Inspiring our communities together
As part of Western Sydney University’s widening participation engagement programs we have partnered with local companies and charities to better serve the educational needs of our community. We are proud to partner with Gibber, The Smith Family, and Studiosity.
In 2013 Gibber, in partnership with Bridges to Higher Education, developed Aim Higher, an exciting and innovative theatre production aimed at inspiring students in low socioeconomic schools to see the opportunity in further education.
Through a partnership with Western Sydney University, the program was developed further to raise awareness and understanding of the different pathways to higher education. The program aims to encourage and inspire students to stay in learning post the compulsory school leaving age and see higher education as an opportunity to tap into their unlimited potential. The program also highlights the support systems already in place for them in schools through Career Advisors and communicates local information about higher education options whilst dispelling the myths, barriers and preconceived notion that higher education is beyond their reach.
The Smith Family
In 2018, Western Sydney University entered an agreement with The Smith Family resulting in a range of positive outcomes for students across primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Through the generosity of its donors, The Smith Family provides over $20m in financial support to over 42,000 Australian children and young people to cover the costs of education. Western Sydney University does its part through our ongoing support of The Smith Family’s Tertiary Scholarship Scheme and contributed to an overall growth of 9% across Australia in tertiary scholarship recipients in 2017/18.
The Learning for Life Tertiary Scholarship Scheme supports young people from low-income backgrounds to pursue University study for up to four years. Places for the scholarship are competitive with students assessed on their commitment to study, their capacity to achieve, and demonstration of clear goals. Scholarship funds may be used for educational costs such as enrolment, registration, course or tuition fees, textbooks, library charges, travel expenses, field trips, laboratory fees, practicum costs, course materials, tools or equipment.
Last year, through our partnership with The Smith Family, 66 scholarship recipients began their undergraduate studies at Western. And we look forward to seeing this number continue to grow in the coming years.
Students from 82 high schools currently engaged in our Fast Forward (Year 9-12) and PATHE programs have full access to Studiosity, an online tutoring service that offers invaluable homework and school project assistance as well as curriculum-based practice questions and tests. By partnering with Studiosity, we are ensuring our students remain in touch with not only advances in online learning but access to a support system designed to help them succeed.