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Perspectives on the challenges to access and equity in Higher Education across the world in the context of COVID

A new collection of articles from 17 leading figures in the field of higher education equity from across the world argues that we are at a critical moment where access to higher education for those from minority and disadvantaged majority groups is concerned. The articles, covering the impact of the pandemic on students in Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, Australia, Asia, Austria, Thailand, Ireland and the USA show that there is a real risk that inequalities in higher education access will become further entrenched as we emerge from the pandemic without concerted, collaborative action by policymakers and university leaders. 

This collection shows how the shift to digital delivery poses huge challenges for learners from low income and other minority backgrounds especially in small states, how it has forced such learners out of higher education as they have domestic responsibilities and how the pressure on governments has constrained the support they can provide for equity. 

Australian chapters include: 

Page 12. Chapter 4. Australian access and equity in the COVID era (Professor Sally Kift, Queensland Australia University of Technology, Visiting Professorial Fellow, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE), Curtin University, Australia)

Page 20. Chapter  9. Higher Education in a time of lockdown. A Melbourne perspective on COVID impacts (Anthony Gartner, Manager, AccessAbility, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia)

Page 23. Chapter 11. Challenges to access and equity in the Australian higher education context (Kylie Austin, Elicia Ford, Sarah Glencross, Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia (EPHEA), Australia)

Page 25 Chapter 13. Challenges to access and equity in higher education across the world in the context of COVID: An Australian perspective (Sarah O’Shea, Paul Koshy & Cathy Drane, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE), Curtin University, Australia

(September 2021)