Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program

Deakin promotes access to higher education and successful participation in undergraduate courses by students from low socio-economic status backgrounds. Our evidence-based program of initiatives is funded by the Commonwealth Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP).

Our values

Our work is underpinned by the Deakin Values: Excellent, Ethical, Inclusive and Sustainable. Our work is supported by policies and culture that promotes inclusion and diversity for all staff and students. We believe that a fair and diverse workplace is a key part of a quality, innovative organisation. We believe that our diverse students are an asset to both our classrooms and the workplaces into which they will graduate.

Our programs

Deakin provides programs aimed at the successful participation and completion in undergraduate courses by students from low socio-economic backgrounds, including those living in rural and remote areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, migrants and refugees. Deakin received $4.83M in Commonwealth Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) funding in 2018 from a national pool of $145.5M for all Australian universities.

Educational disadvantage is a long-term problem requiring productive community partnerships. Around 25% of our HEPPP-funded resources are directed towards ongoing partnerships with low socio-economic schools in the communities Deakin serves, to ensure students are aware, motivated and academically prepared to come to university. The other 75% of our resources support the transition, progress and success of our low socio-economic students once they get to university.

Pre-uni programs

Deakin Engagement and Access Program (DEAP)

DEAP encourages primary and secondary school students’ achievement and aspiration towards higher education.

We run activities with students from Year 3 to Year 12 in collaboration with around 33 schools, and with community partners including the Ardoch Foundation, The Smith Family Australia, Diversitat and the Foundation for Young Australians.

Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME)

AIME trains university students to mentor Indigenous school students and support them on a journey to further learning, work or university. AIME is a partner to Deakin, hosting its programs in Melbourne, Geelong and Warrnambool. AIME has been able to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous participation rates in post-secondary education or work – from 42% to 75% plus.


Academic enrichment programs to support university aspiration.

At uni programs

Priority Students Program

Enhances early intervention strategies and helps improve retention by:

  • identifying when students are falling behind
  • calling students personally to diagnose and refer to support services
  • using insight from calls to identify opportunities for improvement,

Equity scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships to address financial hardship and disadvantage:

Students Helping Students

No one understands what it's like to be a student better than a student. This project includes several peer support schemes:

  • peer-assisted study sessions
  • students Helping Students hub
  • student writing mentors
  • faculty peer-mentoring schemes.

Inclusive Curriculum and Digital Accessibility

Improvements made to a subject to make it more inclusive for disabled, indigenous or multicultural learners also tend to make it more accessible for all learners.

This project develops toolkits, checklists, exemplars and training programs to bring a broader awareness of the benefits of designing inclusive units to the Deakin teaching and learning community. Data on units which have undergone inclusive redesign have shown improvements to marks and success rates.

Deakin staff can learn more and find resources at the Inclusive Curriculum and Capacity Building project blog.

Deakin Learning Centres

The Deakin Learning Centres located at Craigieburn, Dandenong, Lilydale and Werribee offer study facilities, student services and academic support to all students studying at a campus or online.

Without having to travel to a Deakin campus, students can access face-to-face advice and support, writing mentors, computer and printing facilities and study spaces for individual or group work.

Evaluation and quality improvement

We are strengthening our processes to evaluate the outcomes of our HEPPP program of work; provide feedback to staff, Faculties and communities; report to government; and make improvements.

Contact us

Sarah Lambert
Manager, HEPPP, Equity and Diversity
+61 3 924 68115