The University of Western Australia has joined with Edith Cowan University to deliver the Children’s University Australasia program in Western Australia, to nurture aspirations and a love of learning from an early age.
The Children’s University WA Partnership between ECU and UWA is the first example in Australia of the program being delivered as a collaboration between two universities in one state.
Commissioner for Children and Young People Colin Pettit has been appointed Vice-Chancellor of Children’s University in WA.
ECU was the first university in WA to offer the program, graduating its first students in November 2017.
The program provides primary school students with access to extra-curricular learning opportunities through a ‘Passport to Learning’.
“Participation in the Children’s University builds self-confidence in children and leads to improvements in behaviour, aspirations and achievement.”
Professor David Sadler
Students record their learning hours across the year before attending a graduation ceremony on campus, wearing caps and gowns just like older university students.
UWA Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor David Sadler welcomed the partnership with ECU to provide access to learning opportunities for children and as part of a long-term commitment to address education inequity.
“Extensive evaluations across Australia and other parts of the world demonstrate that participation in the Children’s University builds self-confidence in children and leads to improvements in behaviour, aspirations and achievement,” Professor Sadler said.
“Our education strategy emphasises the importance of encouraging lifelong learning and accessibility of education for all.”
“This partnership is about the children of Western Australia and providing access to learning experiences that might not otherwise be available.”
Professor Stephen Winn
ECU School of Education Executive Dean Professor Stephen Winn said the partnership was an example of shared values and goals to broaden educational and learning opportunities for children who might otherwise not be able to have these learning experiences.
“Education is a key element of ECU and importantly this partnership is about the children of Western Australia and providing access to learning experiences that might not otherwise be available.” Professor Winn said.
Children’s University WA Partnership is working with schools across WA including Perth, Albany and the Peel region, especially those in communities that experience socio-economic disadvantage.
In addition to partnering with schools, the Partnership works with ‘Learning Destinations’ where children can ‘travel’ with their Passports to Learning. Learning Destinations in WA include Scitech, Perth Zoo, Art Gallery of WA, State Library of WA, and many more local learning providers.