Fast Forward

About Fast Forward

The Fast Forward Program is a partnership between Western Sydney University and Western Sydney Schools which helps students to see the value of continuing their education through to year 12 and beyond. It began in 2004 and has continued to grow, offering the opportunity for enhanced academic and personal achievement to a large number of Western Sydney students.

In 2006 the program was awarded the Vice Chancellor's Excellence Award for University Engagement for its work with year 10 to 12 students at the 11 schools in the program at that time. The program was expanded in 2008 to include students from year 9 through to 12, to target pupils before they reach academic crossroads such as decisions regarding continuing into senior school and subsequent subject choice that may impact on future career decisions. Further expansion occurred in 2018 resulting in 84 High Schools and approximately 5500 students now participating in the program.

Aims of the program:
  • To increase Western Sydney school students' engagement in learning and the completion of year 12
  • To develop students' confidence, knowledge, skills and educational attainment
  • To enhance Western Sydney students' awareness of post school education opportunities
  • To promote the benefits of lifelong learning and life opportunities to students and their families
  • To improve the participation of Western Sydney students in higher education.

What's involved

Our high school student participants are invited to begin the program at the start of Year 9, and continue all the way through to Year 12. The program consists of activities and events specific to each year group, beginning with Welcome to Western evenings and continuing with in-school workshops, Fast Forward University experience days, the Fast Forward Year 12 conference, and an opportunity to attend Western U Day and HSC study days.

Fast Forward for Year 9 Students

Welcome to Western Evening

Selected students and their parents are invited to a Western Sydney University campus early in Year 9 to take part in a Welcome to Western Evening. This event acknowledges the academic potential that led to the selection of students in the program. As well as the opportunity to welcome new participants, this evening is a chance for students and parents to learn more about the program and hear from inspirational speakers, which include Western Sydney University academic staff and Fast Forward scholarship recipients.

In-School Workshops

In-school workshops are an opportunity for participants to work in a small group with a Fast Forward Project Officer and focus on topics relevant to them in Year 9. An initial Year 9 workshop will introduce students to specifics of the Fast Forward program. Lasting one class period in length, each workshop aims to enhance the academic and social skills of the students and assist them to reach their full potential. Additional workshops may be available upon request.

University Day

Fast Forward participants from 4-5 schools attend their local Western Sydney University campus where the theme of the day is Rise to the Challenge. This may be the first opportunity for many of our students to discover what university can offer and what it might look like. Students meet current university students, participate in interactive university taster sessions, and explore their local campus through a campus challenge.

Fast Forward for Year 10 Students

In-School Workshops

University staff engage students in interactive learning sessions. Working with small groups, staff members encourage educational aspirations and help students gain skills and confidence. Fast Forward students will partake in a Studiosity workshop. Students will explore the real-time, online homework centre and will run through some practice quizzes. Additional workshops may be available upon request.

University Day

The theme of the Year 10 University Day is Unleashing Your Unlimited Potential. Students meet current university students who provide information on their university experience. They participate in a workshop focused on career planning and have the opportunity to explore university facilities in greater depth.

Fast Forward for Year 11 Students

One-on-One Higher Education Support Sessions

During years 11 and 12 students have the opportunity to partake in one-on-one sessions with a qualified Western Sydney University staff member in up to four short fifteen minute work sessions per year.  These sessions provide an opportunity for students to discuss career aspirations and possible study pathways.

Western Sydney U Day

Fast Forward students are offered a place at a Western Sydney U Day during their Year 11 studies. This day is a Western Sydney University-wide initiative designed to help senior high school students, particularly those in Year 11, prepare for their course and career journey. It provides the opportunity for Fast Forward students to speak to current Western Sydney University students, academics and professional staff; experience the range of courses available through interactive workshops and presentations; and learn about scholarships, pathway programs and other opportunities to pursue their aspirations.

