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$200,000 grant to research improving Indigenous participation in business schools

Tue, 24 May 2016

The University of Newcastle has been awarded a $200,000 grant to build an evidence base of improved business school strategies to boost Indigenous student enrolment and retention.

Last year management and commerce courses, like all fields of education, marginally improved their percentage of Indigenous students. However, their levels are still well below participation rates that would reflect the three percent of Australians who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples[1]. (See the table below).

The Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme (HEPPP) funding will support research to improve Indigenous participation, retention and success in Australian business-related higher education, particularly for those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

The University of Newcastle Business School Dean and Chief Project Researcher, Professor Morris Altman, says the under-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Business Schools reduces the ‘capabilities and opportunities for Indigenous population to succeed in contemporary Australian society.’

All 40 Australian universities offer business programs yet Indigenous participation is under researched.

‘It is not enough to find ways to get Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people enrolled, we must do our best to ensure progression, completion, and success,’ Professor Altman says.

During this ABDC-supported project, led by Newcastle University, researchers and practitioners will work with partner business schools, community members and leaders to identify strategies to improve active student participation and success.

The 18-month project will analyse demographic data collected by Australian universities to establish the participation and success rates in business schools and across Australian business-related higher education in general.

 The project will use a mixed-methods approach to:

  • Identify current effective strategies and initiatives at national and international universities
  • Develop strategies and initiatives for Australian Business Schools to address barriers
  • Establish a Community of Practice comprising key stakeholders, including Business School academic and professional staff, Indigenous students, Indigenous communities and business groups.
  • Develop impact indicators to determine how Business Schools are meeting effective participation and success targets for low socio-economic status Indigenous students.

Deliverables include a series of reports and academic papers; development of, and recommendations on, tested effective, innovative strategies and initiatives; and impact indicators. 

 

Percentage of Indigenous Domestic Higher Education Students

 

2014

2015

All Fields of Education

1.41%

1.47%

Education

2.01%

2.08%

Society and Culture

1.70%

1.78%

Health

1.58%

1.60%

Creative Arts

1.30%

1.51%

Management and Commerce

0.84%

0.92%

Information Technology

0.77%

0.87%

Natural and Physical Sciences

0.80%

0.83%

Architecture and Building

0.68%

0.76%

Engineering and Related   Technologies

0.57%

0.60%

Food, Hospitality and Personal   Services

0%

0%

[1] ABDC analysis based on Department of Education and Training data, 2015 first half year student summary tables

and Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2011 Census.


 

 


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