium. BELOW: Keynote speaker Dr Anna Bennett, Interim Director and Head of Research Engagement and Development at the University of Newcastle’s English Language and Foundation Studies Centre.

CQUniversity academics used a milestone event to challenge assumptions about particular groups of students who use enabling pathways into tertiary study.

The School of Access Education's first ever research symposium enabled 16 academics to showcase their studies relating to enabling education and university-wide learning support.

The focus ranged from students from non-English speaking backgrounds to students with dyslexia, students who struggle with mathematics and the challenges for mothers at university.

Other presenters focused on the pressures of life outside study, self-reflection, critical thinking, the use of technology, and the hunt for 'that click moment' in understanding concepts.

Keynote speaker Dr Anna Bennett, from the University of Newcastle, spoke of the importance of enabling education to disrupt movements to standardise and quantify educational outcomes.

"Developing new knowledges and outcomes from connecting course content with students' rich and diverse bodies of knowledge and experiences needs to remain at the front-and-centre of enabling education," Dr Bennett said.

Karen Seary, Associate Dean for the School of Access Education, was thrilled about the success of the research symposium and vowed to continue developing a vibrant research culture.