A record number of Indigenous high school students - 165 - has graduated from the annual Nura Gili Winter School at UNSW.
The week-long residential program provides the opportunity for Indigenous students in years 10, 11 and 12 to experience university life in their chosen field ranging from Business, Built Environment, Fine Arts, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Indigenous Studies, Social Work, Education, Performing Arts and Science.
Students come from around Australia to attend the program; some of this year's 165 participants travelled from remote and rural areas in Queensland and WA. They are selected based on their community involvement, commitment to education, future aspirations and school recommendation.
Now in its 10th year, the program began with a small group of six students.
Nura Gili Indigenous programs are supported by founding partner UBS, which has provided $1 million over four years. The centre also provides research and student support services.
The success of the university pre-programs is demonstrated by 80 per cent of participants going on to enrol in higher education. Some 40 per cent of those students come to UNSW.
Professor Martin Nakata, Director of Nura Gili, said UNSW is committed to boosting the numbers of Indigenous students from 230 to 500 by 2015. "The lessons we learn from this next phase will provide evidence for future governments on what can be done to close the gap in education."
UNSW now has the most Indigenous students of any medical faculty in Australia and in 2011 accepted the largest ever intake of Indigenous students for Law.
Read more about this year's program, held on 3-9 July, in the Sydney Morning Herald.
If you're interested in attending one of UNSW's university pre-programs, find out more here.
Media contact: Denise Knight, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 8920