UNSW Newsroom 4 September 2012
The youngest students ever to take part in UNSW’s ASPIRE program have travelled from remote central NSW to experience university for the first time.
ASPIRE is a social inclusion initiative that actively promotes university to primary and high school students from low socio-economic backgrounds. It has assisted several thousand students since its inception in 2007.
Year 2-4 students from Tullibigeal Central School and Year 4-6 children from Ungarie Central School in the state’s central west took part in a day of campus activities designed to address the additional barriers regional students face when considering higher education.
Only around one in five regional students apply to attend university. Access to educational institutions, the cost of relocating, and moving away from family and community are the main barriers to regional students considering higher education.
UNSW’s Director of Student Equity, Ann Jardine, says the early years of primary school are a crucial time for children to be educated about future education possibilities.
Research has shown that choices about attending university are often made by the time students reach Year 7. Giving students a stronger sense of education and career opportunities by the time they enter the senior years of school is extremely important.