Some of the students facilitated by the Country Education Foundation of Australia that attended the University of New South Wales Year 11 Regional Residential Program.
Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF), in collaboration with the University of New South Wales (UNSW), has made it possible for dozens of aspiring country university students to see a university campus, with a fully subsidised trip to UNSW for its 2023 Year 11 Regional Residential Program.
The program, part of UNSW’s Gateway Admission Pathway, ran between the 25th and 27th September, and was open to year 11 students who attend school at one of UNSW’s Gateway Partner Schools, which features schools in low socioeconomic areas, primarily in regional NSW.
CEF, through its partnership with UNSW, was offered a number of places on the program, and worked with high schools across its footprint in regional NSW to offer places to year 11 students interested in pursuing university studies.
Thirty-seven students took advantage of this amazing opportunity, which covered their costs for transport, accommodation, and meals. Students travelled from as far as Broken Hill, as well as Canowindra, Coleambally, Forbes, Goulburn, Port Macquarie, Orange, Young, Moree, Narrabri, Parkes, Grenfell, Wauchope, West Wyalong and Willyama.
Students took the opportunity to learn about the university, the courses it offers, and all other benefits of studying there, and were chaperoned by UNSW staff and Ambassadors, with two CEF staff joining them as well.
The students also got to enjoy a two-night stay at Sydney’s beautiful Coogee Beach, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, and enjoyed a dinner on the first night where they got to hear from CEF alumni currently studying at UNSW.
UNSW Director, Access, Equity & Inclusion, Mary Teague, said the aim of the program was to build a connection to UNSW and confidence in regional students relocating to Sydney for their future university studies.
“Current UNSW student Ambassadors who are employed across our program are all students from regional areas who act as powerful role models by sharing their insights and experiences to motivate and support students as they navigate the prospect of attending a metro-based university,” she said.
UNSW Gateway Program Ambassador and CEF alumni, Imreet Singh, who is from Griffith, NSW, and studying a Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine, said the program was invaluable for the students that attended.
“Many of the regional students I spoke to mentioned how eye-opening it was to see the possibilities and opportunities available to them through higher education, and some were actually considering higher education primarily because they saw other students from rural backgrounds undergoing the same journey,” he said.