ANU Engagement and Success hosted the inaugural ANU First Generation Celebration event on 21 April 2021. This event was part of a larger online campaign through our Faces of ANU program, which ran throughout April 2021. The campaign aimed to connect students, alumni and staff who are first-generation through sharing their stories, establish connections at an organised event and increase the visibility of this cohort at ANU more broadly.
To follow our campaign please visit https://www.facebook.com/FacesofANU
Who are considered first generation?
Staff and students who are first in their immediate family to attend university are considered first generation. If your siblings attended university but your parents did not, you are considered first generation. This definition applies to both international and domestic students, as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students.
Why is it important to run campaigns like this?
Research* shows that almost half of Australia's university student population are 'first in family' (FiF)/first generation students. These students are known to experience a greater number of challenges throughout their journey towards and through higher education. Within Australia, 26 percent of this group reported considering leaving university in their first year of university study, a figure that increases to 34 percent for later year students. *(O'Shea, May, Stone, 2015, p.5 "Breaking the barriers: supporting and engaging first-in-family university learners and their families").
We believe that our ANU community holds a great potential to support and inspire each other and challenges that the group has overcome. Through this campaign, we collaborated with students, alumni and staff who are first-generation to share stories through Faces of ANU, the in person event established connections and increased the visibility of this cohort at ANU.
*(O’Shea, May, Stone, 2015, p.5 “Breaking the barriers: supporting and engaging first-in-family university learners and their families”).
Are you interested in hearing from others in our community you are first generation or from an underrepresented background?
ANU Engagement and Success launched season one of the “Flourishing and Floundering” podcast, which spotlights personal stories of university experiences from students, staff and alumni who identify as first generation or from an underrepresented backgrounds. These personal stories capture challenging circumstances, real life experiences and highlight each individual’s personal journey, their motivation and determination to persevere through university, to inspire new students in their transition to university life.
The audience for this campaign and podcast is new first year students, continuing students, their families and supporters who identify as first generation or from an underrepresented backgrounds alongside the broader ANU community.
Season one is available to stream here: https://anchor.fm/anuengagementandsuccess
For more information and resources for first in family students, their families and supporters please visit http://www.firstinfamily.com.au/
ANU aspires to be an inclusive and equitable university of choice. This is only possible with a better understanding of the diverse experiences of, and challenges faced by, all members of our community.
The ANU Service Experience Team is exploring the specific context of First Generation students. Our goal is to identify ways to improve these experiences and leverage the unique strengths that First Generation students bring to our community.
As a first step, we would like to learn from your experience. Through a one hour long conversation, we want to learn from you about the obstacles you faced, especially transitioning in to ANU. We also want to hear how you overcame some of these challenges.
Together, we can improve the ANU experiences for First Generation now, and into the future. So book in now to have a chat with us.