In 2014, with the merge of Monash's Gippsland campus with the University of Ballarat to form Federation University Australia, Monash's outreach program (Schools Access Monash) continued operation in Gippsland as Access FedUni, and UB's Regional Schools Outreach Program (RSOP) continued their work in Western Victoria. Therefore the selection of outcomes from over the years listed will only include Gippsland activity from 2014/15 onwards.
Regional Schools Outreach Program 2008-2013 Evaluation Report
Effective Change was engaged by Federation University Australia's Regional Schools Outreach Program to undertake an evaluation of the impact of the program. The evaluation commenced in December 2012 and was completed in February 2014.
The evaluation aims were to identify the contribution of the RSOP to motivate students from low SES backgrounds in regional and remote areas to stay at school and aspire to higher education.
Since the beginning of the program in 2008, the RSOP has grown in leaps and bounds, so far delivering more than 32,000 contacts with students and almost 3,300 with parents. While these figures are impressive, ultimately the RSOP is a long term project with outcomes that will not be entirely clear in the short term.
The RSOP increases aspirations for higher education, improves intentions to complete Year 12 and improves knowledge about accessing higher education among participating students, along with improving parental engagement, an increased use of school career services and greater confidence in career planning and decision making among students.
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In the last four years alone, the RSOP has brought over 1,490 high school students on campus, giving the students a taste of university life, allowing them to experience a range of different classes and explore the facilities and services university has to offer. Students at all year levels have indicated increased intent to access tertiary study and complete Year 12.
Quotes from students, parents and teachers
- "It changed my mind. I want to finish Year 12 and go to university now"
- "I really enjoyed learning about uni life and getting to know about classes. Making friends was cool too. It was really informative and made me want to go to uni"
- "We had a student who had never contemplated university who now considers it as a possible pathway in the future. If he didn't experience university through this program he would most likely have lived his entire life without ever setting foot inside one"
- "If a student was uncertain about what to do after school, I think you've cleared it up for them…it was awesome!"
- "After your visit, the number of students contacting our careers office was amazing! So many more than usual!"
- "Since the RSOP came and spoke at the school… [university] doesn't seem as scary as I thought, it would increase my options"
- "A most beneficial and informative program. Helps us parents have more confidence in our child's future"
- "I was blown away…the work of the RSOP team can be directly credited with this shift in aspirations. I am so thrilled that through her involvement in your program she has been able to make a choice from the range of options available"
- "I was a little reluctant to come tonight and wasn't sure about teaching careers at such an early age, but when my child came home excited about his day at school I knew that I needed to come and share this with him. I stand corrected as to the importance of having kids think about their future"
- "When HECS and scholarships were explained to the group by the RSOP…all students felt that they now knew that [university] was personally accessible for them"
- "It gave them a real taste of university life. This opportunity is vital for a number of our students from remote areas"
- "For many of our students the RSOP demystifies university. It creates a new conversation for them"
"This chance has really opened their eyes and informed them of the whole range of possibilities that a uni degree will provide. This is a wonderful program"
- "As our school is so isolated…it is vital that our students get as much access to programs such as the RSOP as possible. The RSOP complements out pathways program in many ways by providing students with resources and information not normally available to them"
Disclaimer: Whilst all care has been taken to ensure the content published here is accurate and current, there may be errors or omissions in it and no legal responsibility is accepted for the information and opinions presented in this document. Quotes have been sourced from students, parents and teaching staff in RSOP activities 2009-2012.