Grants to support Community Partnerships, Curriculum Renewal and Research

The University of Sydney has demonstrated its strong commitment to social inclusion through its support for a Social Inclusion Unit and the articulation of specific strategic initiatives and goals in the White Paper and Strategic Plan 2011-2015.

Since 2010 all higher education institutions have received funds from the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), a federal program designed to widen the participation of Australians in tertiary undergraduate education. The program replaces the Equity Assistance Scheme, with a renewed focus on particular cohorts of students. In particular, the HEPPP aims to ensure that Australians from low socioeconomic status (LSES) with ability to study at university have the opportunity to do so.

The University has decided to allocate HEPPP funds through an internal grant program for faculties designed to address our strategic goals for ensuring that we attract promising students from a variety of backgrounds and that they find an inclusive and diverse learning environment while studying at Sydney.

In addition, as a research university, we also seek to increase our research activity on questions that will inform issues of social inclusion and exclusion in Australian society. These grant initiatives are managed as a partnership between the Social Inclusion Unit and the Institute for Teaching and Learning and will be supported through the Widening Participation Scholars network.

There are three HEPPP Grant Program categories in 2011:

  1. Community Engagement Grants for Social Inclusion Partnerships (10-30K) – Grants to support faculties or divisions in the introduction of new or expansion of existing partnership activities with schools or communities with a goal of widening participation. Successful proposals will include intentional, curriculum-based strategies (such as service-learning) to engage university students and staff in activities designed to raise aspirations, improve academic preparation, raise awareness of course choices, or increase familiarity with higher education culture, or similar objectives. These activities may be conducted in urban, suburban or rural locations, and/or focus on specific populations such as Indigenous communities.
    Selection Criteria and Application Guidelines.
  2. Inclusive Curriculum Renewal Grants (5-15K) – Grants to support implementation and integration of inclusive teaching strategies into curricula and teaching, especially in first year units. Examples include (but are not limited to) implementing strategies to create more inclusive classroom environments, learning about students as learners, developing inclusive assessment strategies, peer mentoring or peer assessment, group learning strategies, student led and negotiated curricula design, peer and other forms of collaborative learning.
    Selection Criteria and Application Guidelines.
  3. Research on Inclusion/Exclusion (5–25K) – Grants for research on one or more of three themes:
    • a. Community contexts and issues that affect the educational progression of young people in disadvantaged circumstances
    • b. Issues of inclusion/exclusion in the context of university teaching and curriculum
    • c. Evaluation research on university/community strategies intended to widen participation in higher education
    Selection Criteria and Application Guidelines.