Technology for access to learning – help or hindrance?

An online event open to all

World Access to Higher Education Day – November 26, 2019

Follow the conversation and events via Twitter with #WAHED2019

World Access to Higher Education Day highlights the disparities in access to education – particularly higher education – worldwide.  The annual event being held on November 26, 2019 will bring together universities, vocational and further education providers, communities, industry, and government to focus on the role these institutions play in addressing, whilst also contributing to, the issue of access.

We’re inviting anyone with an interest in the future of Australian education to join us online from your home, workplace, or classroom.

November 26, 2019 is a call to action.  Events will engage participants with the key questions for their local areas, and critically ask for commitment to reducing inequality and widening participation in higher education.

This year, we take a critical lens on the role of online education and educational technology and the promise of equitable access to higher education.  Most Australian universities are investing heavily in online education as a way to offer flexible options, and to capture a wider market of students domestically and internationally.  To what extent though, do these initiatives further marginalise those already struggling with the ‘digital divide’?

Consider the following factors that directly affect access to, and completion of a university degree:


of Australian households are not connected to the internet.  This figure has not improved since 2014.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2018)


students will ‘drop out’of Australian universities this year, leaving the institution with no degree and an average student debt of $12,000

(Grattan Institute, 2018)

$42.3 billion

is the current amount of Australian student debt owed to the Commonwealth Government, a figure that grows by $2b per year

(Grattan Institute, 2015)


of Australian domestic students will fail a subject in their first year; 15% of international students will fail a subject in their first year.

(Grattan Institute, 2018)