Enabling people to ‘see what they can be’. The Community Aspirations Program (CAP-ED)

lcj 17 coverBronwyn Fredericks, Tasha Lamey, Marina Mikecz & Flavia Santamaria

LCJ: Special Edition: Indigenous Pathways and Transitions into Higher Education, 17, pp. 54-63

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Fredericks, B., Lamey, T., Mikecz, M., & Santamaria, F. (2015). Enabling people to ‘see what they can be’. The Community Aspirations Program (CAP-ED). Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts [Special Issue: Indigenous Pathways and Transitions into Higher Education], 17, 54-63. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18793/LCJ2015.17.05.



Tertiary education has traditionally been accessible to only the wealthier sections of society, despite a worldwide effort to expand access for people described as disadvantaged. Increasing tertiary education access for minority groups and/or people seen as disadvantaged is just and equitable, as it opens new opportunities to social groups that would not otherwise participate in higher education (Salmi & Bassett, 2012). In this context, equity can be defined as:

“providing equal opportunities for access and success in tertiary education. It means that circumstances beyond an individual’s control, such as birth place, gender, ethnicity, religion, language, disability, or parental income should not influence a person’s access to tertiary education opportunities and ability to take advantage of them” (Salmi & Bassett, 2012, p. 9). 

Despite a worldwide push for equitable and inclusive universities, most people who access tertiary education come from wealthy families or have a history of tertiary education in their family. In addition, most tertiary students have parental economic support (Elman & O’Rand, 2004). Several organisations have highlighted the ongoing issues of poor enrolment rates among people with low socio-economic status (SES), in developing countries and in OECD Countries (for example, World Bank, 2009 and OECD, 2006 in Salmi & Basset, 2012).


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