Through exploration of the Addressing Higher Education Access Disadvantage (AHEAD) Program, this chapter will outline how outreach programs contribute to national equity targets, university social responsibility practices, and university recruitment targets. The chapter explores innovations in tertiary outreach and its relationship to the student recruitment chain. Presenting insights and considerations to higher education (HE) leaders regarding approaches to equity outreach at an institutional level and the benefits of authentic university-based outreach initiatives. The chapter will draw on the experience of the AHEAD program since inception in 2014, and the data relating to student impact and university first preference scores from the Tertiary Institute Service Centre database, to demonstrate the Program’s effectiveness in developing student aspirations for HE. Additionally, the available data suggest that the creation of place-specific aspiration and learning experiences within the program has resulted in a recruitment advantage for the host institution, despite the program presenting information and pathways for all universities in Western Australia. The chapter presents the position that institution-specific affinity and natural transition pathways are cultivated through programs that seek to engage with low socioeconomic communities with a focus on co-solving-specific demographic challenges.
Flodin, C. and Vidovich, N. (2019), "Innovations and Insights for Higher Education Aspiration and Outreach Programs", Hoffman, J., Blessinger, P. and Makhanya, M. (Ed.) Strategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 17), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 163-178. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120190000017012
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