Universities Australia (UA) has made a submission to the House Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs inquiry into opportunities for employment and economic development for Indigenous Australians.
Higher education continues to unlock employment and economic advancement for all Australians. This is especially so for Indigenous university graduates, who typically outperform their non-Indigenous peers in labour market outcomes – meaning there is no employment gap for university graduates.
During the past decade, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people pursuing a university education in Australia has more than doubled. However, disadvantaged groups such as Indigenous and regional Australians remain underrepresented in university participation and attainment.
- Universities Australia recommends Government continue to prioritise policy and funding settings that enable universities to offer the transformative opportunity of higher education to all Australians – particularly Indigenous Australians – given the clear short and longer-term employment and social and economic benefits for graduates, their families and communities.
- One of the great success stories for Australian higher education in recent years has been its role in helping to close the employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
- Universities need to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in senior university leadership positions and increase engagement and responsibility of advancing Indigenous initiatives across institutions.