Title

Indigenous Australia: a profile of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education student population

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Wilks, J & Wilson, K 2015, 'Indigenous Australia: a profile of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education student population', Australian Universities' Review, vol. 57, no. 2, pp. 17-30.

Article available on Open Access

Abstract

This paper brings together recent statistics relating to the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in higher education. A number of key statistical realities relating to their enrolment into, retention during, and completion of, their university courses are depicted. Foremost among these realities is that despite initiatives over recent years to redress their under-representation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ participation in higher education remains significantly below the population parity rate. This paper also warns about the need to exercise care about definitions, sources, measurement, collection, interpretation and analysis of data in the higher education field relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It concludes that successful transitions to university involve not just success in enrolling more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, but in improving their retention and completion rates, and moreover, the qualities of their engagements and experiences in university life during their journey through higher education.