From pipedream to possibility: Developing an equity target for refugees to study medicine in Australia

Ruth Sladek, Svetlana King

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We incorporate a retrospective narrative based on the first author’s experience of a major policy change. Using historical correspondence records, the authors present the story of an unsuccessful applicant with a refugee background, who questioned why she was denied entrance into medicine. Her appeal triggered the establishment of a refugee subquota into graduate entry medicine. This chapter describes the antecedents, development, and subsequent successful implementation of this policy initiative. The broader implications for the healthcare system, patient care, and medical education are discussed. This chapter concludes by urging higher education institutions to review their policies so that students with a refugee background are fairly represented across all courses and careers, providing them with the opportunity to convert their pipedreams into possibilities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStrategies, policies and directions for refugee education
EditorsEnakshi Sengupta, Patrick Blessinger
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78714-797-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-78714-798-0
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2018

Publication series

Name Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
ISSN (Print)2055-3641


  • Medical courses
  • Pathways into higher education
  • University policies
  • Higher education
  • Cultural background
  • Subquotas
  • Medical students
  • Refugees

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