The number of Aborigines with postgraduate degrees has jumped by 85% within a ten-year period to nearly 4,000, according to recently released Australian census figures. Graduate diploma or certificates awarded to Aborigine people have also risen by 75% to 4,000.
Large scale poverty and poor health continue to represent a barrier for Aboriginal students wishing to access further education, but the results of a recent study at the University of Sydney (US) seem to be shedding some light on a way forward. A newly developed seven-step system of support which focuses on respect, communication, safety and quality, reflection and advocacy, as well as cooperation from employers, is proving to be successful.
The scheme also offers the students a chance to provide feedback to researchers at the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, based at US.
TAFE enables access to skilled jobs and higher education
Work placements that are close to home and minimise time away from family and support networks are also provided as part of the scheme, which aims to improve how Aboriginal students use TAFE (the technical and further education system) to gain access to university or skilled work. By the end of 2018, the completion rate of 96% had been maintained and 380 qualifications had been awarded to Aboriginal students.