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The implications of COVID-19 for student equity in Australian higher education

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The COVID-19 pandemic has both widened and exacerbated student equity issues in Australian higher education, just as it has increased economic and social disadvantage in the general population. This article identifies the immediate impacts of the pandemic on existing equity structures, mapping potential areas for research analysis and policy responses. Given the pervasive nature of COVID-19, it is proposed that a whole-of-system approach be used, and in addition to focusing on existing student equity categorisations, a holistic approach to understanding disadvantage over the university student life cycle is undertaken to ensure the response to this health crisis is both targeted and timely. The article identifies emerging repercussions of the pandemic that will drive long-term structural changes in Australian higher education, as well as the community and labour market. Based on these observations, the key challenges facing the student equity sector are identified and possible responses provided.

Publication Date


  • 2021

Citation


  • O���Shea, S., Koshy, P., & Drane, C. (2021). The implications of COVID-19 for student equity in Australian higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 43(6), 576-591. doi:10.1080/1360080X.2021.1933305

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85107372324

Start Page


  • 576

End Page


  • 591

Volume


  • 43

Issue


  • 6

Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • The COVID-19 pandemic has both widened and exacerbated student equity issues in Australian higher education, just as it has increased economic and social disadvantage in the general population. This article identifies the immediate impacts of the pandemic on existing equity structures, mapping potential areas for research analysis and policy responses. Given the pervasive nature of COVID-19, it is proposed that a whole-of-system approach be used, and in addition to focusing on existing student equity categorisations, a holistic approach to understanding disadvantage over the university student life cycle is undertaken to ensure the response to this health crisis is both targeted and timely. The article identifies emerging repercussions of the pandemic that will drive long-term structural changes in Australian higher education, as well as the community and labour market. Based on these observations, the key challenges facing the student equity sector are identified and possible responses provided.

Publication Date


  • 2021

Citation


  • O���Shea, S., Koshy, P., & Drane, C. (2021). The implications of COVID-19 for student equity in Australian higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 43(6), 576-591. doi:10.1080/1360080X.2021.1933305

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85107372324

Start Page


  • 576

End Page


  • 591

Volume


  • 43

Issue


  • 6

Place Of Publication