UNSW partnership: What 1000 hours of tutoring can do

With the HSC finally behind them, we chat with students from UNSW’s Aspire program as they reflect on their experience, aspirations and time with Cluey Learning.

UNSW Cluey partnership
Cluey Learning Wednesday, 16 December 2020

In the six weeks leading up to their final exams, we provided 1000 hours of free online tutoring to 100 Year 12 students from under-represented backgrounds. This came as part of a partnership with UNSW’s Access & Equity student outreach program, Aspire.

The initiative was all about encouraging and enabling students to consider, apply for and successfully participate in tertiary education (read more about it here).

“The HSC is one of the most challenging times for Year 12 students. UNSW’s partnership with Cluey Learning has provided students with access to tailored HSC tutoring to support them with any learning gaps due to the disruptions to schooling from COVID-19,” said Mary Teague, Director, Access and Equity (Students).

With the HSC exams now in their rear-view mirror, we sat down with four of the 100 students to chat about their experiences.


Joe – Grafton High School


His thoughts on the program

I enjoyed it! I spoke to the uni students and it was really good to hear about how engineering is run at UNSW, what it is like to learn at UNSW, and entry options. It was very good to hear different perspectives.

His thoughts on Cluey

I found Cluey especially helpful as my tutor taught me the content from Year 11 that I had forgotten but could still be assessed on in the HSC. The tutoring also helped reinforce topics that I was learning at school to gain a better understanding.

It was good to have the scheduled sessions at the same time each week, as it helped to get and keep me studying maths regularly. Cluey also helped me study after the trial exams and helped me know when and how to prepare for the coming HSC exams.

Cluey was very good because at school, you only have a certain amount of time to ask your teacher questions. It was really helpful to be able to go onto Cluey Learning and have that time with my tutor.

“When I got into uni, my parents were the most proud of me.”

His plans for the future

I want to study Engineering and Industrial Design because I have always loved making and designing things. After uni, I want to invent and design things and perhaps make my own company.


Ashleigh – Coffs Harbor Senior College


Her thoughts on the program

It was incredibly useful for me – not only for the HSC subject support, but especially where I got to talk to the uni students. I was able to have conversations with them about university life and choosing degrees.

I also found it valuable to talk about things which weren’t related to university study. I’m not from Sydney, and I was able to talk to some students about catching public transport in the city, and how to get around campus. 

Her thoughts on Cluey

Cluey Learning has been extremely beneficial. I had Chemistry tutoring, and it helped me to refine different parts of the syllabus I found difficult and made me more confident to sit the final exam. It helped me tie different concepts from the syllabus together to gain a sense of the broader picture of Chemistry. Being able to talk through topics with a tutor has definitely helped with my learning and understanding.

“When my family found out I received an early conditional offer to study Medical Science at UNSW, everyone was really excited.”

Her plans for the future

I am interested in becoming a GP to be able to apply different areas of medicine at the same time and to be able to connect and build relationships with patients. I have always wanted to have a career where I can be helping others.


Thomas – Kingsgrove High School


His thoughts on the program

I found the Gateway Winter Program useful and helpful. It was really easy to sign up, all the information was relayed back to me and I was able to find out about it easily through my career’s advisor. Some other people in my school participated too, so we were able to collaborate. We spoke about how good the content and program were as a whole.

His thoughts on Cluey

I chose to do Advanced English with Cluey. Being able to have a tutor that was able to affirm my knowledge, tell me I was on the right track and enhance my writing in English was amazing and so helpful.

“I was happy and relieved once I found out that I received an early conditional offer because it really felt like I achieved something.”

His plans for the future

I plan to study a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at UNSW. I want to become a politician so I can help provide relief for the less fortunate, not only through some sort of government assistance, but also through providing secure and well-paying jobs.

I’ve always known that I wanted to go to university and seeing my sister do so well was definitely a big inspiration for me.


Stephanie – Moruya Heads High School


Her thoughts on the program

It was an absolutely amazing experience, and it helped me through Year 12 and COVID. I found It helpful to connect with professional teachers and markers who I wouldn’t have been in touch with otherwise. I learnt inside tips on what examiners are looking for and how to maximise my marks in the HSC.

Her thoughts on Cluey

Getting access to Cluey was a godsend. I got 10 free sessions for English Advanced and my tutor was brilliant. It really improved my confidence with English, and I learned how to be more sophisticated and look for advanced techniques. The feedback on essays was more personalised than in a classroom setting too. It really built my confidence by being supportive and encouraging. My tutor really knew her stuff.

“A lot of people have helped me work hard and this is my way of expressing my gratitude to all the people who helped along the way.”

Her plans for the future

I’m thinking about becoming a doctor or going into research, so I plan to study a Bachelor of Advanced Science with Honours at ANU. It seems like a good broad degree that would keep my options open and give me the time to think about what I could study later in post grad.


We wish all the Aspire students the best of luck for the future and can’t wait to see what they do next!

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