16 September 2013 12:30-2pm. Venue: Barbara Falk room, CSHE, Lvl 1, 715 Swanston St., Carlton, Melbourne. Registration:
Dr Emmaline Bexley, Lecturer in Higher Education, CSHE
Student support arrangements are still framed by the old assumptions of an elite system of higher education in which it is presumed, by and large, that students are comfortably middle or upper class, and that financial independence is a choice rather than a necessity. Under these assumptions income support is remedial: it is designed to address a deficit in the 'non-traditional student.'
Recent research on student finances undertaken by the Centre for the Study of Higher Education for Universities Australia shows how poorly these old assumptions fit with the present profile of the student body. Today's student is more likely to be without the financial support of family; more likely to be in their late twenties or early 30s; more likely to have children. In short, less likely to be the middle class young people of the ‘elite’ or even ‘mass’ eras of higher education.
Using data from the student finances study, this presentation will unpack the effects of our present policy settings on students' experience of higher education, identify the key sites of financial stress within the student population, and outline the challenges for policy in this area.