The Australian Centre for Student Equity and Success acknowledges Indigenous peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands on which our campuses are situated. With a history spanning 60,000 years as the original educators, Indigenous peoples hold a unique place in Australia. We recognise the importance of their knowledge and culture, and reflect the principles of participation, equity, and cultural respect in our work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future, and consider it an honour to learn from our Indigenous colleagues, partners, and friends.

You are reading: “A Stepping Stone That Just Pushed Me Further Into Wanting to Go to University”: Student Perspectives on ‘What Works’ for Effective Outreach Strategies for Indigenous Students

Katelyn Barney and Hayley Williams

Originally published in Student Success
3 August 2021


In Australia, there are numerous outreach initiatives run by universities for Indigenous high school students that attempt to elevate aspirations of Indigenous students to go to university. The theoretical case for these initiatives is strong as much data exists surrounding the barriers Indigenous students face in entering university. However, the research and evidence base for these equity programs remains largely underdeveloped and limited (Bennett et al., 2015). Drawing on findings from interviews with Indigenous university students as part of a National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) Equity Fellowship, this paper identifies what works and what areas to strengthen in Indigenous specific outreach programs. The paper concludes by discussing the development of strategies and resources to build the evidence base of effective outreach activities for Indigenous students.

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