Universities share in $33.6 million to help Indigenous students succeed

Release Date: 
15 August 2019
Media release

The Morrison Government’s Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP) is delivering practical and tailored support to help Indigenous students succeed in higher education and unlock greater opportunities in life.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, said $33.6 million will be provided to 38 universities to directly support the increasing number of Indigenous Australians accessing higher education to complete their studies and take those skills to contribute to their communities.

“As a Government we know that an education is a great foundation in life, more Indigenous Australians than ever before are enrolling in university and we need to make sure this also translates to a higher number of graduations,” Minister Wyatt said.

“The Morrison Government’s funding under ISSP helps universities deliver practical support to over 19,000 Indigenous students so they can excel in their tertiary studies and set themselves up for rewarding careers that make a positive impact to Australia.

“The latest round of funding brings the total ISSP investment for 2019 to around $70 million and addresses some of the barriers to Indigenous success.

“For example, we have seen a 27 per cent increase in Indigenous students receiving tutorial assistance since 2017 which means more students are getting the personal attention they need to complete their degrees.

“The program enables universities to offer scholarships, tutorial assistance and mentoring, personal support services and outreach programs in a culturally appropriate way that is tailored to suit the local needs of their students.

“The ISSP also assists universities to grow the number of Indigenous staff, including those in senior academic and senior executive positions to improve Indigenous knowledge and support increasing numbers of Indigenous graduates.”

Minister Wyatt saw first-hand the impact of ISSP when he visited Charles Darwin University for the Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture.

Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor for Indigenous Leadership and Regional Outreach, Dr Steve Shanahan, said the funding under ISSP allows Charles Darwin University to run a number of workshops and facilities dedicated to Indigenous success.

“Using ISSP funding, we run an Indigenous Academic Skills Workshop each Semester where we fly in Indigenous students from all over Australia for a week-long program to prepare them for all aspects of university life,” Dr Shanahan said.

“ISSP also funds the Indigenous Student Services team which provides about 17 staff to provide academic support, pastoral care, mentoring and advocacy for CDU’s Indigenous students throughout their study journey.

“The team provides a central source of information and regularly contacts every Indigenous student to check in and see how they are doing. The team operates three culturally safe facilities and learning environments to help students study in a way that best suits them.

“ISSP also supports the Tutorial Support program which has attracted highly qualified and competent tutors who respect and are committed to Indigenous student success.”

More information on ISSP is available at https://www.niaa.gov.au/indigenous-affairs/education/indigenous-student-...