Invited Speaker Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency Conference 2019

Carers We See You Exploring Best Practice in Supporting Student Carers (#25)

Paula Gleeson 1
  1. University of Technology Sydney, Broadway, NSW, Australia

There are approximately 44,000 unpaid family and friend carers in NSW currently attending university, with under half (45%) aged under 24 years. Carers, particularly young carers, commonly report lacking support from institutions regarding flexibility to assist carers to balance their studies with their caring responsibilities. While there have been efforts to increase the support available to student carers, there lacks a consistent approach across universities in identifying and supporting the needs of carers. This presentation will explore systemic policy issues which can lead to inconsistent academic experiences for student carers. The current practices of universities will be explored with student carers and staff tasked with supporting student carers, highlighting the issues that carers encounter when seeking to complete their tertiary education. Following this, the presenters will highlight the practices currently being implemented in Australian universities to better support student carers. Finally, referencing international best practice models, the presentation will propose recommendations to ensure the application of a consistent and best-practice approach to supporting student carers.