Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham today announced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across the country will have more access to the support and information they need to make decisions about life after school through two new initiatives worth $1.7 million launched today and supported by the Turnbull Government.
Minister Birmingham said the $1.5 million Think Your Way portal would offer in-depth, accurate and up to date information on every aspect of the Australian higher education system through a consistent and culturally competent website.
“We know that young people from Indigenous backgrounds are under-represented at university,” Minister Birmingham said.
“This portal will give potential Indigenous students, their parents and influencers, communities and teachers the information they need to make choices about if and what they study after they finish school.
“Not only does it lay out the basic information on courses and university options, but Think Your Way also offers real stories of Indigenous students, graduates and parents, information on accommodation and details of alternative pathways through vocational education and training.”
“This portal complements a broader approach from the Turnbull Government through the Higher Education Standards Panel to increase transparency for students to ensure they are ‘uni-ready’ and can make informed choices about their studies.”
Minister Birmingham said the Turnbull Government had also committed $200,000 to the Australian Business Deans Council to encourage more Indigenous students into business courses.
“Indigenous enrolments at university have grown more than 70 per cent over the last decade, but it’s also important to have those students considering business courses as we know they can be a gateway to professions attracting higher salaries or starting your own business,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Those business students would be well-positioned to take advantage of the Turnbull Government’s Indigenous procurement target of three per cent of all domestic contracts. We estimated that procurement target would deliver $125 million by 2019/20 but we’ve already achieved it with Indigenous businesses having won $150 million worth of work and every government department is on track to meet that objective of three per cent of contracts.
“These new initiatives recognise that young Indigenous people can face additional hurdles in the education system and complement our national economic plan for jobs and growth for all Australians.
“The initiatives are supported by the Higher Education Partnership and Participation Program which aims to ensure that all Australians who have the ability to study at university are given the opportunity to do so, no matter their background or circumstances.
“Ultimately, the Turnbull Government wants more Indigenous students to finish year 12, to go on to university and into employment.”
For further information on the Think Your Way portal, visit http://www.thinkyourway.edu.au