In our family university was never spoken about before … and now, it’s “Oh what are you going to do? Are you going to leave school, are you going to go to uni?”

External Resources

Useful Sites from Australia

The First Year in Higher Education Centre

The FYHE aims: to create a focal point for academic staff and practitioners working to enhance first year in higher education; to disseminate information and good practice exemplars; and to bring together significant activity related to the first year experience of students

The National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)

“… the NCSEHE’s purpose is to inform public policy design and implementation, and institutional practice, in order to improve higher education participation and success for marginalised and disadvantaged people …”

MOOC – Academic Survival Skills Online: from University of Newcastle

This MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) is aimed at helping commencing students of all ages develop crucial academic skills like reading, writing and accessing information.

"Start for Success" Open Universities Australia

This is a self-paced unit offered by OUA which is free to all. It is a great unit anyone can enrol at any time and work their way through whatever they want. There is no requirement to be enrolled in any other OUA units. Click on the link above to enrol.

The Aspiration Initiative (TAI)

TAI operate a website providing educational resources, specifically targeted at Indigenous students looking to create pathways to higher education. For inspirational stories provided by Indigenous students, who have pursued a higher education and academic excellence in their field, visit this page.

Charles Sturt University – First Degree

Although this website is predominantly aimed at CSU students, it has some very good resources for any first-in-family student.

Effective teaching and support of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds: Resources for Australian higher education

The resources on this website are particularly related to teaching and supporting low SES students. Included is a link to a Student Guide from an earlier project: Advice for new Deakin students

Project U

(from the Queensland University of Technology - targeted to the younger prospective student)

project u is an initiative to encourage prospective students from low-income backgrounds to consider university study as a post-school option … It also aims to demystify issues in the decision-making process such as course choices, getting in, costs, levels of support, managing stress, setting goals and staying motivated.”

screen shot of project u site

Storify: First in Family Forum

Storify: First in Family Forum by Amani Bell

Mums who Study

Mums who Study has been developed by Bailey Bosch (2015) based on her experiences of being a mum who studies: “I noticed there was not only a lack of information about the subject, but also a lack of available for mothers who are trying to combine raising children with their own educational pursuits. On this website you will find a BLOG where I write about different aspects of the experience and share tips and findings from my research and some links to useful resources and articles. We also have a closed Facebook group where you can connect with other mums in the same boat.”

Make your Mark

Make your Mark is a resource developed by Universities Admissions Centre 2016: “Every one of you will take a different path towards achieving what you want in life. Watch and read other people's experiences to find out how they are using further education to make their mark.”


THINK YOUR WAY is a rich site that contains resources targeted at family and the community of students – while the focus is on Indigenous Students there is a wealth of information for all prospective learners (young and old) contained in this site as well as family and community members

Tips and Advice

From Better Health Channel: ‘Tertiary studies – mature age students’

From UNSW: Time Management Tips for Mature-Age Students

From University of Melbourne: Returning to Learning

From JCU: Parent and Partner Information Guide

University of Queensland

A small number of Australian universities have dedicated website for the first-in-family student, one example is the UQ site.

Stories from the UK

Stories from the UK – first in the family students talking about their experiences of attending university.

Useful sites from the U.S.

“iStudy for success!”

These resources provide a range of tutorials on most aspects of academic life aimed at US college students. While some resources may not be relevant to the Australian context, it still might be a website worth looking at.

First in the Family: Your high school years

A useful website from the US, providing videos, facts, inspiration, tips and practical resources developed from interviews with first-generation students

The "I'm first" website

Dedicated to providing advice to first-in-family students, this is complemented by a "I'm First Blog site"

Foregrounding the voice of FiF students is important and this is one example of a short video from the states