Global financial services firm UBS has committed to a major investment in support of Indigenous programs at the University of New South Wales.
UBS will invest $1 million over four years to support the programs for Indigenous students run by UNSW's Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Centre. UBS will also become a founding partner of Nura Gili and lend business expertise through student mentoring and material assistance to Nura Gili staff.
This is the largest corporate donation ever given to Nura Gili. The UBS support will be particularly focused on the Indigenous Winter School, which will be expanded to accept a yearly intake of 150 students over the next three years.
The Winter School is a residential pre-University program that assists Indigenous students in Years 10, 11 and 12 in preparing for tertiary study.
"Nura Gili is very excited at the prospect of developing this relationship with UBS," said Nura Gili Director Professor Sue Green. "With this funding secured, we were able to accommodate a record number of students in our Winter School in July. In the past, we have not had the resources to cater to the demand from students."
UNSW Vice-Chancellor Professor Fred Hilmer described the partnership with UBS as a significant development.
"UNSW's retention and graduation rate for Indigenous students equals the rate for its non-Indigenous students, compared to a national Indigenous retention rate of only two-thirds," Professor Hilmer said.
"Our preparatory programs, combined with the ongoing support provided to our Indigenous students by Nura Gili, are essential to achieving this.
"The UBS partnership is a model for corporate philanthropic support for Indigenous higher education. It expands the support needed at a vital stage to encourage Indigenous students into tertiary study, and it provides ongoing assistance and expertise as a partner in the enterprise."
UBS' Chief Executive Officer Brad Orgill said the firm was quick to see the advantages of teaming with Nura Gili.
"UBS is particularly supportive of innovative ideas that equip and encourage Indigenous students to further their education," he said. "Nura Gili's programs are in keeping with the education focus of our existing community programs, including the UBS Young Women's Leadership and Finance Academies.
This is a landmark corporate partnership and we have great respect for the achievements of UNSW and Nura Gili to date. We look forward to working together over the next four years."
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