Supporting carers to succeed in Australian higher education
Australians who care for people with a disability, illness, or a broader need often embody many of the qualities sought by universities. In providing unpaid labour to support family members and friends, carers typically demonstrate resilience, selflessness, and a commitment to societal health, wellbeing, and cohesion. Provision of this critical support is often required while simultaneously managing high demands on time and limited financial resources (ABS 2018a, 2018b). Young carers in particular have been identified as holding relatively low levels of education (Department of Social Services [DSS], 2019). The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the challenges for carers. Collectively, evidence suggests both a need and an opportunity for universities to develop specific policies to attract and support those who care for others.