Our strategy

A student walking over the City road footbridge

The University’s Strategic Plan 2011-1015 identifies the need for us to attract promising students whatever their social or cultural background. We believe that this is our social responsibility as a leading Australian university, and will also enrich the educational experience of those students who do come to the University.

We recognise the need to educate our students in classrooms that bring together people from a broad variety of social backgrounds, to best prepare them for leadership in diverse communities and to help them think through issues that impact on wide cross-sections of the community.

We aim to diversify our student population and increase the participation of students from currently underrepresented groups. We look to widening participation and community engagement programs to help us begin communicating with future students as early as possible.

The University has established targets for participation of students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds, Indigenous students and regional and remote students. The Strategic Plan and accompanying White Paper outline a series of initiatives to support widening participation in higher education. These include increased engagement with schools and communities those students might not traditionally consider higher education as an option, and programs that attract promising students to Sydney.

Our other focuses include building stronger relationships and pathways with regional universities and programs and increasing opportunities for University academic staff to make new discoveries about social exclusion and inclusion, through the lens of inclusive teaching and research. Once students enrol at Sydney, we offer initiatives to support their retention and success.

Government policy

A key finding of the 2008 Review of Australian Higher Education report (the Bradley report) was that people from low SES backgrounds are significantly under-represented in Australian higher education.

A student from a high SES background is approximately three times more likely to attend university than a student from a low SES background. In this context the federal government has announced 'social inclusion' as a major policy objective and aims to increase the proportion of students from low SES backgrounds from around 15 percent at present to 20 percent by 2020. Our strategy ties in to the government's objectives.

Our policies

Our guidelines

External websites