Australian universities and educational equity for student veterans

Veterans are a disadvantaged group who are prone to mental health issues, unemployment, and substance abuse. One way to address this cycle of disadvantage is to support the inclusion and education of veterans at universities.

Existing research on veterans at Australian universities has highlighted some of the difficulties facing student veteran’s participation in higher education. There is no information about how Australian universities recognise, support and govern student veterans. Our consortia of four universities (Flinders, Uni SA, La Trobe and Newcastle with the Australian Student Veterans Association) has investigated how Australian universities, and key government departments, address the educational equity needs of student veterans. We used interviews, focus groups and document analyses. Our findings suggest that only a few Australian universities are undertaking discrete veteran entry pathways but that existing equity policy and processes in universities do support veterans.

Veterans in higher education is largely invisible and not much is know about this specific group. Australia is at the beginning of a process of acknowledging and supporting student veterans.

Associate Professor Ben Wadham, Associate Professor Melanie Takarangi, Dr Brad West

Research undertaken thanks to the National Centre for Student equity in Higher Education | $36,230


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