AEP Goal 3: Equitable access to higher education

3. Ensure equitable access of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to higher education.

Your response to this goal needs to address but is not limited to the following points:

  • Commencing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student numbers for 2015 (access rate) as compared to 2014 (please provide an all student comparison).
  • Programs run, by the University, to improve access by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
  • Details on outreach activities and their effectiveness, in attracting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. (See table below).
  • Details of Indigenous-specific and other scholarships offered by your University.
    (See table below).
  • Promotion of scholarships to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and take-up rates, including reasons for low take-up of available scholarships.
  • Indigenous Education/Support Unit’s role.

UNE identifies Indigenous access, participation and retention in higher education as a long-term strategic priority and is reflected in UNE’s Mission-based Compact 2014–2016. The provision of alternative entry pathways to UNE for ATSI students has proven to be a successful strategy to improve access, with the number of commencing ATSI students growing by 27% in 2014, compared to 2% over the same period in the non-ATSI domestic population. Retention and completion remain the focus for ongoing improvement activity and UNE acknowledges that improving access to higher education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates will require a sustained University-wide commitment to implement short, medium and long-term priorities as outlined in UNE’s Strategic Plan 2011–2015 and it subordinate Teaching and Learning Plan 2012–2015 and Research Plan 2012–2015, which include the following strategies.

  • Provide effective academic scaffolding and support services.
  • Innovate in the recruitment and retention of regional, remote and ATSI students and staff, particularly within the New England region.
  • Employ innovative recruitment and retention activities aimed at regional, remote and Indigenous students, particularly within the New England region.
  • Develop innovative partnerships focused on students from low SES areas and Indigenous students (e.g. alternative entry pathways, scholarships, strategic courses) that build capacity in these students and their communities.
  • Ensure our graduate attributes promote social and cultural understanding including an appreciation of Indigenous culture and history.
  • Establish alternative pathways and academic support programs that address Indigenous and low SES student participation in higher degree programs.

During 2015 UNE developed its new Strategic Plan 2016–2020 in consultation with academic and directorate areas of the University and this Plan is currently being implemented.

In addition, in 2013 UNE developed a Regional Aboriginal Higher Education Strategy (RAHES) which focuses on meeting two discrete but equally important strategic aims of the University:

  • innovate in the recruitment of regional, remote and ATSI students, particularly within the New England region, and
  • support collaboration between education providers to ensure a coordinated approach to engaging with Aboriginal communities to assist in building educational aspiration, relevant pathways to higher education and rates of retention and completion of higher education by Aboriginal students.

During 2015 The Arts School developed three diploma courses that could be lead into a relevant Bachelor degree: Diploma in Music Skills, Diploma in Music Technology, and Diploma in Professional Communication. It is hoped that these can be used as a pathway to Bachelor-level study.

Commencing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
(all student comparison access rate, 2014–2015)

Table 4: Commencing ATSI students

Type of student

2014

2015

% increase

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

286

364

27%

Non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students (Domestic students only)

8,545

8,693

2%

Note: The number reported for 2014 in this report will not match that reported in the 2014 report for two reasons:

  1. This year the number of persons has been reported rather than the number of enrolments, it was felt that this more closely represents the number of students as a student may have two enrolments in one year.
  2. Timing differences in reporting result in small changes to reportable numbers due to administrative action.
Table 5: Changes in commencing students 2014-2015

Commencing students and enrolments

2014

2015

% increase

Total commencing on campus ATSI students (including enabling programs)

77

90

17%

Total commencing off campus ATSI students (including enabling programs)

224

301

34%

ATSI enrolments in TRACKS course

22

52

236%

ATSI enrolments in Bachelor of Arts

11

21

90%

ATSI enrolments in Bachelor of Social Work

7

13

86%

ATSI enrolments in Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education)

0

9

900%

ATSI enrolments in Bachelor of Biomedical Science

7

13

86%

Table 6: Total Indigenous students as a percentage of total student numbers at UNE
Mode of Study

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Off campus/External

1.9%

2.2%

2.4%

2.4%

2.4%

2.9%

On campus/Internal

2.2%

2.7%

2.9%

3.0%

3.2%

3.6%

Total

2.0%

2.3%

2.5%

2.5%

2.6%

3.0%

While various Schools and total commencing numbers show some volatility from year to year, the overall situation at UNE over the last five years has seen steadily increasing numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as a percentage of all students.

