A representative from UOW works with four students from Woolyungah Summer Camp at UOW Makerspace. Photo: Paul Jones

Universities Accord praised for focus on equity

Universities Accord praised for focus on equity

Final Report backs student-centred approach says UOW Indigenous Strategy and Engagement Vice-President

University of Wollongong (UOW) Vice-President, Indigenous Strategy and Engagement, Jaymee Beveridge has welcomed the Australian Universities Accord Final Report, and its focus on pragmatic initiatives that reward institutions for investing in a student-centred approach.

“I welcome the release of the Australian Universities Accord Final Report, and support many of its recommendations,” Ms Beveridge said.

“It is refreshing to see the Report goes beyond just recognising the varied needs of specific cohorts of students and offers pragmatic initiatives that financially reward institutions for their commitment to the long game – investing resources in a student-centred approach.

“We pride ourselves on the work we do at UOW with our First Nations students, with rural and regional students, and with students from other underrepresented groups.

“Building students’ aspirations in high school and walking beside them all the way through to their graduation is at the heart of what we do. Our students’ academic and research successes provide us with purpose.

“All of our campuses, in Wollongong, Shoalhaven, Southern Highlands, Eurobodalla, Bega Valley, Liverpool and Sutherland, are deeply anchored in their local communities and that has been fundamental to any successes we have had.

“The recommendations for needs-based student funding to address inequities in the system is reassuring and signals a commitment to long-term investment in tertiary education in Australia.

“In recent years, UOW has been supporting First Nations self-determination through decision-making, program development and delivery. 

“I love that the Accord recognises the riches and benefits of weaving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing, being and doing into the fabric of tertiary education. It also reinforces that UOW’s commitment to deliver on self-determination is the right way forward nationally.

“The Accord recommendations extend beyond creating culturally safe campuses and institutions and recommends a First Nations-led review to explore graduate attributes that can contribute to creating culturally safe workplaces globally.”

Jaymee Beveridge was appointed Vice-President, Indigenous Strategy and Engagement, in 2023 to champion the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders students and staff, and drive UOW’s progress in creating a place where inclusion, respect, equity, and diversity are at the heart of every decision.

Prior to this, she served as the Executive Director (Indigenous Strategy) from 2021 and has been the Director of Woolyungah Indigenous Centre at UOW since 2018. She is proud Aboriginal woman with family ties to the Torres Strait Islands.