Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students make up just one percent of the country’s university population, but a tertiary preparation program is designed to turn those figures around.
Over the past two weeks 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from across the country have been sampling university life in the Griffith University Hands Up! Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP).
The program aims to prepare enrolling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students for university life. It focuses on computer literacy skills, academic reading and writing, assignment preparation, research and surviving lectures and tutorials.
Director of GUMURRII Student Support Unit, Bronwyn Dillon, says the program equips students with the skills and attributes to help them succeed in their studies.
“We provide them with a basic outline of what to expect from university study and it gives them confidence and inspiration,” she said.
“Research shows it is equally important that people get into the fabric of university life; combining a social support network and academic support makes a huge difference in attrition rates,” she said.
Enrolled in a double degree in Business, 38 year old Hollie Morris was initially nervous about commencing university as a mature age student.
“University life seemed daunting to me but Hands Up! TPP program has really helped ease those fears and I now know what to expect and can’t wait for the semester to begin”.
“The program has provided us with a broad spectrum of daily life as a student and the support from staff and student mentors has been fantastic,” she says.
For Hollie, the opportunity to become the first academic achiever in her family was another strong motivation for her to study.
GUMURRI recently received the Australian Learning and Teaching award for Programs that Enhance Learning in the Widening Participation category. See story here
For more information:http://www.griffith.edu.au/gumurrii-student-support-unit