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Improving Pathways for Students from Refugee Backgrounds into Higher Education in Australia

Friday 5 July: Conference day three, 11:00am – 11:30am parallel session



Room 7 – 301-G053 Med Chem



Sonal Singh
Macquarie University, Australia



Education for all, regardless of their background, is a fundamental human right. In 2013, the largest proportion of the humanitarian visa applications to Australia was in the age group of 15–19 years with the majority of youths experiencing disrupted schooling over the years. It is therefore of critical importance that universities explore strategies and programs to facilitate a smoother transition to higher education for students from refugee backgrounds.  Several universities have initiated programs to support this cohort, but as yet there has been no forum for collaboration in sharing of research outcomes and exchange of best practice among practitioners.

The goal of the proposed roundtable is to foster, promote, and communicate high-quality research and best practice in providing access and participation support for students from refugee backgrounds towards higher education.

The roundtable will be divided into two sections.

The sections covered will be:

  1. An introduction to major issues faced by refugees and the role education sector plays in the resettlement policy. This section will provide a forum for networking and exchange of research and evaluation information between researchers and providers of refugee support initiatives at universities and other relevant stakeholders across Australia; and
  2. Identification of best practice across the education sector in transition support for students from refugee backgrounds in Australian and NZ universities. The audience will be invited to discuss the General Support, Procedural Support, Academic and Language Support and Sociocultural Support provided by universities.

The session will wrap up with the audience given the opportunity to discuss and reflect the issues discussed and how they could apply it in their work /research context. A networking online group will also be set up to share regular updates with the audience.

The primary audience of this rountable is the growing interdisciplinary body of university researchers and academics who work in areas associated with refugee student support, language support staff, and practitioners working with students from refugee backgrounds or humanitarian entrants, who are looking for updates on current research initiatives and to share best practice on a nationally important topic.

The presenter has over 10 years’ experience working refuges to access and succeed higher education in Australia. The presenter has developed transition programs and resources for refugee students in higher education, managed mentoring programs for high school student from refugee backgrounds, and coordinated refugee success programs for final year students for transition out into employability.


Presentation topic

Students – Wellbeing and Success 

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