Labor commits $3m to support people from disadvantaged backgrounds to access Western Sydney University

Member for Parramatta, Julie Owens; Dr Andy Marks, Assistant Vice-Chancellor; Shadow Assistant Minister for Universities and Equality, Senator Louise Pratt

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has pledged $3 million in funding to expand existing Western Sydney University programs which work to increase participation in higher education among people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Shadow Assistant Minister for Universities and Equality, Senator Louise Pratt joined the Member for Parramatta, Julie Owens, along with Western Sydney University leaders and student program participants to announce the funding commitment at the University’s Peter Shergold Building.

Dr Andy Marks, Assistant Vice-Chancellor at Western Sydney University, welcomed the funding commitment.

“These truly transformational programs encapsulate the very best attributes of our University and our region,” said Dr Marks.

“Expanding these initiatives, which are run by our dedicated staff, school and community partners, will ensure all students regardless of their backgrounds are supported as they pursue further education.”

The Western Sydney University programs to receive additional funding if the ALP is elected in the upcoming federal election include:

  • Fast Forward
    Western Sydney University partners with high schools in Western Sydney to help students see the value of continuing their education. The program is ongoing from year 9 – 12 and delivers a range of workshops and experiences in schools and on Western Sydney University campuses.
  • New and Emerging Communities
    Western Sydney University raises educational aspiration and attainment by working collaboratively with refugee community groups, peak bodies, schools in Greater Western Sydney and not for profit organisations.
  • Pathways to Dreaming
    Western Sydney University engages year 8 – 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in education through academic and Aboriginal cultural enrichment workshops both in schools and at the University, with current Western Sydney University students and alumni mentoring and facilitating the process.
  • Pasifika Achievement to Higher Education
    Western Sydney University widens participation and aspirations of young people from Pacific Islander backgrounds in low socioeconomic status locations, helping them to develop and gain new skills and knowledge to aspire towards further education and training through student support, outreach activities and interactive workshops.

Dr Andy Marks, Assistant Vice-Chancellor; Shadow Assistant Minister for Universities and Equality, Senator Louise Pratt; Member for Parramatta, Julie Owens; with student program participants

These programs will be funded through the ALP’s $174 million commitment to boost equity and participation in higher education.

It follows a commitment of $20 million made by the ALP to develop a specialist Agri-tech and protected cropping research facility at the University’s Hawkesbury campus.


2 May 2019

Media Unit