Indigenous Higher Education

The department  is committed to the Australian Government’s target of reducing Indigenous disadvantage. This includes improving Indigenous higher education outcomes, and enhancing Indigenous culture and knowledge in Australian higher education.

The department administers programs that:
  • are aimed at increasing Indigenous participation in higher education
  • encourage greater Indigenous involvement in higher education policy development
  • provide additional financial assistance to higher education institutions to improve outcomes for Indigenous people

Research and reviews 

Policy and programs

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Advisory Council - provides policy advice to the Australian Government on higher education, research and research training issues in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education students and staff
  • Away from Base - covers travel costs for Vocational Education and Training (VET) and higher education students studying an approved 'mixed-mode' course 
  • Indigenous Higher Education Centres - provide support to Indigenous students, further Indigenous academic studies, create a network of Indigenous students and academics and provide an Indigenous presence on university campuses.
  • Indigenous Support Program - provides grants to higher education providers to assist them to meet the needs of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme for Tertiary Tuition (ITAS-TT) - provides funding for supplementary tuition to Indigenous students studying university award level courses, and some specified Australian Qualifications Framework accredited vocational education training courses at ITAS funded institutions.
  • Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme for Vocational Education Training VET (ITAS-VET) - The program is available to eligible non-government Vocational Education and Training (VET) institutions to assist Indigenous students undertaking VET courses leading to the attainment of a Certificate Level III or above qualification
  • Supplementary Recurrent Assistance - provides supplementary per capita funding to non-government education providers in the vocational education and training (VET) and Preschool sector.
  • Targeted Education Assistance Act 2000 - outlines the Indigenous Education and Training Program elements for clients and providers. Indigenous Education and Training Programs are administered by the department Policy and guidelines

Awards and Scholarships

  • Endeavour Research Fellowships for Indigenous Australians -  provides financial support for Indigenous postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows to undertake short-term research (4–6 months) in any field of study in the Asia-Pacific or Middle East.
  • Excellence in Leadership in Indigenous Education Awards - Schools who sign up and become members of the Dare to Lead Coalition are invited to enter. The awards are an acknowledgement of outstanding work and leadership in Indigenous education, and are presented to schools that excel across all criteria.
  • Commonwealth Scholarships - Provides financial support to eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to assist with the costs associated with higher education.
  • Indigenous Staff Scholarships - provide professional development opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff working at universities

Other Indigenous programs

Other policies and programs relating to school education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

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