Rural students struggle

Only 19 per cent of rural high school students who complete high school go on to higher education, yet 30 per cent of city students do so.

These are the findings of a recent study by Melbourne University for the National Board of Employment, Education and Training.

The study found that rural students were twice as likely to see university fees as a barrier to progress and twice as likely to to believe they could succeed in life without a university degree.

Curtin University lecturer Gary Hepworth said this was a powerful belief in many rural communities.

“However, for those students motivated to go to university, lack of access to Austudy had a major impact,” Mr Hepworth said.

“It was interesting that distance from a campus was not a big factor.

“What is much more important is that going to university is seen as less relevant to life and employment.

“The co-location of the Eastern Goldfields Senior High School with Curtin Kalgoorlie may challenge this perception by high school students,” Mr Hepworth said.

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