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Disruptions and bridges in rural Australia: higher education aspiration to expectation of participation

Kilpatrick, S ORCID: 0000-0003-2473-9814, Katersky Barnes, R ORCID: 0000-0001-9391-6277, Heath, J, Lovat, A, Kong, W-C, Flittner, N and Avitaia, S 2018 , 'Disruptions and bridges in rural Australia: higher education aspiration to expectation of participation' , Higher Education Research and Development, vol. 38, no. 3 , pp. 550-564 , doi:

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Widening higher education participation can deliver benefits toindividuals, societies and economies but rural populationsexperience factors which inhibit their aspiration for andparticipation in higher education. When designing outreachprograms, universities need to consider this landscape of factors,many of which are socio-cultural. This article reports evaluationresults from a project that trialled three university outreachprograms designed to align with rural contexts with the aim ofidentifying aspects which were effective in addressing factors ofrurality, revealing obscured future options and showing highereducation pathways as attainable. Universities can work effectivelywith rural communities to inform people’s higher educationaspirations through ‘disruptions’, interventions that informeducational aspiration, and ‘bridges’ which support highereducation participation through facilitating access to information,physical, financial, academic and social resources. A modelincluding both ‘disruptions’ and ‘bridges’, jointly resourced anddrawing on social capital resources of communities and highereducation institutions is presented.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kilpatrick, S and Katersky Barnes, R and Heath, J and Lovat, A and Kong, W-C and Flittner, N and Avitaia, S
Keywords: higher education access, rural adults, university outreach
Journal or Publication Title: Higher Education Research and Development
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0729-4360
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

© 2018 HERDSA

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