Southern Cross University has a very diverse student population. In 2013:
- 22% of the student cohort came from a low socioeconomic area
- 64% of the cohort were first in their family to attend university
- 3.2% identified themselves as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background, and
- 14% were international students
These students studied in a variety of modes:
- 38% were external / distance students
- 36% were internal students, and
- 26% studied in a mixed mode.
In early 2014, a survey was sent to 2nd year students from across all schools at SCU asking them about the diversity group/s they belonged to, and their experiences of learning in their first year. Table 1 shows the diversity groups that the 143 respondents identified themselves as belonging to, reflecting the diverse nature of the SCU student cohort, as well as revealing more about their diversity.
Table 1: Diversity of the Student Voice
|Diversity Group||Number of Responses||% of Cohort|
|Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander||7||4.9%|
|First in family to attend university (not including siblings)||75||52.5%|
|Mature-aged (20 years or older)||81||56.6%|
|Born in non-English speaking country||16||11.2%|
|Child caring responsibilities||41||28.7%|
|Undertake more than 16 hours of paid work/ week||58||40.56%|
Table 1 also reveals that many of the respondents identified themselves as belonging to more than one diversity group.
From their experiences of learning in the first year, the students were asked what helped them to learn.
Find out what the students said in the ' What helps' information sheet.
For more insights from the students, see the Postcard resources below which belong to an element of the SCU Inclusive Curricula & Teaching model. The postcard details have been taken from the survey comments as expressed by the students.
Funding for the Inclusive Curricula and Teaching Project (2013 - 2014) was provided by the Commonwealth Government's Higher Education Participation Programme (HEPP).