Issue 2:  June, 2016
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A/Prof Sarah O’Shea | | | | @Uni_FiF

The Story Continues:
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Conversations: Retaining & Engaging FiF Learners
Did you know that over half of Australian students are first in their families to attend university? And that over a quarter of them consider leaving in their first year? Or, that during the difficult times, students are more likely to turn to family (or their community) for support? read more here

Travels: Presenting & Listening
During April, I presented to the Dundalk Institute of Technology on First-in-Family students and was interested to hear about the particular issues of young Irish school leaver students who are first in their families and communities to attend university. The Dundalk Institute has a very high proportion of students who are first in their family and community to attend university read more here 

Challenges: Uniqueness of Student Population
First-in-family students cannot be treated as one collective group but rather these learners are each unique, intersected by a diversity of social, cultural and economic factors. Additionally, those students that are older or who have caring responsibilities have significantly different experiences and needs than the younger school age cohort read more here 

Launch: Principles & Strategies

As the OLT Fellowship moves into the next phase of its program of activities, the focus will now shift to exploring the ways that these principles/strategies can actually be enacted. Such enactment will need to be contextualised to the particular needs of sites read more here

Did You Know?

*  A range of resources for FiF built upon the research evidence has been created.

*  FiF students often talked about the mode and level being important - this resulted in 'Top Tips'.

*  Interview and survey data is used to generate content: 'What I'd Wished I'd Known' and 'Let's Celebrate'.

Quotable Quotes
What do others say?


My kids are immensely proud of me, and the results I have achieved ... I earned a HD in law and a D in Sociology. Its probably the first time in my life that I have received an acknowledgment for anything...I can’t even explain how that made me feel!                                
Student 40-50 Mum of 2


If you would like to be involved in the program of activities, then please register your interest with National Teaching Fellow, A/Prof Sarah O’Shea. Sarah can work with HE institutions to develop mentoring opportunities, provide workshop sessions or partner in activities.


Newsflash! National Forum Program Details:

Details of the program and also presentations for our upcoming National Forum: Conversations about Retaining and Engaging First-in-Family Learners in HE have been released; we are also calling for Lightening Presentations on Best Practice. So, if you are doing something interesting with first-in-family learners and want to share it, click here for the Lightening Presentation info to find out how you can submit a Lightening Presentation - expressions of interest will be received up until 15 August, 2016.
24th – 25th November 2016, University of Wollongong more details available here

Thank you for taking the time to read through the second edition of the First-in-Family newsletter, as you can see momentum around this fellowship is gathering, with much continued interest from stakeholders. I am looking forward to further engagement over the coming months as I roll out the National Principles and also the tips and strategies for engaging with the family of FiF learners. I will also be developing an online toolkit that may be of interest to those of you involved in equity and outreach work.

Follow this link for more about this project. Also, don’t forget to register your interest for program activities, or if you would like to share examples of best practice you can email me.

Warm regards, Sarah

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