Educational experiences of African high school students in Perth: Findings from a community consultation exercise
African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP)
School of Arts and Humanities
One of the key targets of the 2008 Review of Australian Higher Education (“Bradley Review”) is to increase the percentage of Australian university students from low socioeconomic status (LSES) backgrounds to twenty percent by 2020. Since the publication of the Bradley Review, a broad range of equity programs and strategies targeting various LSES students to enhance their access to and participation in higher education have been implemented. While most West Australian residents from Sub- Saharan Africa (SSA) seem to fall into the LSES category, the proportion of the population participating in higher education is believed to be low. This paper presents anecdotes from a recent community consultation exercise with African high school students in Perth to understand their experiences and in particular, the manner in which this has influenced their respective post-secondary education career pathways. Following this exercise, a scientific study to explore the topic further is currently underway, while a community outreach event for encouraging the increased participation of SSA school students in higher education has been established.