Charles Sturt University
  • Bathurst, NSW, Australia
Recent publications
Many first-in-family students begin their university journey not as traditional school leavers, but as mature-age students who have busy family lives, often with young children, as well as working lives to manage. While families can be powerful sources of inspiration, support and encouragement, their demands and expectations can also be problematic and stressful, at times needing careful negotiation. This chapter explores the role that family played in the lives of the mature-age students with children, who formed a significant part of the cohort in Study B. The positive contribution of family; the challenges arising from family needs and demands; and the implications of gendered practices of child care and domestic responsibilities are examined. This chapter also points to the need for institutions to better understand and accommodate the particular needs of parent-students.
Drawing on international literature on higher education access and participation, this chapter provides a summary overview of current research and writing in this field. The ‘widening participation’ agenda is critically reviewed in relation to neoliberal discourses of the independent learner and the ‘risky’ nature of university deconstructed. The chapter describes the epistemological and ontological foundations for the studies that inform this publication and details the methodologies and theoretical framings adopted by the researchers. This book is premised upon the recognition that all learners are complex entities, intersected by various demographic and social factors. In recognition of this, the chapter aims to provide insight into a range of historical, political and cultural factors that may have impacted upon the Australian students who participated in this research.
O’Shea, May, Stone and Delahunty have indicated how attending university for first-in-family students can lead to significant personal transformation but highlight how the embodied nature of this experience can remain hidden or overlooked in the literature. Equally, the effects that university participation has on those around the student remain unclear, particularly understandings about how their attendance impacts upon the perceptions and ambitions of significant others. This chapter seeks to explore the reactions of family members to this higher education odyssey, particularly how this decision reverberated within the household. Findings indicate that university participation does not only impact on students in an emotional and potentially transformative sense but also on those closest to them, leading to new conversations in the home place and in some cases, broader educational futures.
While first-in-family women’s experience of attending university has been examined in a growing body of literature, there has been little attention paid to the experiences of first-in-family males. This chapter presents an account of the motivations, transitions and participations of first-in-family male students using a narrative gender framework. The analysis especially privileges the idea of situated and relational masculinities (Hopkins & Noble, Masculinities in place: Situated identities, relations and intersectionality. Social and Cultural Geography, 10 (8), 811–819, 2009). Age was found to be the chief organising category of their experiences structuring their embodied life course. Three main age and relational masculine performances emerged from these men’s stories, namely those of the Fathers, the Self-Starters and the Sons. Working to achieve or enact the breadwinner model of masculinity was found to be the dominant motivator behind their gender performances.
Online learning has an increasingly important place in widening access and participation in higher education for diverse student cohorts. One cohort that has been taking up online study in increasing numbers over the past 10–15 years is that of mature-age, first-in-family students. This chapter looks at the experience of 87 first-in-family students, for whom the opportunity to enrol in online undergraduate studies through an open-entry pathway made it possible for them to embark on a university education. In-depth interviews and surveys were conducted with these students as part of a wider study into First-in-Family students described in Chap. 1 of this book (Study B). Findings include the important role that opportunity plays in providing the impetus for study, as well as the importance of support and encouragement from family, friends, colleagues and institutions in being able to continue the journey.
This chapter draws upon a strengths perspective that seeks to frame first in family students not as ‘lacking’ or as ‘deficit’ but rather as a cohort replete with cultural wealths. Building on Bourdieuian theories and referring explicitly to the work of Yosso and Sen, the capabilities and cultural strengths of this older FiF cohort are revealed. The chapter provides a relational understanding of this student experience that considers the wider dynamics of learners’ lived realities. In exploring these unique contexts, three richly descriptive vignettes are featured and these are discussed collectively. This discussion reflects both upon the constraints that are expressed by the older learners as well as the personal strengths each story reveals about the narrator.
Entering formal university study as the first person in one’s immediate family to do so is inevitably a major challenge. This chapter discusses some of the key factors that influenced the first-in-family (FiF) students who participated in Study B (as discussed in Chap. 1 ) to make the decision to undertake formal study at university level. It also examines the process of adjustment for these students and others around them to their new role as students. In the process of becoming a university student and identifying themselves as such, there were significant personal changes and transformations that emerged for these students. These are explored, along with the role that the institution can play in helping to transition the student into this new environment and in continuing to support the student’s journey.
The final chapter draws together the threads of a compelling argument that exhorts educators and policymakers to perceive of First-in-Family students in terms of strengths rather than in deficit terms. By using the lens of family and community, the focus is on what students bring to the university environment rather than the ways in which the institution acts upon the individual learner. The chapter outlines the key arguments contained within the book and provides recommendations for teachers, key stakeholders and university administrators for how this important student population can be best supported in their academic pursuits.
This chapter investigates the experiences of first-in-family enabling students as they reflect on their participation in university. Due to university outreach and participation agendas, this cohort is increasing annually in Australia although they are little researched. The data has been harvested from interviews and surveys and analysed using biographical method to explore these enabling students’ motivations and relationship impacts. The chapter shows how their motivations are deeply embedded and complexly formulated within temporal and relational contexts as well as within their broader social, cultural and economic locations. Their trailblazing engagement in higher education is shown to be a social as much as an individual action, having impacts far beyond the transformations that the enabling learner personally experiences.
This chapter complements previous chapters by applying the concept of ‘sisu’ to the enactment of persistence and success of mature FiF women in higher education. Sisu is a Finnish term which describes the inner fortitude activated in moments of hardship especially when nothing more is ‘left in the tank’, likened to the ‘second wind’ that keeps us moving forward in spite of the odds (Lahti, Embodied fortitude: An introduction to the Finnish construct of sisu. International Journal of Wellbeing, 9 (1), 61–82. 2019). Sisu captures the inner strengths and capabilities these women drew upon when challenges arose which enabled them to continue to move forward. The chapter draws on the data collected from Study C and discusses how sisu provides a lens through which to understand the determined persistence of these women, as a deeply personal, collective and complex experience.
This chapter explores how the First-in-Family (FiF) cohort is theorised and defined in various geographical and cultural contexts. Beginning with a critique around a lack of clarity of this cohort, the chapter moves to a review of related topics within the broad field of university participation and student engagement. O’Shea, May, Stone and Delahunty demonstrate the ways in which the FiF group is collectively framed as ‘lacking’. This deficit is articulated through reference to cultural, social, familial, academic and economic capitals. The chapter discusses how this focus on lack only serves to further disenfranchise these learners, arguably contributing to a pervasive sense of dislocation within the higher education environment. Chapter 3 continues this discussion by ‘disrupting’ this deficit framing through reference to narrative vignettes derived from the research projects.
Left wing extremism is an often discussed and contested topic in Australian political discourse. This chapter sheds light on the extreme left-wing landscape in Australia, starting with an exploration of the left party family, and identifying the three siblings of the hard left—being Marxism, socialism, and anarchism. The fundamental beliefs within these ideologies were then reviewed against the manifestos of historical left-wing terrorists such as the Red Army Faction to identify prominent accompanying epistemic outlooks. This led to the proposal of a definition of left-wing extremism, which was then applied to the contemporary organisations in Australia. These included the Sea Shepherd, Extinction Rebellion, Fireproof Australia, and ANTIFA. It was found that these organisations in some cases do not meet the axiomatic criteria to form part of the hard left party family. Further, none are currently meeting the thresholds for extremism. While this could be affected in future by the actions of individuals, ideological convergence, or cumulative extremism, the line dividing civil disobedience from violent extremism and terrorism has not yet been crossed.
Bovine reproduction, including male fertility traits like semen quality, are influenced by a variety of different factors like breed, nutrition, environment, and feeding management. Diet in a crucial determinant, and in this regard although corn silage is generally considered to be a favorable roughage for fattening meat type breeds, it tends to have a negative impact on semen quality. In the current study, alfalfa hay was substituted by corn silage as a roughage source in the diet of bulls to investigate its effects on the fertility of breeding bulls. A feeding trail spanning 140 days was conducted, with semen collection occurring twice a week commencing 60 days after the start of trial. Semen quality parameters, serum antioxidant indexes, sex hormone content in semen, rumen microflora, and sperm transcriptome were characterized. Feeding corn silage enhanced host antioxidant capacity, significantly decreased spermatozoal motility and increased sperm deformity rate in bulls. Furthermore, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) content in semen were significantly decreased (P < 0.05), and the inhibin B (INHB) content was significantly increased (P < 0.01). Feeding corn silage led to significant changes in the diversity of rumen microbiota of cattle at the phylum and genus levels, some of which were significantly correlated with semen quality. Subsequent RNA sequencing indicated that DHH and PITHD1, two genes related to sperm and reproductive development, were differentially expressed, and enrichment analysis also identified several pathways and biological functions relevant to sperm development and reproduction. These results indicate that feeding corn silage modulates semen quality via different pathways. Firstly, corn silage metabolites likely affect the secretion of INHB through the testicular capillaries, which affects semen quality by regulating genes involved in spermatogenesis. Secondly, low lignin content in silage corn appears to reduce abundance of rumen flora that are positively correlated with semen quality. Overall, results indicate that feeding bulls corn silage as the primary source of forage could negatively impact semen quality and may not be appropriate as the primary roughage of forage for breeding bulls.
The generative arti cial intelligence (AI) language model ChatGPT is programmed not to provide answers that are unethical or that may cause harm to people. By setting up user-created role-plays designed to alter ChatGPT's persona, ChatGPT can be prompted to answer with inverted moral valence supplying unethical answers. In this inverted moral valence mode ChatGPT was asked to provide suggestions on how to avoid being detected when commissioning and submitting contract written assignments. We conducted 30 iterations of the task, we examine the types of the suggested strategies and their likelihood of avoiding detection by markers, or, if detected, escaping a successful investigation of academic misconduct. Suggestions made by ChatGPT ranged from communications with contract writers and the general use of contract writing services to content blending and innovative distraction techniques. While the majority of suggested strategies has a low chance of escaping detection, recommendations related to obscuring plagiarism and content blending as well as techniques related to distraction have a higher probability of remaining undetected. We conclude that ChatGPT can be used with success as a brainstorming tool to provide cheating advice, but that its success depends on the vigilance of the assignment markers and the cheating student's ability to distinguish between genuinely viable options and those that appear to be workable but are not. In some cases the advice given would actually decrease probability of remaining undetected.
Using replications in discrimination tests is becoming more common in times of strict budgetary and time constraints. For the proof of differences, it is well‐known that the standard binomial test can be used. However, it is no longer applicable if the objective is to show equivalence or non‐inferiority, as potential differences among assessors (assessor heterogeneity/overdispersion) might invalidate the binomial test. We reapply ideas described earlier for the development of a confidence interval to derive a direct asymptotic test for equivalence or non‐inferiority using replicated discrimination and preference data, both for the cases of equal and unequal numbers of replications among assessors. The suggested test is largely model‐free, that is, does not require any assumptions that cannot be easily warranted by the test design and execution. At the same time, implementation is surprisingly easy by using the R code provided or any simple spreadsheet editor, or even manually. Practical Applications Showing equivalence in perception between stimuli becomes increasingly important in applications, for example, in cost‐savings or product‐matching. The suggested approach is statistically valid without potentially doubtful model assumptions, yet at the same time simple and easy to use. Tables with critical values and R code for the evaluations further ease adoption, as illustrated by three small examples. The power assessments indicate that the loss in power is only moderate as long as the number of replications is not excessive, making replicate evaluations in discrimination tests a viable option for showing equivalence. The common approach of concluding for equivalence when a test for differences does not turn out to be statistically significant is heavily flawed; given that a valid yet simple approach to establish equivalence from replicated discrimination and preference data is provided here, such practice should be abandoned.
This paper proposes and implements a novel framework that uses deep learning to classify and visualise satellite land images. The proposed framework uses deep learning to accurately detect features in satellite images, automating the extraction of useful information from large datasets. It involves building and training a deep learning module using various algorithms and settings to improve geographic data processing. Overall, this paper contributes to the field of spatial image processing and highlights the potential benefits of deep learning in land-use mapping and related applications. The implementation of this technology can increase agricultural productivity, improve natural disaster management, and protect the environment.
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Sarah Redshaw
  • Faculty of Arts and Education
Mohd. Farooq Shaikh
  • School of Dentistry and Health Sciences
Philip Kerr
  • School of Dentistry and Medical Sciences
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