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 Direct Entry (ISP) and TRACKS Programs. 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.

Table 7: Programs run by UNE in 2015 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).

Significant increases in enrolments for 2015. (See data under ‘Oorala’s Role – Access Programs’ on page 19.)

TAFE link to TRACKS program

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander TAFE students

Throughout 2015 Oorala continued to develop a partnership with New England TAFE to offer a pathway into the TRACKS Program. Oorala received HEPP funding in late 2014 for this program which continued in 2015. This cross-sectorial partnership offers students a first step towards university learning as well as specific foundational learning support to ensure readiness for the university learning experience. It aims to enable a greater number of Aboriginal people in the New England region to consider university study.

Seven TAFE students participated across Trimester 1 & 2, 2015 and the Student Support Mentor (Aboriginal Academic) was employed by Oorala throughout the project to mentor students over both trimesters.  After Trimester 1, one student chose to join the TRACKS.

Two other participants successfully completed their Certificate IV whilst participating in our program across Trimester 2, and have now been admitted to undergraduate programs at UNE commencing in Trimester 1, 2016.

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’

Place-based Aboriginal Community Engagement Strategy (PACES)

ATSI School Children and Community members

Designed to foster community relationships and build aspirations for university study in communities within the New England/North West region through the training and employment of Community Engagement Officers, to promote higher education and provide outreach support.

  • Discussions held with school principals in target communities to   develop improved strategies to improve ATSI students access to UNE and to   promote AIME and Youth Leadership Program.
  • Work undertaken with UNE Marketing re arranging campus visits by   Armidale schools to develop aspirations by students in Years 7–11 to apply   for UNE.
  • Exhibited with Oorala’s Student Support team at the 2015 Koori   Knockout in Dubbo to actively promote UNE courses, entry pathways, services   and support, including scholarships. Over 400 people visited the Oorala stall   during the three-day event.
  • Connecting with community organisations (Armidale Council,   Aboriginal Lands Council, Aboriginal Legal Service, Aboriginal Employment   Officer at Best Employment, Homes North, the Aboriginal Liaison Officers at the   Attorney General’s Department, TAFE NSW and others) to improve Oorala’s   relationships with the Indigenous community.
  • Development of ATSI-specific promotional materials targeting   teaching, nursing, and medicine.

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. It prepares students for admission to UNE undergraduate courses. Pathways includes two foundation units and two undergraduate units, with mentoring and additional tutorial support.

Commencing enrolments of Indigenous students in UNE’s Pathways Enabling Course were 31 in 2014 and the same number in 2015.

MOU with Northern Region Forum

NSW north and north-west Aboriginal communities

In August 2015 UNE signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Northern Region Forum – an umbrella group representing 14 local Aboriginal Land Councils – to promote access to education for local Aboriginal people.

A series of school visits and meetings with communities were scheduled for 2016 and future years.

‘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, to gain an understanding of the commitment required to complete the medical program, and the learning and teaching methods included in the group-based learning environment. Run by Wollotuka Institute, University of Newcastle.

Involvement of Oorala Student Support staff with Wollotuka in the Program; 4 Indigenous students were admitted to commence JMP at UNE in 2015

Kruki Summer School

New Indigenous applicants to the 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. The Director of Oorala and Student Support staff attended the Miroma Bunbilla program held on 2015. From 2016, all students participating in the Miroma Bunbilla program will travel to Armidale and spend a day at UNE.

