Over the last decade, the number of Indigenous students enrolled in university has grown 52 per cent. We are proud to have one of the highest indigenous student success rates (85% in 2015) of any Australian university, which compares favourably with the national success rate of the total student cohort of 87% in that year. But for many Indigenous students with the potential to excel in tertiary education, the financial barriers remain too high. By providing support (including scholarships, bursaries or grants) to undergraduate and postgraduate Indigenous students, you and the University will ease their financial concerns and help create the next generation of Indigenous leaders
Why is support needed?
University life is expensive. While Government assistance means tuition fees are rarely a major deterrent to study, most students will need to spend between $18,000 and $25,000 a year on accommodation, and a further $6,000 on other necessities such as computers and course materials.
And the stark reality is that most Indigenous Australian students come to the University of Melbourne with particular challenges and financial pressures. Indigenous students are likely to be living away from home, away from family networks and with access to limited family financial support.
While most Indigenous Australian students qualify for the Government’s Abstudy scheme, which covers their accommodation and meal costs, a growing number are ineligible, meaning higher education is simply out of reach without additional assistance.
A chance to create the Indigenous leaders of tomorrow
The University of Melbourne has committed to achieving population parity for Indigenous student numbers by 2050. This represents a near five-fold increase in Indigenous student numbers based on the current Australian population aged 15-64 years, from 273 Indigenous students enrolled in 2016, to an estimated 982 students in 2050.
Financial support for many of these students will be crucial if this target is to be achieved and most importantly, if we are going to enable Indigenous students to achieve their goals and make an impact on Australian society and Indigenous development