Law and Business

Are you the first member of your family to go to university?

At ACU we've got your back

Dr Sebastian Krook

By Sebastian Krook, Student Experience Coordinator for the School of Law and Business

It is a big step for students who have come from high school and go to university especially, if you are the first member of your family ever to go university.

You don’t have the support from home, like a dad or mum or an older brother or sister who can tell you what it’s like and what to expect and who to ask.

Then you step into a lecture theatre at a big university campus where there are hundreds of other students and you feel that there is no one to take your questions.

ACU is a place where the transition is smoother and that’s important. We have a tradition of being open to people, who wouldn’t normally go to university, and we look after our new students.

A low ATAR doesn’t necessarily mean that students won’t perform at a university level.

The task of ACU is to open its doors to all students, and when they come in try to give them an experience that is supportive and empowering.

One ACU student, who is doing a dual degree in law and business, left a big-name university because she felt she was just a number there and was left to her own devices.

If she didn’t perform well that was not the university’s problem.

We take a different approach here. If students don’t perform well in a unit we first of all look at what we are doing and see if this needs to change.

ACU has dedicated staff to answer questions about course work, help struggling students, provide guidance on ACU services and collect feedback about university experience.

We have people students can turn to, especially in first year, if they are unsure of something or if they are struggling with their course in any way.

And even our more senior students help out, too.

If a student is struggling with a challenging subject, they can join an additional smaller class led by a second or third year student who received a high distinction in that unit.

Sometimes it is easier for students to relate to peers.