Despite 5,500 members of the armed forces entering civilian life each year, military veterans are largely invisible within Australian universities.
Why so few veterans are entering higher education in order to reskill and reboot new careers and the hurdles they find along the ways are the subject of a new research report by academics from La Trobe University (There has also been an academic paper published).
It looks at access, assimilation and success of among the small number of veterans who move into higher education (around 5%) and it also seeks to assess what universities and the government could be doing better to improve participation and outcomes for veterans.
The paper comes from La Trobe’s Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research. Its director, Andrew Harvey, who is also lead author of this paper, has for a few years now being shaping up to be one of Australia’s sharpest and most incisive researchers in the equity space and is carving out niche for himself in studying hyper-disadvantaged groups. Before turning his thoughts to veterans, Harvey did some exceptional work on the considerable challenges of entering (and staying in) higher education for care leavers – those who had spent considerable time as children and young adults in foster homes and the like. It was spine-chilling and important stuff. (Wonkhe, 5th March 2019)