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This content is taken from the UNSW Sydney's online course, Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Join the course to learn more.

Our students, our learners

We start this course by looking at student approaches to learning but first we would like to find out something about the students that you work with in your context.

In an increasingly demand-driven system, we are seeing growing student participation in higher education. In Australia, for example, there has been an almost 70 per cent increase in student places between 2001 and 2014, from approximately 588,000 to more than 977,000 places (Universities Australia, 2015).

The increase in student participation rates is also resulting in a corresponding increase in the diversity of the student cohort. Diversity can refer to cultural, ethnic, religious, social and economic background and to gender and orientation. Many universities have inclusivity programs and policies to support their diverse student bodies. As teachers and designers of good learning, we need to know our students so that we can design an inclusive learning experience to meet their learning needs.

Talking point

Choose one of the following two options:

Post one fact about students in your context (include a link to the source of this particular fact).


Post the name of a policy or program offered by your organisation that aims to address and supports student diversity and/or inclusivity (and support this with the url for that policy or program).


Universities Australia (2015). Higher education and research facts and figures. November 2015. Canberra: Author.

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This article is from the free online course:

Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

UNSW Sydney