Aspire UWA

Working together for a brighter future.

Aspire UWA works with more than 60 partner schools and communities in regional Western Australia and Perth to raise aspirations for tertiary education. We encourage students who would not normally consider university to see the benefits and opportunities that university study offers.

We work closely with Western Australian high school students to inspire and educate them about the benefits and opportunities of university study. Our work is funded by UWA, and our supporters include the Alcoa Foundation, BHP, the Water Corporation and generous individuals.

We work with secondary school students in the Gascoyne, Kimberley, Mid West, Pilbara and Perth to raise aspirations, build academic capacity and create wonderful for success and life-long learning. Our students attend schools that traditionally have some of the lowest transfer rates to higher education of any in the nation. Aspire UWA and our partner schools promote a culture of academic achievement and a desire for learning that changes lives.

More than 40,000 students, teachers and families have been engaged in our campus, school and community-based activities since the program began in 2009.

The Aspire UWA team is recognised as one of Australia’s most outstanding university programs contributing to the quality of student learning and student experience in higher education. They have set a benchmark for similar programs. The Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training

 

About the program

Our researchers, teachers, student ambassadors and staff deliver innovative hands-on activities showcasing future study options. We aim to build a culture where higher education is an expectation rather than the exception. 

Our partner schools value the relationship developed with each individual school, and activities are tailored to each school and to each year group. Younger students enjoy active exploration of different disciplinary areas, while the reality of studying at university is reinforced for older students through teaching advanced study skills, revision workshops and exposure to some of WA’s best and brightest minds.

Our University partners, the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and the School of Indigenous Studies, provide specialist support to complement our engagement strategy, and staff and students from all across the University contribute to our success.

Our target groups include students from low socio-economic backgrounds; Indigenous students; students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; and students who would be the first in their family to attend university.

Our impact

Principals, teachers and school support staff have provided information on their perceptions of the program through questionnaire surveys, focus groups and interviews. In a partner school survey, staff identified marked improvements in students' attitudes to higher education that they attributed to Aspire UWA’s influence. The positive endorsements of school partners prove the Aspire UWA team delivers a highly effective program, valued and respected by its partners.

  • 99 per cent report the Aspire UWA program is valued by their school
  • 97 per cent are satisfied or highly satisfied with the quality and the range of the activities offered by Aspire UWA
  • 96 per cent agree that Aspire UWA is a very effective program.

High school students

All Aspire UWA partner schools are part of Broadway UWA. This means students from your school will be eligible for an offer of admission to one of our three-year undergraduate degrees at UWA if you receive a ATAR of 75 or above.

If you face financial hardship or other difficult circumstances, you may wish to consider Fairway UWA. Students who complete Fairway throughout Year 12 will be eligible for an offer of admission in their choice of our three-year undergraduate degrees with an ATAR of 70 or above.

Other pathways you could consider for entry to UWA include via the School of Indigenous Studies' outreach program or, for medicine and dentistry, visit the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences' admission page.

Helpful links

Aspire UWA was definitely one of the best things we had at school. When you look at who came out of Karratha in terms of who ended up aiming for and going to uni, it was the group that went to Aspire and had a lot of contact. Through Aspire UWA we became a tightknit group; we still spend a lot of time together and that was all through Aspire UWA. Sharna, Arts student and Karratha SHS graduate

Volunteers and alumni

If you’re a current student, you can volunteer with Aspire UWA as a Student Ambassador or, if you’ve graduated, join the Aspire/Fairway Alumni Network. This provides an opportunity for alumni who have participated in Aspire UWA and Fairway UWA to stay connected and involved in the programs once they graduate. Contact Cate Morris for more information.
The program:
  • provides academic and career development support to high school and university students
  • offers mentoring to university students
  • raises the aspirations of high school students
  • inspires students with the lived experiences of our alumni
Having acted in an Ambassador role, I believe I have significantly developed my leadership, communication and teamwork skills, which in today's workforce are almost more important than our technical skills. Courtney Alderdice, Aspire UWA Student Ambassador

 

Student Ambassadors

Our Student Ambassadors are one of Aspire UWA's greatest assets. When their former teachers see them in action confidently leading learning activities and demonstrating their potential, they are inspired to believe their current students can also succeed at university.

Our Ambassadors are able to closely relate to high school students and share recent experiences of the journey from high school to university. In some cases, the Ambassadors know the high school students, which creates an even greater opportunity to forge relationships and openly discuss the challenges and benefits associated with attending university. By providing a role model, Ambassadors help students see that they too can aspire to tertiary education. Become an Aspire UWA Student Ambassador and show high school students that uni is for everyone.

What you'll do as an Ambassador

  • Participate in Aspire UWA events and activities, including camps, visits to our partner schools and on-campus events
  • Encourage high school students by sharing your journey to university
  • Show high school students why university, and UWA, is worth considering

What you'll get out of it

  • The knowledge that you are giving back and helping others
  • Opportunities to gain leadership skills and experience in public speaking
  • Receive training in working with teenagers and culturally diverse communities
  • Meet like-minded uni students and attend social events throughout the year
  • Opportunities to network with the University Executive, politicians and business and industry leaders
  • Have your contribution recognised on your UWA volunteering transcript

How to become a Student Ambassador

  • Have an interest in helping high school students aspire to university.
  • Be able to contribute to events and activities throughout their year (no minimum commitment required)
  • Contact the Aspire office.
Working with Aspire as a Student Ambassador has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me at uni. When I led students from my high school for the first time, it was very satisfying to hear their excitement about the idea of coming to uni. These were kids that wouldn't even think for a second about the prospect of tertiary studies. Never underestimate just how much you can impact the lives of students in just five hours.Lewis Teixeira from Hamilton SHS, Bachelor of Science student

How you can help

We encourage anyone with an interest in creating opportunities for disadvantaged students to consider supporting Aspire UWA in our future activities.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss how you can open doors for young people to explore their dreams. By choosing to support Aspire UWA you will be creating the future generation of society’s leaders.

To discuss supporting Aspire UWA, contact: 

Elisa McGowan
Manager, Equity Outreach
+61 8 6488 3646
elisa.mcgowan@uwa.edu.au

Fiona Allan
Development and Alumni Relations
+61 8 6488 4772
fiona.allan@uwa.edu.au

Are you a teacher or other staff member at one of our partner schools? Contact us for dates for upcoming events at aspire@uwa.edu.au or on 08 6488 6855.

 

Our partner schools

Contact the Aspire UWA team

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Location

First Floor, Social Sciences Building (South Wing), The University of Western Australia, Perth Western Australia 6009

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non-assessed

Office hours

8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday