This study compares the university aspirations of a cohort of rural young people to a sample of outer-metropolitan youth of the same age and similar socio-economic background from Western Australia. The hypothesis was that aspects of the rural context adversely affect the university aspirations of rural youth. Two assumptions were made: university does have the potential to provide the graduate with significant advantages; and the significant underrepresentation of rural youth at universities should be a concern for governments and universities. In this study, the concept of 'university aspiration' provided the focus for comparative research into the factors that influence the career behaviour of two cohorts of Year 11 students studied. Students' aspirations for university study and the factors related to their aspirations were the same for both areas. However, there were minor, but statistically significant, differences, which suggest that a more in-depth understanding of local rural situations is required to understand the factors that influence their university aspirations. The authors conclude that recent policy emphasis targeting disadvantaged outer-metropolitan areas is also appropriate and should complement efforts to encourage the enrolment in university of rural and isolated students.
|Journal||Australian Journal of Career Development|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|