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The Role of Schools

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Abstract

School attitudes and the processes put in place for the support of students are the starting place for successful transitions to university . Drawing on focus groups with refugee background youth in school settings who aspired to attend university, along with interviews of mainstream and specialist English as an Additional Dialect [EAL/D] teachers, EAL/D support staff and administrators, this chapter examines the key role that schools can play in supporting and/constraining school-to-university transition . In particular, it identifies the major enablers and barriers for fostering successful transition. Findings suggest that transition into university from school was rarely dependent on previous educational experience, but a combination of individual ambition and the support young people received in helping them to engage with the system (Brownlees & Finch, 2010, p. 95). This is where teachers played a crucial role as cultural mediators between school and university, as they initiated students into the new logic of practice from school to university.

Sections of this chapter are drawn from the Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Case Study Report: Supporting schooluniversity pathways for refugee students ’ access and participation in tertiary education (Naidoo et al., 2015). These sections have been republished with the permission of the OLT.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Names and some locales in this chapter are pseudonyms to protect participants’ identity.

  2. 2.

    As asylum seekers, students are not eligible for subsidised tertiary education and must pay the same fees as international students. The cost of these fees is out of the reach of the vast majority of asylum seekers. In 2016, however, in recognition of this major social justice issue, a number of Australian universities began to offer scholarships for asylum seekers to undertake tertiary studies.

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Correspondence to Loshini Naidoo .

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Naidoo, L., Wilkinson, J., Adoniou, M., Langat, K. (2018). The Role of Schools. In: Refugee Background Students Transitioning Into Higher Education. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0420-0_5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0420-0_5

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