Rural and remote Indigenous students visit UWS

Indigenous students from six high schools in rural and remote areas of NSW will get a taste of university life at the University of Western Sydney from Tuesday 29 November to Friday 2 December, 2011.

Forty students from Years 9 to 12 will make the trip to the University along with six support teachers.

Manager of Schools Engagement at UWS, Anne McLean, says the visit is a great opportunity to provide students with an experience not normally available to them.

"Students in rural and remote areas often miss out on visiting universities because there are none close to their homes, " says Ms McLean.

"By bringing groups down to Sydney and having them stay on campus they can get a sense of what uni is like, meet academic and support staff, chat to Indigenous UWS students, participate in academic enrichment activities and find out more about specific courses they might be interested in."

"We also make sure they have the opportunity to hear from local Elders and all of this makes them feel more comfortable with the environment they'd be part of if they enrolled with us and lived on campus."

Ms McLean says the university is keen to increase the opportunities for Indigenous students who are under-represented in higher education.

"UWS is committed to creating, enhancing and promoting a variety of opportunities and pathways to encourage and enable school students from all backgrounds and a range of academic achievement levels to enhance their educational attainment and increase post-school options," says Ms McLean.

Staff and students will be accommodated at the Hawkesbury campus for the duration of the trip, visiting the Penrith campus as well.

There will be a range of fun and educational activities along with cultural talks and sessions covering everything about getting into university and what it's like once you are there.

Activities during the visit will include:

  • A campus tour of the Penrith campus in the style of the Amazing Race;
  • An Aboriginal Astronomy evening at the university's observatory on the Werrington North campus; and
  • Workshops in engineering and physics, astronomy, music, visual design and natural sciences.

On 1 December, social activities will include a discussion session with local Aboriginal Elders followed by a dinner with Indigenous Elders and community members, UWS staff and students.

Schools participating in the Rural Indigenous Student Visit are:

  • Lightning Ridge Central School
  • Collarenebri Central School
  • Walgett High School
  • Gilgandra High School
  • Scone High School
  • Singleton High School

WHAT: UWS Rural Indigenous Student Visit

WHEN: Tuesday 29 November to Friday 2 December, 2011

WHERE: Various locations on the UWS Hawkesbury and Penrith campuses


29 November 2011

Contact: Kristy Gleeson, Media Officer