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The Federal Government has announced a $67.5 million funding boost to help Indigenous university students complete their study.
5 Apr 2017 - 3:49 PM  UPDATED 5 Apr 2017 - 3:49 PM

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and Senator for New South Wales Marise Payne made the announcement at the launch of the Indigenous Student Success Programme today at Western Sydney University. 

The funding boost of $67.5 million is part of a larger $235 million four-year investment to support Australia's 16,000 Indigenous students to complete their studies. 

Senator Scullion says the new arrangements were supported by universities and Indigenous academics, who helped in the design, and featured in the Indigenous strategy released by Universities Australia last month.

"Getting to university is quite an achievement in itself, but the real outcome is graduating, taking up a profession and making a contribution to community, family and the knowledge of our country," he said. 

"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enrolments in university have been growing at twice the rate of enrolments for other Australians."

“Sadly, however, Indigenous students are more than twice as likely to drop out of university within their first year when compared to other Australian students."

Senator Payne said more than 32,000 Indigenous Australians live in Western Sydney and education is a key part of closing the employment gap. 

“We know that with high levels of education, there is almost no employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” Senator Payne said.

“In fact, the results are even better for Indigenous women with a degree who statistically have a higher employment rate than their non-Indigenous counterparts."

The programme provides assistance through scholarships, tutorial assistance, mentoring and other personal support designed to help students meet the demands of university and succeed. 

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