Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Mills, A. & McLaughlin, P. (April, 2011). Achieving Diversity: Pathways may be the solution. Paper presented at 36th Annual Conference for Australian University Building Educators, Bond University, Gold Coast.


This paper examines the role of pathways in increasing the diversity of higher education student cohorts. The Commonwealth Government has as its higher education reform agenda the increased participation of under-represented groups to a 20% diversity target for Australian universities. Yet for many universities, reaching this target will require significant changes to entry and access conditions. This paper examines two case studies of construction education pathways and evaluates their effectiveness in addressing diversity using the DEMO matrix developed by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE). The first case study was based on a VET in Schools model that articulates school students into construction courses in TAFE and higher education. The second case study targets mature aged people who do not have formal qualifications in construction, but wish to participate in higher education. The results indicate that pathways into construction degrees can improve student equity ratios, but element such as learner engagement, confidence, resources and collaboration are critical features of successful pathways. These results have important implications for future decision making regarding university articulation models in light of higher education diversity targets.



This document has been peer reviewed.