Central to the widening participation agenda in Australia is a focus on rural and regional students given their continued underrepresentation in higher education. The ACT University Experience camp is a joint venture by the Country Education Foundation Australia, the University of Canberra and the Australian National University providing academically able rural students a first-hand experience of university and city life. Utilising both quantitative and qualitative methods, the current research explored the unique factors affecting rural students’ transition to higher education. Along with increasingly positive views about university, students reported greater understanding of their post-school options and greater confidence in making this choice. Students’ descriptions of their imagined futures highlighted the strong connection between these young people and their families and communities, emphasising the need for a continued focus on the unique aspects of rural young people in securing their educational and occupational futures.
FLEMING, M., & GRACE, D. (2017). Beyond aspirations: Addressing the unique barriers faced by rural Australian students contemplating university. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 41(3), 351-363. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2015.1100718