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Final-year student benefits from work opportunity

Media release

The National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) is providing a Curtin University final-year student with a rare opportunity to gain work experience relevant to his field of study.

Eric Hunyh, who is completing a Spatial Sciences degree with a major in Geographic Information Science (GIS), has been contracted as a Project Assistant by the NCSEHE for its Student Equity Data Visualisation and Mapping project, which will result in a new data website being linked to the existing NCSEHE website.

The Student Equity Data Visualisation and Mapping project includes two parts. The first requires Eric to develop a software specification document for the project. The second part includes the creation of a user-interactive web map that will enable users to visualise and interrogate data based on student equity in the Australian higher education sector.

The website will allow users to examine the geographical nature of higher education enrolment data, in terms of institutions, institutional groupings, and key equity groups. The system will generate reports and graphs for use by universities and other stakeholders in Australia.

Eric receives mentoring support from Professor Bert Veenendaal (Head) and Professor Geoff West of the Department of Spatial Sciences.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to work on this project. It’s not often chances such as these arise for students,” Eric said.

Eric says the project allows him to apply what he has learnt in his studies to gain new skills and knowledge, particularly with regard to web mapping, prior to graduating.

“I am applying skills learnt from the web mapping units I am studying.

“Programming and coding languages are another important aspect related to my degree that I am applying to the project. They enable the development of web mapping applications and allow full-customisation through programming to meet project criteria.”

Eric’s appointment was made possible through Earn While You Learn (EWYL), a scheme run by the Curtin Careers Centre, which recruits current students into casual and part-time on-campus positions.

Established in 2012, EWYL enables students to enhance their experience while providing their skills and knowledge to Curtin departments.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for both the NCSEHE and Eric,” Project Leader, Mr Richard Seymour, said.

“The analysis and software specification component of the project requires highly specialised skills, particularly with regard to GIS capability. Eric’s knowledge and experience in this area have been extremely valuable and will ensure the integrity and reliability of the project.”

Once the software specification document has been completed and approved by the NCSEHE the project will progress to its second stage, which involves the development, testing, and implementation of the website.

“The NCSEHE is committed to the user-friendly dissemination of Australian higher education equity performance data,” NCSEHE Director, Professor Sue Trinidad said.