Three students with Indigenous background have commenced their first year medical training at UNE in 2016.

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 2015.

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

Continuation of inaugural fellowship; School of Law Fellow commenced in 2015

ATSI Creative Practice Scholars Program

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates

UNE School of Arts is using its strong creative practice profile as a vehicle to develop deep links and knowledge-sharing with Indigenous scholars

4 HDR scholarships were offered and accepted in 2015 (2 Masters and 2 PhD candidates)

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

Two Indigenous students enrolled in Dip Business in 2015 and 2 to date in 2016. Targeted promotion required.

GRASS Industry Placement Scholarship

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups, rural and other remote and low-socio economic rural and remote students.

The UNE GRASS Industry Placement Scholarship showcases to Years 11 and 12 students, the broad range of exciting science-based careers that support primary industries. Full Industry Placement Scholarship offerings are made following an application, interview and after working with students at the camp.

More students from these areas and backgrounds are encouraged to attend University and once they have completed their education, they are more likely to take this knowledge back to their communities.

Table 8: Total ATSI students in UNE Pathways Enabling Course
 

Total enrolments

Commencing enrolments

 

2014

2015

2014

2015

Pathways Enabling Course

36

43

31

31

Oorala Aboriginal Centre’s role – Access programs

Oorala offers alternative entry programs specifically for Indigenous people: the Internal Selection Program (ISP) and the TRACKS Tertiary Preparation Program (TRACKS). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students receive advice through Student Services and Oorala to choose the access programs that are most appropriate to their prior learning and educational goals. Through Oorala's program activities, UNE academic staff also offer academic advice relevant to students' areas of interest.

In ISP, participating applicants for admission are assessed by Oorala to gain entry to a UNE course. In 2015, six prospective students participated in the ISP program for admission to commence undergraduate study in Trimesters 1 and 2, 2015, and Trimester 1, 2016. All of these applicants were subsequently successful in admission to UNE undergraduate courses.

In 2015 there were a total of 62 students enrolled in Oorala's TRACKS program, comprising 52 commencing and 10 continuing students. Twenty-four of these students were enrolled on-campus and 38 enrolled off campus. Of the 62 students enrolled in 2015, thirteen successfully completed TRACKS. Eight of these students progressed to study in UNE undergraduate courses for 2015 and two enrolled at another institution. Twenty-one students are continuing the course in 2015.

Table 9: Enrolments in Oorala's TRACKS Program, 2010-2015

TRACKS enrolments

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

On campus

8

15

14

14

12

24

Off campus

22

35

34

24

21

38

Total

30

50

48

38

33

62

Oorala's further initiatives during 2015 to improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at UNE included:

  • 'Aboriginal Resilience and the Arts' has been listed as an elective undergraduate unit in the TRACKS Program for students interested in arts and media disciplines. It provides TRACKS students with the opportunity to transition into undergraduate studies.
  • Support mechanisms available through Oorala and UNE for TRACKS students were reviewed at the end of 2015 and strategies developed to strengthen effectiveness of services, to improve retention and progress into undergraduate courses. These included tutorial support sessions through Oorala's Student Support Team, starting in trimester 1 2016. So far 21 students have taken up this opportunity.
  • The TAFE/TRACKS Pathway program saw a total of 7 students participating across Trimester 1 & 2, 2015. After Trimester 1, one student chose to join the TRACKS program rather than continuing at TAFE to gain his Certificate IV. This student is aiming to complete TRACKS at the end of Trimester 3, 2015, and intends to apply for admission to a Bachelor of Languages in 2016.
  • Two other participants successfully completed their Certificate IV whilst participating in the TRACKS program across Trimester 2 and have now been admitted to undergraduate programs at UNE (Bachelor of Criminology and Bachelor of Nursing) commencing in Trimester 1, 2016. Oorala was again successful in attracting funding from the UNE VC’s Scholars program to provide high achieving undergraduate students an opportunity to interact and mentor TRACKS students. Four scholars have taken up this opportunity.
  • The successful Pre-Orientation Program (POP) for TRACKS students continued in 2015. This was linked with more support such as mentoring through the VC’s Scholars program, to increase its effectiveness in early student engagement. Forty TRACKS students studying on-line or on-campus attended the pre-orientation programs run at the beginning of all three trimesters.
  • Oorala staff contributed to the design and implementation of UNE’s new online admission system, resulting in a streamlined process for TRACKS admissions. This contributed positively to the significant increase in applications to the program. All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants can now also request referral to the Oorala Centre via UNE’s Student Relationship Management system.