Fast Forward for Year 12 Students

We understand that Year 12 is an important year for all students and, therefore, the program becomes less intensive to allow students the time to focus on their studies and the HSC exams. Three events are offered to our Year 12 students that are chronologically positioned to correspond to their journey through the final year of high school. Students receive an invitation to attend a Year 12 Conference and are offered an opportunity to attend free HSC preparation workshops and participate in an interactive Scholarship Application Masterclass. All of these events are held in the first half of the year and aim to provide students with the information and experiences necessary to make informed decisions regarding their future.

Year 12 Conference

This is an annual event specifically for Fast Forward students in their final year of high school. The aim of the conference is to give Year 12 students an opportunity to engage with university staff and other industry leaders through a series of interactive and informative sessions; the focus of each session is on a different career opportunity. This allows participants to enhance their knowledge base of available career choices and areas of study at university. Students are able to speak to staff from student enquiries, UAC, the Australian Defence Forces along with university lecturers and many others about possible careers involving tertiary study. Students preselect their sessions and can choose topics that relate directly to their own interests.

One-on-One Higher Education Support Sessions

In Year 12 students will continue with one-on-one Higher education support sessions which they commenced in Year 11.

HSC Preparation Workshops

Free HSC Preparation Workshops for 13 different subjects are held on Western Sydney University campuses in the July school holidays. These sessions aim to assist students to improve their exam scores, study skills and optimise their exam responses. They are delivered by HSC teachers and Western Sydney University academic staff. Students review mandatory syllabus material, learn exam techniques and preparation skills, and participate in discussion.

Participating schools

Bankstown Area Schools

  • All Saints Catholic College
  • All Saints Catholic Senior College
  • Ashcroft High School
  • Australian International Academy
  • Bankstown Girls High School
  • Belmore Boys High School
  • Bossley Park High School
  • Canley Vale High School
  • Cecil Hills High School
  • Condell Park High School
  • East Hills Boys High School
  • Hoxton Park High School
  • Prairiewood High School
  • Punchbowl Boys High School
  • St Johns Park High School
  • Sir Joseph Banks High School
  • Strathfield South High School
  • Wiley Park Girls High School

Campbelltown Area Schools

  • Airds High School
  • Ambarvale High School
  • Camden High School
  • Campbelltown Performing Arts High School
  • Casula High School
  • Eagle Vale High School
  • Elizabeth Macarthur High School
  • Ingleburn High School
  • James Busby High School
  • John Edmondson High School
  • John Therry Catholic High School
  • Leumeah High School
  • Lurnea High School
  • Macquarie Fields High School
  • Mount Annan High School
  • Mount Carmel Catholic College
  • Picton High School
  • Robert Townson High School
  • Sarah Redfern High School
  • Thomas Reddall High School

Parramatta Area Schools

  • Arthur Phillip High School
  • Auburn Girls High School
  • Chester Hill High School
  • Delany College (Granville)
  • Fairfield High School
  • Fairvale High School
  • Granville Boys High School
  • Granville South CAPA High School
  • Greystanes High School
  • Holroyd High School
  • Nagle Catholic College
  • Parramatta High School
  • Pendle Hill High School
  • Quakers Hill High School
  • Riverstone High School
  • Seven Hills High School
  • St. Andrews College
  • Wyndham College

Penrith Area Schools

  • Blaxland High School
  • Cambridge Park High School
  • Chifley College Bidwill Campus
  • Chifley College Dunheved Campus
  • Chifley College Mt Druitt Campus
  • Chifley College Senior Campus
  • Chifley College Shalvey Campus
  • Colyton High School
  • Cranebrook High School
  • Doonside High School
  • Emmaus Catholic College
  • Erskine Park High School
  • Evans High School
  • Glenmore Park High School
  • Jamison High School
  • Kingswood High School
  • McCarthy Catholic College
  • Mitchell High School
  • Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School
  • Plumpton High School
  • Richmond High School
  • Rooty Hill High School
  • St Clair High School
  • Windsor High School

Upcoming events

Please see our event calendar for more details.

Fast Forward Scholarships