ADCET in partnership with the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) were joined by presenters Tim Pitman and David Eckstein. Tim and David are current Equity Research Fellows from the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, they are examining the ways in which Australia’s higher education institutions support students with disability to succeed not only in their studies but beyond. Tim is particularly interested in how students with disability from regional and remote parts of Australia are supported, whilst David is researching the practicalities of providing targeted careers education that enables their post-graduation success.
It has been well-established that for generations, people with disability have faced many barriers in gaining access to higher education in Australia. People with disability are now enrolling in studies but they complete lower rates and remain less likely to be employed when they leave university, compared to their mainstream counterparts. Consequently, increasing attention needs to be paid to what happens to these students post-enrolment. This includes: the how, when and why of disclosing information about their disabilities and accommodations and adjustments made to support their studies Also, the provision of careers education targeting students with disability needs increases their chances of transitioning to the workforce but not all universities are able to provide such support. This issue also requires attention.
Tim is particularly interested in how students with disability from regional and remote parts of Australia are supported, whilst David is researching the practicalities of providing targeted careers education that enables their post-graduation success.
Professor Sarah O'Shea is the Director of the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) which is located at Curtin University. Sarah has spent over twenty-five years working to effect change within the higher education (HE) sector through research that focuses on the access and participation of students from identified equity groups. Her institutional and nationally funded research studies advance understanding of how under-represented student cohorts enact success within university, navigate transition into this environment, manage competing identities and negotiate aspirations for self and others. This work is highly regarded for applying diverse conceptual and theoretical lenses to tertiary participation, which incorporate theories of social class, identity work, gender studies and poverty. Sarah has published extensively in the field and has been awarded over $AUD3 million in grant funding since 2009, she is also an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow (ALTF), a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), a Churchill Fellow (CF).
Tim Pitman is a Senior Research Fellow at Curtin University in the School of Education. He has worked in the Australian higher education sector since 1996 and his PhD in Education was completed at The University of Western Australia in 2012. His research focus is on higher education policy, with a particular focus on increasing the representation of disadvantaged students. He has researched and published widely on these and other topics. In 2020 he joins the NCSEHE as an Equity Fellow. His Fellowship will focus on how universities can best support people with disability, who come from regional, rural and remote Australia, in their higher education studies.
David Eckstein is a university careers practitioner and recently established Swinburne University’s AccessAbility Careers Hub – a specialist initiative for students with disability that received the 2019 NAGCAS best practice award. His interests include student notions of professional self, employability in the curriculum, industry partnerships that generate disability confidence, discrimination and harassment, alternative dispute resolution, and the use of narrative methods to help people develop and implement meaningful workforce participation plans. As 2020 Equity Fellow at the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, his research into the provision of targeted careers support for students with disability in Australian universities will result in open-access tools and guidelines for all universities to use.