UNE’s outreach activities and their effectiveness, in attracting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

During 2015 UNE was involved in a number of community projects that would assist in generating aspiration for higher education. These outreach programs are aimed at addressing specific areas of community need, with the potential for participants to see further possibilities after achieving success in higher education. The approaches are either a natural extension of UNE academic programs or research, or making use of current UNE facilities.

The UNE School of Law is also represented (through the Pre-Doctoral Fellow) on the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN), funded by the Australian Research Council. Through NIRAKN the Pre-doctoral fellow is engaged in a number of capacity building activities to support Indigenous research and academic professional development.

The School of Law hosts the Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law (ACAL), which is involved in a number of collaborative research projects with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. ACAL appointed Jack Beetson as an Adjunct Professor to facilitate its Indigenous social justice work and has collaborated with researchers from other universities in Australia and the USA around these issues.

Table 10: UNE 2015 HEPP projects

Title

Target audience

Description

Outcomes

Schools & University Connect

Low socio-economic school students in north and north-west NSW

The project has collaborated across project component areas and across government sectors to introduce social work students in schools to support teachers in addressing some of the well-recognised underlying social determinants in education, health, housing and employment which contribute to the inhibition of educational outcomes for students from low SES backgrounds.

A very well received Schools and University Connect Project conference at Coffs Harbour presented the project’s outcomes over the year to over 80 delegates from schools’ senior managers across our project’s footprint.

Speaking of Sacred Ground: Aboriginal Cemeteries in Walcha

Aboriginal community in Walcha

A partnership between local Aboriginal people in Walcha and UNE to preserve local Aboriginal histories in formats and places that are accessible for future generations. UNE hopes the project will build a relationship between the Walcha community, youth and Elders, and encourage Aboriginal people to consider undertaking historical studies at university.

32 interviews with community Elders, assisted by young people, to capture oral histories and memories of the cemeteries at Walcha, Summervale, Woolbrook and Ingleba. These interviews have been preserved in their entirety, and recorded on CDs as well as in MP3 formats. Together they form a library of resources for future generations.

The Project Coordinator has enrolled in the Bachelor of Historical Inquiry at UNE, and two of the participants undertaking the HSC this year and next, are also intending to enrol in the Bachelor of Historical Inquiry in 2017 and 2018.

Table 11: 2015 outreach activities

Table 11: 2015 outreach activities
Outreach activity Target audience Outline of Program Outcome
Elder-in-Residence Program Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples Oorala Elder-in-Residence has advisory role to Oorala and UNE on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student and community engagement and protocols Elder-in-Residence involved in Oorala and official UNE functions, community networks; representation on key committees and other groups

Increased Oorala involvement with local Elders’ groups

Implementation of the QuickSmart program in schools, prisons and remote workplaces Educationally disadvantaged groups who are experiencing learning problems or delays and, hence, not achieving their academic potential (see simerr.une.edu.au/quicksmart)

The QuickSmart program is a second-chance responsive small-group intervention that aims to develop fluent (Quick) and efficient (Smart) processing and understanding. QuickSmart uses research-based instructional approaches to support the learning of persistently low-achieving at-risk learners so that they are more actively and successfully engaged and prepared for further learning and eventually employment.

