Revisiting disadvantage: supporting new strength-based approaches to belonging and social inclusion for young people in education

For over a quarter of a century the same groups of young people have fared badly in education. The Bradley Review (2008) identifies the need for tertiary education to address the poor representation of young people from low socio-economic backgrounds, young people with a disability, Indigenous people and young people from rural areas as especially under represented in universities.

This project analyses existing data bases, drawing on inter-disciplinary perspectives, to catalyse new thinking about the ways in which disadvantaged groups of young people access resources. Taking a strength-based approach, it generates new knowledge about the ways in which the ‘at risk’ are connected, and identifies the diversity of institutional and learning processes that are positively enabling for disadvantaged young people.

This project was funded by the Australian Government's Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) in 2012.


Johanna Wyn [Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, MGSE, UoM]

Ani Wierenga [Youth Research Centre, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, MGSE, UoM]

Ebeny Wood [Beacon Foundation Australia]

Research outputs

Wierenga A., Landstedt E. & Wyn J. (2013) Revisiting disadvantage in higher education. Melbourne: University of Melbourne

Wyn J. & Wierenga A. (2013) Schools and universities are not railway stationsProvocation piece written for the project. Melbourne: University of Melbourne