The Transition of Indigenous Students to Higher Education
The Transition of Indigenous Students to Higher Education project responded to the need to improve Aboriginal students’ access to, and completion of, higher education.
Funded through the Special Initiatives Reserves of the Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching, the project involved four Australian Universities: Curtin University in Western Australia (the lead university); the University of New England in New South Wales; Charles Darwin University in Darwin; and Monash University in Melbourne.
Both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies involving Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff at the four university Indigenous Centres and Aboriginal students across Australia generated data from which twelve recommendations were developed to inform future university policy, teaching, and learning initiatives. Recommendations included:
- increasing university-wide professional development on Aboriginal historical and contemporary experience
- facilitating greater participation by Aboriginal students in the university community
- expanding recruitment processes
- improving enrolment advice and selection
- providing greater holistic and ongoing support
- improving communication between faculties and centres, and
- aligning of bridging courses with degree courses.
Although many universities have instigated such strategies, in several cases their success and continuation was suffering from economic constraints and centre staff and management changes.