Independent (federal, state-wide or standardised tests) assessments gathered from QuickSmart and comparison students over fifteen years consistently show that Indigenous and non-Indigenous QuickSmart students have made substantial academic improvement. These gains are typically maintained and enhanced after the completion of the program.

Community Garden project

Open

The Community Garden project, led by Dr Katherine Wright, and supported by the School of Arts, ran a number of community engagement events in 2015. These included:

  • Open Day in May, A Public Conversation with Frances Bodkin in   August;
  • A public lecture in November “Aboriginal Astronomy: Stories,   Science and the Stars” presented by William Stevens, Aboriginal Astronomer at   the Sydney Observatory.

Both events were well attended.

Provided public access to novel aspects of Aboriginal culture.

1 Deadly Step

Aboriginal families

1-day health event where Aboriginal families can learn about preventing and managing chronic disease. 1 Deadly Step includes working with local services to put on a rugby league themed community event featuring live entertainment, appearances by Aboriginal NRL stars, skills games for the kids and health/community information stall holders. Community members can go through a series of screening Stages and receive a free 1 Deadly Step jersey after speaking with a medical professional about their results.

Two medical students volunteered with other JMP students from Tamworth. This is now a regular event on the Year4 student calendar. Offers students valuable experience in liaising directly with Aboriginal community in discussing Aboriginal health issues. Offers medical health prevention and screening for Aboriginal community.

Teddy Bear Doctors

Young primary school children

The School identifies local schools (including Minimbah, Rocky River with high proportion of indigenous students) to discuss health issues using students own teddy bears as the focus. Pediatrician accompanied by several Year 4 students visit and enjoy a few hours talking with students about problems or health issues they relay through their teddy bear.

Medical students learn communication skills with young children. Young indigenous children learn to talk about health issues with health practitioners. Relationship with schools opens doors to more visits and identification of children with aspirations towards studying in health related areas.

Oorala Aboriginal Centre’s Role – Outreach activities

2015 was another busy year for the Student Support Team in various areas from supporting our current Internal and External students to working with schools and communities in our local area and further afield to provide a better understanding about The Oorala Aboriginal Centre the Alternative Pathways and support we provide, and about the University Of New England. We have worked very hard with our current students on and off campus as well as the schools and communities to enhance community engagement and to build that relationship and trust with them.

The aims of all our events, career expo’s, community and schools visits is to inform and improve educational opportunities for Aboriginal people, to engage and support with retention issues with our current students , communities, schools and organisations about future studies.

During 2015 we have worked with various schools from our local area to schools in the northern part of the state, they are as follows:

School visits

Tamworth High School, Oxley High School
Moree Secondary College
Moree Secondary College (Sista Speak)
New England Girls School (met with parents)
Armidale High School (Clontarf boys group)
Lightning Ridge Central School (NAIDOC celebrations and Career Expo)
O’Connor Catholic College
Nambucca Heads High School
Macksville High School
Toormina High School
Orara High School
Walcha Central School
Tenterfield High School
Guyra Central School
Duval High School
Coonamble Central School
Moree Primary
Mungindi Central School
Boggabilla Central School
Toomelah Primary School
McIntyre High School
Ashford High School
Stellar Project (Maclean High, Grafton High, South Grafton High & McCauley Catholic College).

We also had a number of schools speak to us about working together for their students in the future:
Goodooga Central School
Walget Central School
Coonamble Central School
Woolgoolga High School
Bellingen High School
Dorrigo High School
Coffs Harbour High School
South Grafton High School

Presentations

We made several presentations in 2015 to promote the Oorala Aboriginal Centre to the following organisations

