You going to uni?’: Exploring how regional people navigate into and through higher education
 
(HREC2019/486)
WHAT IS THIS STUDY ABOUT?
This project aims to address a gap in understanding of how students who are from regional areas navigate their movement into and through university.

The aim of this study is to privilege the voice of people from regional areas studying at university to explore their perspectives on future goals and perceptions of barriers to completing their studies. The decision-making process to attend university (i.e. ranging from moving away to uni, to staying and studying online) can quite complex for regional students and this project aims to understand these complexities, through the perspectives of regional students themselves.

A qualitative research design will be used to avoid ‘collective or mythic constructions’ of these environments and issues, and identify approaches to better supporting students from regional areas to realise personal aspirations and equitable access to what students desire in life

WHO IS CONDUCTING THE STUDY?
Dr Janine Delahunty
National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education 2020 Equity Fellow
Lecturer, Learning Teaching & Curriculum
University of Wollongong. email: janined@uow.edu.au

WHO IS FUNDING THE STUDY?
The National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) grant (Curtin University, WA)

WHO WILL PARTICIPATE?
Staff in Australia who are in roles that support regional university students

WHAT WILL PARTICIPANTS BE ASKED TO DO?
Participants will be invited to one semi-structured interview (by phone, to meet COVID19 requirements) which should take no longer than 30-45 minutes. Alternatively, participants may choose to complete an anonymous online survey which should take no more than 10-20 minutes.

Interviews will be audio-recorded for transcription purposes. You may request a copy of the transcript. Only the named investigator(s) will have access to the data. The transcriptionist will provide signed agreement to confidentiality.

Participants will also be given the opportunity to opt into providing feedback on the draft resources and recommendations
WHAT TYPES OF QUESTIONS WILL BE ASKED?
The kinds of questions that will be asked in the interview and the survey are:·      
  • What is your university role?
  • What kind of support do you provide regional students?
  • What are some of the specific issues that regional students experience?
  • What are the types of issues that students from regional areas encounter when deciding to enrol in university study?
  • What have you found helpful in supporting regional students navigating the movement to university, and/or with persisting?
  • What recommendations do you have for better supporting regional students?
ARE THERE ANY RISKS?
The research requires 30-45 minutes of your time for the interview or 10-20 minutes for the survey. While we foresee no risk to you, should participation unintentionally cause anxiety you are encouraged to contact your university’s counselling service or Lifeline (131 114, Australia)

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE RESULTS?
In the reporting of results the identity of individual participants will not be disclosed. All data will be de-identified before analysis commences. Findings from the study will contribute to drafting support resources, such as a reflective tool for regional students, as well as recommendations to improve retention of regional students.

The results may also be published in academic journals or presented at conference presentations. Confidentiality is assured and you will not be identified in any part of the research dissemination.

DO I HAVE TO PARTICIPATE?
No. Your involvement in the study is voluntary, so you may withdraw from the study at any time and withdraw any data that you have provided to that point. Refusal to participate in the study or withdraw will not affect your relationship with the researcher, or the universities involved. If you would like to withdraw please email or contact Janine Delahunty (details above) and she will arrange to withdraw your data from the project. Please note that it is not possible to withdraw anonymous survey data once submitted

HOW CAN I SIGN UP FOR THE STUDY?
If you would like to participate in an interview please contact Janine Delahunty janined@uow.edu.au

If you prefer to complete the survey please click on this link

ETHICS REVIEW AND COMPLAINTS: This study has been reviewed by the Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Wollongong (HREC2019/486). Ongoing monitoring of the research is the responsibility of the researchers listed above, and annual progress reports are to be submitted by the researchers to the UOW Research Ethics Unit. If you have any concerns or complaints regarding the way this research has been conducted, you can contact the UoW Ethics Officer on +61 2 4221 3386 or email rso-ethics@uow.edu.au.

Thank you for your interest in this study
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