The University of Sydney recognises that education should be attainable for the most promising students, regardless of their social or cultural backgrounds. Through a series of programs and initiatives delivered and administered by the Social Inclusion Unit, the University aims to diversify the student population and increase the participation of students from currently underrepresented groups.

Compass spearheads this strategy in its work with students and their communities at primary and secondary schools located in Greater Western, South West Sydney and regional NSW. It aims to prepare, motivate and engage young people with the support of their communities to participate in higher education. The program is premised upon the findings of the Bradley Review, which makes clear that non-traditional students can be assisted to consider tertiary education as an option in the event of concomitant shifts in generational attitudes.

Finally, the University of Sydney participates in the University Admissions Centre's Educational Access Scheme, a program designed to help students who have experienced long-term educational disadvantage gain admission to tertiary study, as well as offering a number of alternative entry pathways.