The Australian Government has awarded Charles Darwin University the largest grant in its current funding round to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain a university education.
CDU’s $7.5 million from the latest funding round in the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) will help to build the capacity of Indigenous people to take part in higher education. At $7,596,171, CDU’s is the largest grant to a single institution.
Minister for Higher Education, Senator Kim Carr announced a total of $50 million funding across 17 university projects that will involve universities working with a range of primary and secondary schools, vocational education and training providers, community groups as well as State and Territory governments to put more young people on the path to achieving a tertiary qualification.
CDU’s project, entitled “A Whole-of-Community Engagement Strategy to Build Higher Education Aspirations for NT Indigenous People”, will focus on improving the relatively low number of Indigenous students progressing through school to university.
The Vice-Chancellor of CDU, Professor Barney Glover, said the funds were crucial to the university’s long-term vision to increase Indigenous participation in higher education.
“We will establish and coordinate a whole-of-community engagement strategy with up to five strategically targeted regional and remote communities to identify essential factors to transition Indigenous students from regional community schools to higher education,” Professor Glover said.
In announcing the funding, Senator Carr said education was critical to Australia’s continued social and economic prosperity.
“We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in particular are significantly under-represented at university and while we have seen recent improvements in the number of university commencements there is still much more work to be done.”