We know that participating in higher education is one of the greatest ways to close the gap on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.
However, at the moment, participation rates among Indigenous students are still below population parity. We need bold ideas to turn that around.
The UTS Indigenous Residential College is a transformative, strengths-based initiative designed to both inspire more Indigenous people to enter higher education and, importantly, celebrate the richness of Indigenous heritage and culture and help forge a more inclusive society.
What will the impact be? The college aims to:
Increase the number of Indigenous students participating in higher education
- The College will remove the major barrier of cost associated with attending university by offering access to cost-covered accommodation, scholarships, stipends and other support
- By creating an inclusive space, based on Indigenous culture and tradition, the College will help young Indigenous people ‘see’ themselves at home at university, rather than on the periphery. In turn, the evidence shows students encourage family members and friends to participate in higher education
Increase the success of Indigenous students in higher education from across Australia
UTS has among the largest communities of Indigenous academics and Indigenous students studying for higher degrees by research in Australia. Its already successful programs encouraging life-long learning will be the cornerstone of the academic culture of excellence within the College.
- Pastoral care and support will be provided through the presence of elders, community leaders, Indigenous alumni and peer networks.
Increase Indigenous economic Inclusion and employment, in the short- and long-term
- Indigenous people will be engaged and employed to design, build and operate the College, in line with UTS’s existing Wingara Strategy of aspiring to a university workforce where Indigenous peoples are represented at greater than population parity.
- Employment and procurement policies will align with government policy, including the Federal Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy and the NSW Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy, as well as its Aboriginal Participation in Construction Policy.
Promote graduate success and leadership
- UTS has an undergraduate internship rate of approximately 15 percent for Indigenous students. It aims to double this by 2025.
- Currently the lead university in the Career Trackers 10x10 internship program, we will create a specific partnership program with Career Trackers to hothouse and nurture the graduates of the College through employment opportunities
- The college will link graduates to jobs through targeted and increased engagement with employers via their Reconciliation Action Plans, and through UTS’s extensive industry networks. There will be ongoing support for College alumni once in the workplace.
Build a more inclusive nation and celebrate Indigenous cultural and design excellence
- The college has been conceived and is being led by Indigenous people. Indigenous designers, architects and creatives will be engaged throughout the process to inform the design, spaces and programs to ensure the College reflects Indigenous culture and tradition, showcases architectural and design excellence and promotes caring for country.
- A public Indigenous cultural space will combine elements of art, film, performance and story-telling, in partnership with some of Australia’s leading cultural and community organisations. This will be a strong symbol of Indigenous pride and identity, in the heart of Gadigal land, to be shared by all