  • Smith Family – Tamworth (working with various schools from the Tamworth region)
  • Stellar Project – Clarence Valley (Working with schools from the Clarence low socio- ecomics areas, kids from year 8 & 9. Grafton, South Grafton, McCauley Catholic College Grafton and Maclean High School)
  • Career Advisors Summit UNE Campus, to present to all Career advisors about Alternative Pathways for Aboriginal students, and the support that Oorala provides here at UNE. Career advisors came from all over the State.
  • University Community Connect Conference – Coffs Harbour (Jim White) Principals, Career Advisors, Social Workers in schools, and executive staff.
  • Schools and Community Connect Forum, on Campus (Jim White) Aboriginal Education Officers Armidale, Inverell, Ashford, Guyra, Walcha and Uralla.
  • Myall Creek Memorial Site: With Liz Taylor UNE (Pace Officer) and Moree Secondary College Students for NAIDOC.
  • O’Connor Catholic College NAIDOC flag raising
  • Armidale High School Clontarf employment Day
  • Armidale High Well-being Day.
Expos

We have also attended Career Expo’s throughout the state, we chose these expo’s due to the amount of Aboriginal Students we know are in these areas and in these schools. Throughout the years we have noticed that the numbers have fallen in regards to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students attending these events due to various reasons, but these expo’s had a great turn up of Aboriginal students. When possible depending on UNE School Liaison Team work load we work side by side with them at various expo’s throughout the year.

Forbes & Dubbo- May

In Forbes this career expo was held at Red Bend Catholic College this school, this school is a boarding school and the majority of the Aboriginal students are borders from far western NSW. In Dubbo the career expo was held at Dubbo Senior College.

We hadn’t been to these expo’s in a quiet a few years due to restraints and the belief that we were intruding on other Universities captured areas, this is a misinformed thought as we know students will choose a University that suits their needs not what is closes to home. On this trip we communicated between 100 to 150 students who years ranged from Yr 7 to Yr 12, we spoke to them about University Degree’s, pathways not only Oorala’s but Principal recommendation and the support here at UNE, we also spoke to Career Advisors, AEO and community people.

Tamworth Expo - May

Unfortunately we didn’t get here this year, but this is a great expo for our local schools as this is the only career expo held in the region. (We will be attending this next year).

Coastal Run Lismore to Taree – July

This expo runs over 4 days from Lismore to Taree, this is a huge four-day event where schools come together at certain areas of the Far North Coast, North Coast and Mid-North Coast to attend these expo’s. At these expo’s we spoke to roughly 200 Aboriginal Students.

Lismore

Lismore Trinity Catholic College

Other expos

Coffs Harbour Senior Campus

Camden Haven High School

Chatham High School (Taree)

Youth Experience Expo UNE Lazenby Hall

2015 Aboriginal Knockout Dubbo

The majorities of these schools are in the North West Region of the state and are in low socio-economic areas, and in the University of New England Catchment area. Some of these schools are in very remote areas; we have traveled to other areas of the state when we have been invited to attend their events. We know that from liaising with community members and schools that the information and opportunities can be scare in these areas due to the remoteness and lack of resources. Since the funding cost of years ago for example (Croc Festival, Deadly Days, Vibe Alive just to name a few) many Universities and organisations don’t go to these places, we have noticed that the Oorala Aboriginal Centre is one of the only Aboriginal Units that go to career expo’s unless they are specifically for Aboriginal students.

Due to the financial burdens on these schools and due to the distances between some of these remote communities traveling hundreds of kilometers to attend a career expo isn’t viable so once again they are not informed and they miss out.

By traveling to these communities and schools throughout the year in some cases long distances it shows these communities and schools that we are committed to assisting them in their dreams for their futures and for the future of their communities. We need to encourage these communities that University is not out of their reach but with assistance and information being given to them they can succeed in their chosen fields. By providing the correct information about pathways, studying by distance and University degree’s then they can make the right decisions for themselves. By visiting these communities it’s about showing that we are here to assist and support the students and communities to make the right choices for them and that the opportunities are available.

Indigenous-specific and other scholarships offered by UNE

UNE offers government and industry scholarships, and scholarships are available through diverse organisations in Law, Health, Nursing, Medicine and Pharmacy, Education, Political Science. UNE’s scholarships include Residential Scholarships and Indigenous Mentoring Scholarships.

