Programs run by UNE to improve access by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

The provision of alternative entry pathways is a significant component of UNE’s current and successful approach to ensuring Indigenous student access, which includes a flexible approach to entry requirements through Oorala’s ISP and TRACKS Programs or UNE’s enabling courses. UNE’s sub-degree undergraduate programs also play a valuable role, as qualifications requiring shorter duration of study, which also offer pathways into further study at the Bachelors level. This approach has resulted in consistently excellent outcomes, with UNE meeting enrolment targets in successive years. However, UNE has identified potential for expansion of Diploma level programs to include more content with Indigenous knowledge and perspectives.

The following table outlines the programs run by UNE to improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

UNE programs to improve access for ATSI students

Program Name

Target audience

Outline of Program

Outcome

TRACKS Tertiary Preparation Program

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants (18 years and over)

Ongoing alternative entry program offered on campus and online through Oorala; Tertiary preparation assists Indigenous students to develop their study skills and their transition to mainstream UNE courses (TRACKS includes five core TRAX units and one undergraduate unit).

Enrolments have remained steady (see data under ‘Oorala’s Role – Access Programs’)

Internal Selection Program

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants (18 years and over)

Ongoing alternative entry program offered on campus through Oorala; Testing and assessment for UNE course admission; applicants are either recommended for admission to their selected UNE degree or alternatively the TRACKS Program or other tertiary study options

(see data under ‘Oorala’s Role – Access Programs’)

UNE Pathways Enabling Course

All applicants who do not meet standard entry requirements for UNE undergraduate courses  and have not successfully completed any part of a university course

Ongoing enabling program offered online through UNE; Prepares students for admission to UNE undergraduate courses (Pathways includes two Foundation units and two undergraduate units, with mentoring and additional tutorial support)

(see data for Pathways course under ‘UNE's Access Programs’)

Teacher Education Enabling Course

All applicants admitted or seeking admission to an undergraduate teacher education course who have not attained the required level of Mathematics and/or English in prior study

Ongoing enabling program offered online through UNE; Students complete a Mathematics and/or English unit that aligns to the Band 4 HSC subject descriptors (required by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BoSTES) for students intending to seek teacher registration in NSW)

(see data for Teacher Education Enabling course under ‘UNE's Access Programs’)

‘Miroma Bunbilla’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pre-entry to Medicine Program

New Indigenous applicants for Joint Medical Program selecting enrolment at University of Newcastle or UNE

Eligible Indigenous applicants attend one week Program for Pre-Entry to Medicine (testing, interviews, assessments); run by Wollotuka Institute, University of Newcastle

Involvement of Oorala Student Support staff with Wollotuka in the Program;

3 Indigenous students were admitted to commence JMP at UNE in 2014

Vice-Chancellor’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowship Scheme

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates

Inaugural Aboriginal Research Fellowship which commenced under this scheme for 2013-2016 continued in 2014

Level A ‘Pre-Doc’ Fellow position established in 2014 (School of Law, 3 year research fellowship for PhD candidate, with 0.5 teaching load)

Continuation of inaugural fellowship;

School of Law Fellow to be recruited in 2015

Indigenous Fellowship in Creative Practices

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates

Planned for offer in 2015 as part-time professional doctorate or HDR, Potential to build capacity for candidate to supervise Indigenous study, with supervision by Arts and mentoring from Oorala

May be offered in 2015

Diploma of Business

All students including Indigenous students

Students have option to undertake 8 Humanities units with a specific Indigenous focus (equating to an Indigenous Organisation Management major) that may lead into Bachelor of Business

No Indigenous students enrolled in Dip Business in 2014; targeted promotion required

The University's access programs include the UNE Pathways Enabling Course, the Teacher Education Enabling Course and programs offered specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the Oorala Aboriginal Centre (see details under 'Oorala Aboriginal Centre's Role -Access Programs'). In 2014, approximately 11% of all UNE ATSI students were enrolled in these access programs through UNE or Oorala. In the 2013-2014 period, ATSI enrolments in UNE's Pathways Enabling Courses were:


Enrolments in UNE's Pathways Enabling Courses for 2013-2014
  Total Enrolments Commencing Enrolments
Course 2013 2014 2013 2014
Pathways Enabling Course 30 37 27 31
Teacher Education Enabling Course 11 16 7 11
     
Total 41 53 34 42