The Centre will be established within the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy and will be aligned with the Curtin Learning Institute.
The Hon. Sharon Bird, Minister for Higher Education and Skills made the announcement at Curtin today.
Curtin Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jeanette Hacket said there was a nationwide competitive process open to all 38 public universities to select one to host the National Centre, and she was very proud that Curtin was the successful recipient.
“Curtin’s longstanding view is that universities should be engaged and committed thought leaders within local, national and global communities.
“The National Centre will provide the perfect opportunity to do that in the important area of student equity and access in higher education.
“It will provide increased resources for Curtin, and other universities in Western Australia and nationally, to explore and evaluate initiatives aimed at improving participation in higher education by people from disadvantaged backgrounds,” Professor Hacket said.
Professor John Phillimore, Executive Director, John Curtin Institute of Public Policy, said the Centre would promote and disseminate best practice in student equity and advise government on evidence-based policy initiatives arising from this research. It will also run an active program of events and policy forums on equity issues.
“A Board and Advisory Committee with links to key stakeholders in government, education, business and equity groups, will be set up to assist with governance of the Centre and to ensure it is fully connected to ongoing work in the equity area.
“Supported by Curtin’s own resources, the Centre will employ its own staff and PhD students as well as running a national competitive grants program open to researchers and practitioners across Australia to conduct research and evaluation projects on equity initiatives in universities.”
Professor Hacket said Curtin had a strong track record in equity and social inclusion, and provides outreach programs in partnership with schools, other universities and training providers in regional areas and educational support in partnership with schools, businesses and charities.