Building Evidence about Indigenous Pathways and Transitions into Higher Education
Lead University: Charles Darwin University
Lead Researcher: James Smith
Research Team: James Smith and Jack Frawley
Year Funded: 2014
Funding Received: $327,290
This project centred on a Forum incorporating keynote addresses, working groups, poster presentations, workshops and yarning circles to develop a national evidence base about new and emerging approaches and strategies for promoting Indigenous pathways and transitions into higher education in Australia. Outputs included the publication of a book of papers launched at the Forum and a special issue of Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning In Social Contexts.
- The project had five objectives:
- facilitate networking, share information and create a national dialogue about Indigenous pathways and transitions into higher education
- provide a culturally safe opportunity to share stories and emerging evidence about Indigenous pathways and transitions into higher education
- generate and document an evidence base about the most effective approaches for supporting Indigenous pathways and transitions into higher education
- explore different and innovative approaches and strategies that incorporate Indigenous knowledges and practices into the development and implementation of Indigenous focused pathways and transitions into higher education
- generate and document an evidence base about the most effective approaches for supporting Indigenous pathways and transitions into higher education.
- Project activities included:
- conducting the Engagement at the Interface: Indigenous Pathways and Transitions into Higher Education Forum on 22–23 October 2015 at the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Education at Charles Darwin University
- establishing a Forum steering group
- engaging a project coordinator and professional conference organiser
- calling for abstracts producing a Forum evaluation report
- publication of a book of papers launched at the Forum.
- The Forum was a success with a number of outputs and outcomes:
- It was divided into 45 substantive sessions, working groups, poster presentations, workshops and yarning circles to share perspectives and experiences.
- Keynote addresses were given by four prominent Indigenous scholars.
- The Forum was attended by a total of 130 delegates from 26 Australian universities, and 10 Indigenous organisations and departments.
- A selection of Forum papers was published in a special issue of Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning In Social Contexts.
- A book was published with 15 chapters by 40 individual and co-authors, including 21 Indigenous authors.
- The Forum and book have acted as a catalyst for a national dialogue about Indigenous pathways and transitions.
- The book, Indigenous Pathways, Transitions and Participation in Higher Education From Policy to Practice, edited by Jack Frawley, Steve Larkin and James Smith, included chapters on the following subjects:
Policy and systems
- Understanding the nexus between equity and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education policy agendas in Australia: What are the synergies, tensions and possibilities?
- A design and evaluation framework for Indigenisation of Australian universities.
- How we do business: setting the agenda for cultural competence at the University of Sydney.
- What do we know about community engagement in Indigenous education contexts and how might this impact on pathways into higher education?
- Tackling Indigenous incarceration through engagement with higher education.
- Promoting engagement and success at university through strengthening the online learning experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students living and studying in remote communities.
- Perspectives on enabling education for Indigenous students at three comprehensive universities in regional Australia.
- The impact of enabling programs on Indigenous participation, success and retention in Australian higher education.
- Indigenous knowledges, graduate attributes and recognition for prior learning for advanced standing: tensions within the academy.
- ‘Red dirt’ schools and pathways into higher education.
- Canada’s Indigenous Peoples’ Access to Post-secondary Education: The Spirit of the ‘New Buffalo’
Transition, participation and success
- Digital literacy and other factors influencing the success of online courses in remote Indigenous communities.
- Grandmothers’ pedagogy: lessons from grandmothers in supporting Native students’ attending universities.
- You’ve got to put your stamp on things: a rippling story of success.
- The book has achieved more than 28,000 downloads in the first year of release.
- The Forum and book provided numerous findings that are valuable to making positive contributions to addressing Indigenous disadvantage in higher education.
Summary prepared by the NCSEHE.