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Indigenous strategy annual report January 2020

Higher education First Peoples education University students Australia

The Universities Australia Indigenous Strategy 2017- 20 brings all 39 member universities together to advance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation and success in higher education.
It was developed in a partnership between Universities Australia and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC).

Universities Australia (UA) is the peak sector body representing Australia’s comprehensive universities. As part of the strategy, UA undertook to support the efforts of its member universities to advance Indigenous higher education. This includes seeking annual feedback from universities on their progress towards commitments made under the strategy and publishing a report on that progress. This is the second annual report on progress achieved under the UA strategy since the first Universities Australia Indigenous strategy first annual report launch in March 2017.

Key Findings:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges contribute to Australia’s intellectual and cultural capacity. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research undertaken across Australia’s universities includes research on languages and cultural expression, education and health, social justice, native title and traditional ownership, governance and public policy.
  • Universities indicate they are seeking to ‘grow their own’ Indigenous academics and researchers by building a pipeline of high performing undergraduate students, postgraduate students and alumni from Indigenous backgrounds.
  • In the first and second years of the UA Strategy, Indigenous student enrolments exceeded one of the key UA targets. This sector-wide target was to grow Indigenous enrolments at 50 per cent above the growth rate for non-Indigenous enrolments, and preferably at twice the rate.
  • Indigenous graduates generally experience very strong employment outcomes. In 2019, 78.2 per cent of Indigenous undergraduates were in full-time employment four months after completion, outperforming non-Indigenous undergraduates (72.1 per cent).


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