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The Australian Student Equity Symposium: University leaders, policymakers and youth representatives to gather for national first

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The Australian Centre for Student Equity and Success (ACSES) will host its inaugural ‘Access, Achievement, Accord 2024: The Australian Student Equity Symposium’ in Sydney on 21-22 May 2024.

The event will bring together university leaders, experts, policymakers, youth representatives and practitioners to discuss critical issues concerning student equity against a backdrop of the Australian Universities Accord final report and recommendations.

‘Access, Achievement, Accord 2024’ will serve as a platform for sharing innovative ideas, exploring best practices and addressing specific sector-wide challenges amid reforms to close the gap for Australia’s disadvantaged and marginalised students.

The Symposium will be opened by Minister of Education the Hon. Jason Clare MP, who released the Australian Universities Accord Final Report on 25 February 2024.

Other speakers include Professor Mary O’Kane (Ministerial Accord Panel Chair), the Hon. Fiona Nash (Regional Education Commissioner), Professor Barney Glover AO (Jobs and Skills Australia Commissioner), Dr Omar Khan (Chief Executive at Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education, UK), the Hon. Ken Wyatt AM (Former Minister for Indigenous Australians), among other leaders.

ACSES Director of Policy and Research Professor Ian Li, who is overseeing the event, said it was exciting to be able to bring together such a diverse and high-calibre group within the higher education and student equity space.

“It is imperative all the different parts of the system work together in order to create real change for student equity in Australia,” Professor Li said.

“This event will bring together the decision-makers and those working on the front lines of student equity. There will be discussions about the outcomes of the Universities Accord as well as hearing from students directly about their lived experiences—all with the aim to better address the challenges the sector is facing.”

ACSES Executive Director Professor Shamit Saggar said the Symposium was a chance for the sector to put the Accord recommendations into practice and work towards a shared goal—universities for all Australians irrespective of background.

“ACSES is the national authority on student equity, and we have the solutions to help universities close their equity gaps. With the Accord signalling a new era in student equity, the Symposium is perfectly timed for all 39 universities to come together to collaborate and learn about best practice in the field so they can begin to implement the report’s recommendations,” Professor Saggar said.

The Symposium will be held at Western Sydney University’s Bankstown City Campus on 21-22 May 2024. Due to limited attendance capacity, registration is by invitation only.

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