The Report of the Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People highlights the role that higher education plays in improving health, education and economic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Key findings of the report
The current participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in higher education is significantly below parity with the population as a whole. The report proposes for a future where it is unremarkable for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person to aspire to university. It also presents a vision where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander world views and perspectives are valued and contribute to Australia's knowledge base.
The report acknowledges that government can only effect change with the cooperation of universities, professional bodies and communities. It also:
- focuses on current approaches impacting participation and completion by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
- focuses on the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in universities, particularly in academic and research roles
- recommends a lead role for the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council to lead the development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education and Research Strategy and to progress the findings of the Review.
Background to the review
A review panel was established to examine how higher education outcomes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people contribute to nation building and the reduction of Indigenous disadvantage. Closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage is part of the reform agenda set out in the Government's response to the Bradley Review.
An opportunity was given to respond to a Context Paper released by the panel on 19 September 2011. Submissions were received in response. A number of research reports were also commissioned by the Australian Government.