In October, the Federal Government launched a multi-pronged initiative to spread economic progress equally across all states through its Population Plan – but this also had another mission – sending more students into regional schools.
This has coincided with efforts to improve access to education for students living in remote, regional and rural communities. This especially includes Indigenous students, who saw improvements when it comes to accessing higher education.
In August, the NSW also assured schools in its rural and remote communities that they would continue to have teachers.
More than just funding
To ensure the effectiveness of the Federal Government’s efforts, the 2020 Australian Research Council Discovery Early Carer Research Awards recently approved a research application from the University of Canberra to look into improving education in rural, regional and remote Australia.
Associate Professor Dr Philipp Roberts from the University’s Faculty of Education is set to receive more than $400,000 for his research in making sure education meets the needs of rural, remote and regional communities.
In order to better understand “existing and unique knowledges” in communities outside cities, the study will result in a detailed analysis on the school systems, communities and various case studies in six rural, regional and remote communities.
Dr Roberts will also be looking into the influences on curriculum access and achievement as well as how these communities understand educational success.
These will then be used to improve contemporary and metropolitan-focused education.
“It is quite humbling to have that validation and to have the support of the assessment panel and the peak research body. It is career-defining in many ways. Once you are recognised by the ARC, you have made it,” Dr Robert said.
Other researchers also receive grants
Two other researchers also received grants worth around $400,000 each: Assistant Professor Dr Mohammad Abualsheikh will be leading a study on privacy coupling and personal devices while Assistant Professor Dr Munawar Hayat will be researching on the empathy in robots through future AI machines.
Leigh Sullivan, Deputy Vice- Chancellor, Research and Innovation, said the new grants serve as “testament to the dedication of these researchers to pursue innovative, future-forward research at the University.”