When uni drop out happens, it can be tempting to balme the student. But this is simplistic thinking at its worst.
The ways in which students from low socio-economic status in Australian higher education are thought about and talked about need some careful examination.
There are deficit conceptions of students from low socio-economic backgrounds and deficit conceptions of the institutions in which they study. But is there a more useful and progressive framing of the widening participation agenda?
The Australian federal government has set an ambitious target in an attempt to address the under-representation of students from low socioeconomic status (low SES) backgrounds in higher education: that by the year 2020, twenty per cent of higher education enrolments at undergraduate level should be from students from low SES backgrounds.