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New partnership to support Indigenous higher education participation

16 November 2018

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC) have signed a memorandum of understanding at today’s NATSIHEC National Caucus meeting.

The partnership will see the two parties working together to support Australian higher education in meeting the needs of the nation’s first peoples.

TEQSA Commission Dr Lin Martin said that the partnership would help the agency focus on the diversity and equity expectations for all higher education providers in the Higher Education Standards Framework.

“Higher education providers’ approaches to teaching and learning should be designed to accommodate student diversity and create equal opportunities for academic success, regardless of a student’s background”, said Dr Martin.

“Our partnership with NATSIHEC will allow us to work closely with the key advocacy group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in higher education to ensure that we understand our responsibilities in this important area.”

NATSIHEC’s President, Distinguished Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson said that the group was looking forward to building a positive and productive relationship with TEQSA to ensure accessibility and relevancy of higher education, that is conducive to the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, as well as ensuring learning and teaching environments promote Indigenous knowledges and perspectives to all students.”

The Higher Education Standards Framework (HES Framework) includes specific mention to the recruitment, admission, participation and completion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

The HES Framework also places requirements on higher education providers to ensure that the participation, progress and completion rates of particular subgroups of students are monitored and that the findings are used to inform admission policies and improvement of teaching, learning and support strategies.

NATSIHEC has been advocating for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access, scholarship and research in the higher education sector since the early 1990s, and is a key advisor to the Federal Minister for Education and Training.

The group’s current project, Accelerating Indigenous Higher Education, has been engaging experts and leaders in university and industry in order to: improve Indigenous outcomes in STEM; increase the Indigenous academic workforce; and support whole-of-university approaches to improving Indigenous higher education outcomes.

More information


Media enquiries

Raphael May, Assistant Director, Communications: raphael.may [at] teqsa.gov.au, 0437 143 012 or (03) 8306 2536