The Coalition Government has today introduced new measures into Parliament that will improve education outcomes for disadvantaged students – and in particular, Indigenous students.
The amendments to the Higher Education Support Act 2003 will enable universities to tailor assistance so more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students graduate from university and take up professional and academic careers.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the Government was committed to creating an environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to embrace opportunities and succeed.
“We know that a decent education completely closes the employment gap between First Australians and non-Indigenous Australians. In fact, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with university degrees are employed at higher rates than non-Indigenous graduates,” Minister Scullion said.
“University enrolments by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have increased by 70 per cent over the past decade. Although this is good news, Indigenous students remain two‑and‑a‑half times more likely than other Australian students to drop out of university within their first year.
“We have worked closely with universities, particularly with Indigenous staff, to deliver reforms that shift the focus from getting students in the door of a university, to also ensuring students are succeeding at university and graduating.
“These reforms mean that universities can tailor scholarships, tutorial assistance and other support to address the needs of each student.”