The lives of and educational journey of seven Monash University students is showcased in the latest feature by internationally acclaimed film maker Miles Roston.
Higher Education takes the audience through an intimate, beautiful and sensitively filmed portrait of a meeting of cultures and personal histories in the setting of Monash University. The documentary demonstrates what greater access to education means – the promise of an equitable future for a generation.
Director Miles Roston said the film follows the experiences and conversations of seven students who have worked tirelessly to achieve a university education.
“Marama is a refugee from Ethiopia’s troubled Oromia region, has never overcome the trauma of being a 19-year old teacher who saw his primary students gunned down. Lucy, a middle-class Australian suffered from depression but wouldn’t seek treatment because she was worried about what others would think of her. Afghani refugee Raha fled to Australia from Iran to continue her medical studies. Kristin is from an Aboriginal background, Jacob from a single parent family struggling to get by. Peter grew up abandoned in the state care system and Danny’s working family in Singapore dreamed of sending their son to university,” Roston said.
“Each of their stories is different but all have the same thread of will and determination to succeed and a passion for learning and the benefits that come from having an education.”
Monash University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Social Inclusion) Professor Sue Willis said the lives of the students and their ability to succeed at university was inspirational.
“At Monash we strive to build educational pathways for students to enter Monash with an emphasis on access and equity. Regardless of a student’s background we believe every student should have access to further education and we fully support those aims,” Professor Willis said. Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Professor Steve Wesselingh said he was very proud of the students and believed they were testament to the possibilities that can be accessed by all students, regardless of their background.
“A university degree is achieved through determination, application and a clear vision of what you want to achieve in life. The ability to succeed not be halted by influences beyond a person’s control and at Monash we work hard to provide guidance and support to those who have had obstacles in their path. For all prospective students, we hope this film demonstrates the ability of our students, educators and research teams to really make a difference,” Professor Wesselingh said.
Director Miles Roston is a filmmaker who has filmed around the world from Vietnam to Australia to Sierra Leone.
His films include 14 Million Dreams which debuted at the National Press Club in Washington. His other films have won him various awards and an Emmy nomination. He was also the co-creator of UK children’s series Aliens Among Us.