Priorities for Indigenous higher education 

Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership Professor Steven Larkin

The Third Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council (IHEAC) will meet at Charles Darwin University (CDU) this week to discuss key priorities for Indigenous higher education in Australia.

The Council is Australia’s leading council for improving outcomes in higher education for Indigenous people and provides policy advice to the Australian Government on higher education, research and research training issues in relation to Indigenous higher education students and staff.

The IHEAC was announced by the Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, and the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, on 5 November 2009 with the highest ranking Indigenous person in an Australian university and member of Charles Darwin University’s executive Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership, Professor Steven Larkin appointed as Chair.

There are several priorities that IHEAC has identified for 2009-2012 including:

* Building relationships within the higher education sector and across education sectors, with relevant organisations and communities.

* Highlighting good practice and promoting quality in Indigenous higher education; and strengthening the institutional responsibility for improving Indigenous student and staff outcomes. 

* Providing advice to Government on the effectiveness of existing higher education measures and on supplementary measures specifically focused on Indigenous students and staff.

* Providing advice to Government on developing the new higher education reform measures (Transforming Australia’s Higher Education System).

* Identifying and developing new strategies to improve Indigenous students’ participation and outcomes in higher education.

Another key priority of IHEAC is to grow the number and capacity of Indigenous researchers at Australian Universities and, broaden and strengthen Indigenous traditional knowledge and practices including the embedding of cultural competency at the institutional level in higher education.

The nine members of IHEAC will meet from June 17 to 18 at Charles Darwin University Casuarina campus. Further details are available at: