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Batlow Technology School students at InnovationXchange at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Batlow Technology School students at InnovationXchange at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Visit inspires Batlow Technology School students

9 November 2017

Twenty high school students from Batlow Technology School travelled from regional New South Wales to visit the ANU campus and gain insight into the tech industry through the Coder Academy #CANChangeRatio program.

The Coder Academy program (partnered with the Commonwealth Bank) supports and mentors high school girls interested in pursuing a career in technology. It further provides experience and knowledge of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce.

The students’ visit was in conclusion of their week-long intensive coding class. They had a tour of the College of Business and Economics (CBE) building, the University campus, and the Behaviour Lab. The students also heard from ANU student entrepreneurs and ambassadors, and visited the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Innovation Hub.

Technology and Applied Studies teacher Michelle Wainwright stated, “Because we are isolated and very low socio-economic, the kids don't understand that they actually can go to university, that everybody can do it. It's much more accessible than they realise.”

“Going to the ANU was so eye opening. It is close to Batlow and the accommodation there looks great. I have considered that the ANU is for me,” said a student from Batlow Technology School.

Michelle further stated, “They came away from that day realising that they can go to university if they wish to. It's good for them to realise the different path ways to university as well, for example doing a trade first then going to university later on. We tell them this in class, but going to the ANU for the day actually reinforces it and then they really believe it’s possible.”

Rosa Pearson, Deputy Manager of Student Recruitment and Partnerships (National) at CBE, recalled a Batlow Technology School teacher stating, “Usually around two students out of a graduate year twelve cohort of ten students from Batlow go on to university.”

“Particularly the older students were very excited to be here (at the ANU) and to be here in Canberra and learn about all the opportunities that the ANU offers. For a lot of the students they’d never been overseas or let alone Canberra, so to tell them about our international programs such as the Global Business Immersion was really great.”

Not only did the visit help to break the stigma around accessibility to university for rural students, the girls were inspired and learnt about the vast type of career paths and jobs available.

“I think it (the visit) also showed the girls that there's so many jobs out there that they didn't even know existed, there's so many career paths and university courses that you can do,” said Michelle.

Student ambassador Olaide Yinka-Kehinde showed the group around campus and informed them of university life.

“It was really inspiring to hear that the students had really distinct ideas of their future career aspirations, especially in areas that they were really passionate about. They were also really intrigued about the student lifestyle at university,” he said.

Their visit will further open opportunities for the CBE to connect with, and to provide accessibility to regional high school students.

Rosa further commented, “We're planning next year to do more outreach and engagement activities to become more accessible to regional students, and also to recruit students from diverse backgrounds which reflects and represent the diversity of Australia.”

Batlow Technology School are also looking forward to returning to Canberra, with Michelle stating, “We will absolutely look into more collaboration with CBE. We really want to get our students out to you more often. We had such a great afternoon."

To arrange a high school visit to the College of Business and Economics contact national.cbe@anu.edu.au.

Find out more about studying at the College of Business and Economics.

Updated:   21 December 2017 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team