Innovative outreach programs recognised in national teaching awards
In2Uni, Learning Labs encourage young students to pursue higher education
The University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Outreach and Pathways Program was yesterday (Thursday 14 December) recognised as one of the best university programs in Australia at a ceremony in Melbourne.
The team was named a winner for Programs that Enhance Learning, in the category of Widening Participation, at the Australian Awards for University Teaching.
Federal Minister for Education the Hon Simon Birmingham presented the annual awards on behalf of the Department of Education and Training.
The UOW Outreach and Pathways Program aims to build awareness of higher education among primary and high school students, as well as those who have left school and are considering university study.
It opens up the world of higher education and captures young students’ interest through three key innovative programs: Learning Labs, In2Uni, and Pathways to Higher Education.
The team are passionate about helping young students engage with education and foster a love of lifelong learning.
The programs bring together UOW’s metropolitan and regional campuses, and build awareness of the importance of higher education in rural communities.
Professor Joe Chicharo, UOW’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), said the award recognised the integral role the Outreach and Pathways Program plays in helping young students to imagine their future at university.
“Programs such as Learning Labs and In2Uni are vital to expanding the minds of primary and high students to the possibilities of higher education,” Professor Chicharo said. “Particularly in regional communities, where higher education can feel out of reach for many young students.
“Outreach and Pathways breaks down the barriers to university and ensures every child who wishes to eventually attend university is provided with the skills and tools they need to achieve those dreams.
“This national award is a testament to the Outreach and Pathways team’s hard work and enthusiasm and recognises the importance of this program to UOW.”