Title

Student success is Notre Dame’s top priority

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 1-8-2010

Publisher Name

University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place

Fremantle

Abstract

The University of Notre Dame Australia has taken on the challenge from the Federal Government of increasing access and support for students of low socio economic status very seriously, by opening two Academic Enabling and Support Centres on the Fremantle and Sydney campuses.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Celia Hammond said, “Notre Dame’s commitment to excellence in teaching means that we have always focused on the individual student and providing them with appropriate academic and pastoral support. However, this is an exciting development for the University. We are already achieving positive results in our Tertiary Enabling Program (TEP), which is the University's alternative entry pathway course to undergraduate studies. We have also achieved great success in our current Academic Support Program workshops, First Year Mentoring Program and Mature Age Support Network. The Government’s push to develop processes that improve access for students from low socio-economic backgrounds and provide services that support their success at university, has encouraged us to further improve the programs, and find ways we can deliver an even better service to our students.

“In establishing these Centres we are consolidating and increasing the range of academic support services we offer, allowing us to focus on the individual student and their needs; to improve the pathways to university and to give students the equity in their education that Julia Gillard has been urging universities to provide,” she said.

Headed by leading education academics, these Centres will not only oversee the delivery of the Tertiary Enabling Program, but will develop and deliver a more comprehensive ‘foundation year’ program with a particular focus on literacy skills.

There will be continuing support at a higher level for our University students, with the centre helping to identify those that need extra academic and pastoral support including our International, Indigenous and Equity students.

“The Centres will also develop outreach projects to change expectations and offer encouragement,” said Professor Hammond.

The projects, to be implemented in 2011, will initially be working with identified low SES and ‘disadvantaged’ schools.

“The range of potential projects will include ‘twinning’ with local and regional schools, provision of adult education classes and courses and mentoring projects, which also focuses on the Government’s priorities” said Professor Hammond.

“In addition to the teaching services they will provide, the Centres will have a research remit which will see them engaging in research and analysis of issues relating to all of their three operational functions to ensure what is being done is the best support possible.”

The Centres are very much a part of the Objects of Notre Dame in providing excellence in teaching, scholarship and research and pastoral care.

Media contact: Rebecca Cassidy 08 9433 0611, 0408 959 138