Table 12: New 2015 Indigenous Commonwealth Equity Scholarships*

Scholarship details

Government/

Private/
University

No. allocated

Total

cost

No. awarded

Comments

IAS

Government

20

$96,460

27

7 additional IAS allocated (initial allocation was 20)

ICAS

Government

7

$35,609

7

 

IECAS

Government

5

$25,435

5

 

ICECS

Government

17

$43,231

19

2 additional ICECS allocated (initial allocation was 17)

IECECS

Government

15

$38,145

16

1 additional IECECS allocated

Total

64

$238,880

74

Table 13: Continuing 2015 Indigenous Commonwealth Equity Scholarships*

Scholarship details

Government/

Private/
University

No. allocated

Total
cost

No. awarded

Comments

ICAS

Government

15

$76,305

2

13 ICAS not continued in 2015 scholarship periods

ICECS

Government

25

$63,575

4

21 ICECS not continued in 2015 scholarship periods

Total

Government

40

$139,880

6

*Data sourced from ‘Attachment B – Reconciliation Form’, completed by UNE Scholarships Office for 2015 Reconciliation Process (Indigenous Commonwealth Scholarships Programme).

Table 14: 2015 UNE Scholarships - Undergraduate**

Scholarship details

Government/
Private/
University

No. Allocated

Cost

No. Awarded to Indigenous Students

Comments

Indigenous-specific scholarships

Ella Schroder Indigenous Residential Scholarship

University

(donor scholarship)

1

Annual Accommodation cost to a maximum of $10,000

0

Open to school leavers with financial and geographical disadvantage, who have completed high school at boarding school. For applicants who will study on campus and live in a UNE residential college.

No applicants in 2015.

Max Schroder Scholarship

University

(donor scholarship)

4

$6,000 per annum for the duration of Course with a 4 year maximum (for UNE residential college fees)

4

Open to school leavers and current students with financial and geographical disadvantage, for on campus study. (2 of 4 places were allocated for Teaching and Nursing degrees; in 2015 the donor approved award to students in any discipline).

Max Schroder Male Indigenous Mentoring Scholarship

University

(donor scholarship)

1

Full residential scholarship (excluding meals) or up to $8,000pa

1

Open to final year undergraduate students and postgraduate students. Awarded to postgraduate student in 2015.

Max Schroder Female Indigenous Mentoring Scholarship

University

(donor scholarship)

1

Full residential scholarship (excluding meals) or up to $8,000pa

1

New scholarship in 2015, open to final year undergraduate students and postgraduate students. Awarded to undergraduate student in 2015.

Max Schroder SportUNE Scholarship

University

(donor scholarship)

2

$3,000 for 1 year

0

Open to Indigenous school leaver and gap year applicants who demonstrate sporting achievements at high level and financial disadvantage.

No applicants in 2015.

Hunter New England Population Health Aboriginal Nursing Scholarship

University

(donor scholarship)

3

(1 each for 1st Year, 2nd Year and 3rd Year Students)

$5,000 for First Year Student $6,000 for Second Year Student

$7,500 for Third Year Student

1

1 awarded to 1st year applicant. No applicants for 2nd or 3rd Year Student places.

Total Indigenous-specific

12

 

7

 

Other Scholarships

UNE Health Integrated Degrees Scholarship

University

1

$7,500 for 1 year of study

1

New scholarship in 2015, for applicants enrolled in B. Health Practice/B. Community Services or B. Health Practice.

Country Women’s Association of NSW/Earle Page College Equity Scholarship

University

(donor scholarship)

4

$2,000 per annum for 1 year

1

Open to applicants from Equity groups; high number of applications (3 out of 14 applicants were Indigenous).

Only 1 awarded due to eligibility.

Support Fund for Students with a Disability

University

10

Variable amount pending application

(for items to directly assist capacity to study)

2

Open to applicants from Equity groups (students with disability); high number of applications (2 out of 31 applicants were Indigenous).

