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Practical and profound: multi-layered benefits of a university enabling program and implications for higher education


Crawford, N, Practical and profound: multi-layered benefits of a university enabling program and implications for higher education, International Studies in Widening Participation, 1, (2) pp. 15-30. ISSN 2203-8841 (2014) [Refereed Article]


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This small-scale study focused on the University of Tasmania’s (UTAS) University Preparation Program (UPP) in Launceston, Tasmania. It set out to identify the benefits of UPP from the perspectives of former UPP students, once they were in a degree. The research approach is qualitative; former UPP students were interviewed one-on-one or in focus groups, and data were analysed thematically. The themes that arose were expected and practical, such as development of academic skills, confidence and connections, and understanding the expectations and demands of the university culture. In addition, some findings were unexpected and profound; former UPP students had taken on leadership roles in their first semester of undergraduate study, and had changed their long-standing attitudes towards, and understandings of, people from cultures different to their own. Enabling programs, such as UPP, have multi-layered benefits, influences and flow-on effects, which students carry into their degrees, benefiting other students and the university, as well as potentially influencing their families, friends, and communities. Such impacts prompt a reconsideration of the meaning of ‘success’ in higher education, and challenge the argument that widening participation risks decreasing course quality and lowering university standards. Furthermore, enabling programs are a transition strategy and social inclusion in practice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:enabling program, preparation program, bridging course, academic skills, transition to university, social inclusion, student leadership, intercultural understanding
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Learner and learning not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Crawford, N (Dr Nicole Crawford)
ID Code:98874
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Centre for University Pathways and Partnerships
Deposited On:2015-03-05
Last Modified:2017-11-18
Downloads:350 View Download Statistics

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