Science and Industry Endowment Fund Scholarship

University

1

$8,000 per annum for 3 years

0

Equity scholarship open to applicants who are:

Either an Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student; or have geographic disadvantage; and

From a low-SES background

For a student enrolled at Bachelor level in Sciences (Science, Computer Science, Biomedical Science, Engineering Technology) who will reside in UNE college for 1st year.

None of the 12 applicants were Indigenous in 2015.

The Lord’s Taverners Northern NSW Scholarship

University

(donor scholarship)

1

$7,000 for Duration of degree

0

Equity scholarship open to applicants with financial/geographical disadvantage, and applicants who are Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander, or from marginalized group. None of the applicants were Indigenous in 2015.

Austin College Entrance Scholarship

University

4

$1,000 for 1 year (for College fees)

1

Open to all commencing on campus students who intend to reside in Austin College, selection based on academic merit in HSC or equivalent and achievements in academia, sports, community service or performing arts.

Total other scholarships

21

5

Total of All

33

12

**Data sourced from UNE Scholarships Office, Student Administration & Services. (‘Cost’ is value of each scholarship place offered.) The above table of UNE Undergraduate Scholarships indicates under ‘Other’ the UNE scholarships for which Indigenous students are part of an overall cohort such as students from equity groups or meeting specific enrolment criteria.

Table 15: 2015 UNE Scholarships - Postgraduate***

Scholarship
details

Government/ Private/University

No. Allocated

Cost

No. Awarded to Indigenous Students

Comments

Indigenous-specific scholarships

     

Apted Honours and Postgraduate Scholarship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students

University

6

$5,000

6

All awarded for part or full funding requested

UNE HDR ATSI Participation Scholarship (Creative Practice)

University

4

$25,849 p.a. for duration of HDR degree

4

All applicants received full funding requested to support study costs (2 awarded to Masters students, 2 awarded to PhD students)

***Data sourced from UNE’s Research Services. (‘Cost’ is value of each scholarship place offered.)

Promotion of scholarships to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

UNE promotion of scholarship opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in 2015 included:

  • UNE Undergraduate and Commonwealth Equity Scholarships are advertised on UNE’s Scholarships homepage at:
    http://www.une.edu.au/scholarships
  • UNE also promotes scholarships offered through external providers such as Aboriginal Education Council (NSW) and NSW Aboriginal Land Council, the public sector and others at the homepage: http://www.une.edu.au/scholarships/indigenous
  • In 2015 UNE also increased targeted online promotions through its ‘blog’ pages, direct promotion via bulk emails to all enrolled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and to enrolment cohorts from this group who met specific eligibility. These strategies, together with information for dissemination through Oorala Aboriginal Centre, aimed to increase demand for scholarships where low take-up rates were identified. UNE Schools also promoted scholarships to students in specific disciplines.
  • All scholarships administered by Research Services are advertised on their website: http://www.une.edu.au/research/research-services/higher-degree-research/hdr-scholarships

Oorala Aboriginal Centre promotes all available scholarships to our students via our website, our Moodle Support site and in our printed Oorala Prospectus for future student information. In addition to this Oorala Outreach and Promotions staff provided printed summaries of popular scholarships at all Career Expo and outreach activities. This document contains a link to all available scholarship information.

Scholarship take-up rates

2015 take-up rates were as follows for scholarships offered for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students:

  • 114 Commonwealth Equity Scholarships were awarded to ATSI students by UNE in 2015
  • All Apted Honours and Postgraduate Scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students were awarded for 2015, with one of these pending the student’s acceptance for payment on their progression into the required level of study.
  • 100% take-up rate for UNE HDR ATSI Participation Scholarship applicants (Creative Practice Scholars Program through School of Arts). For PhD recipients these were awarded for up to 3 years and for Masters degree recipients were awarded for up to five years to encourage their progression to Doctorate study.
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