4.2 Higher degrees by research and research training

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Growing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people successfully completing higher degree by research ( HDR) study and moving on to careers in academia is critical to supporting future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to access and succeed in higher education and in professional pursuits.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should also be able to benefit more from the many personal and professional rewards that higher degree studies and academic careers provide.

Publicly funded research plays a fundamental role in building Australia’s future prosperity. Researchers in Australian universities and research agencies are key in translating knowledge and ideas into innovation that drives Australian productivity and improves the wellbeing of all Australians. Researchers in universities also play a fundamental role in teaching and training the next generation of workforce professionals including researchers and university academics.

Higher degrees by research provide the entry point to careers in research, and engagement with research communities in Australia and overseas. Therefore, research and research training policies play a key role in building Australia’s current and future research workforce.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers who have contributed to the Review have described many benefits from embarking on careers in research, for themselves and their communities.

Dr Michelle Trudgett, of Macquarie University, describes:

My work has provided me with a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. I have had the opportunity, among other things, to design a new Masters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education degree, supervise four fantastic students and to present my research to leading international and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian scholars.

Though the academy can definitely be demanding, the intellectual rewards are endless. I would strongly encourage any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian person who is interested in an academic or research career to pursue these dreams.

The sense of transformation and empowerment from the research efforts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers in Professor Fiona Stanley’s Telethon Institute for Child Health Research – Centre for Research Excellence in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing is illustrated by Cheryl Kickett-Tucker and Juli Coffin:

Alone we are one, together we are a critical mass, a group to be listened to, acknowledged and respected for our knowledge and skills in promoting and advocating our influence for change. Such a bond is formed for life as are our links back to our family, kin, culture and country. We have all shared this time of collective growth and development and we will make a difference (quoted in Bessarab et al. 2009, p. 3).

It is also illustrated in survey research conducted by Christine Asmar et al. in 2009:

We should not lose sight of the fact that [Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers] are lit from a fire within by the fires of their intrinsic motivation and their personal commitment to the ongoing development of their peoples. As one Indigenous researcher put it, ‘I’m trying to write the thesis as if I’m writing to the community’ (Asmar, Mercier & Page 2009, p. 156).

Current situation

Numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR enrolments have increased over the last decade, albeit from a low base. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR student enrolments increased by 27.8% between 2005 (334) and 2010 (427) compared to only a marginal increase (2.0%) for non-Indigenous HDR students (39,318 and 40,097 respectively) during the same period. However, the increase in completions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students has been relatively small with 15 more students completing their studies in 2010 (43) compared to 2005 (28) ( DIISRTE 2012a).90

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR enrolments as a proportion of all domestic HDR enrolments has grown from 0.8% in 2005 to 1.1% in 2010 ( DIISRTE 2012a)91 but is still well below the parity rate of 2.2%. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR student enrolments would need to double to achieve population parity.

HDR retention rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are also higher than for any other course level at 80.1%.92 Retention remains, however, just marginally lower than for non-Indigenous domestic students (80.1% compared to 83.9%) ( DIISRTE 2012a).93

What needs to change?

Consultations94 and submissions emphasised a number of additional needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students. Cultural competency across supervisors, academic staff and general staff, particularly outside of the Indigenous Education Units, was one of the most often raised issues. Recognition of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives is also seen as critical to providing both a conducive environment and providing academic support.

To increase the pipeline of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students able to pursue HDR study, a number of submissions emphasised the importance of capacity-building courses, master classes, mid-degree support and pre-PhD courses.95 Building a student cohort across universities was seen as a beneficial way to provide essential emotional and academic support. The need for mentoring was also raised in many submissions.

Feedback from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PhD holders indicated that many felt a great sense of isolation while undertaking their research degrees. While feeling isolated is common to many HDR and other students, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students feel it acutely as they are often the only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student continuing to HDR study. Other issues raised by them were similar to those raised by other students.

Consultations also indicated that appropriate financial support was essential to the success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students. The Panel heard that financial assistance could be better targeted to support the needs of HDR students, particularly given that, as for undergraduate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, many are mature age and have family obligations.

The Panel believes that all of these issues need to be addressed to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander success in HDR study.

Increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students

As the low numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students are partially due to poor transitions from undergraduate studies (and in turn from school and vocational education), there are no quick fixes to increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students.

Part of the solution to lift student numbers is a national approach to improving access and outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through strategic agreements between the Australian Government and universities. The Panel recommends national and institutional targets be negotiated for improved enrolments and completions for HDR students, alongside targets for other students, and that these targets be similarly agreed and reported through university mission-based compacts. This is discussed in section 6.3.

Improve supervision of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students

It is well established that high-quality supervision is the critical foundation of a successful HDR experience for all HDR students ( DIISR 2011a, p. 14). Supervisors provide the academic guidance, teaching, capacity building and mentoring, as well as the emotional support, to assist a student to produce high-quality research.

A 2004 report on the pedagogy of research supervision found that ‘supervisors who are more “hands-on” in their approach to supervision tend to be associated with faster and more completions’. Keywords were availability, reliability, trust, reciprocity and teamwork (Sinclair 2004, p. vi, cited in DIISR 2011a, p. 16).

Consultations and submissions reinforced that the quality of supervision is a critical element of the postgraduate experience.96 They also indicated a need for supervisors to provide guidance, expert knowledge and assistance in developing research skills, while taking into account the student’s cultural background.

Cultural differences can affect expectations, chosen fields of research and instinctive learning approaches and methods. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students whose academic focus is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge had some specific issues identifying, as a priority, methods that are culturally acceptable to communities (for example, a preference for allegory and extended conversation, deference to authority and avoidance of critique). As one PhD holder described:

I had to approach my work in ways that had not been done before because existing methodologies were offensive to our mob and theories did not do the right job in explaining who we are. I could not find anyone in my field to talk it through with.97

Another student noted:

Based on my experience it is more important that you have a good supervisor that understands you and works in the same way you do … One bad supervisor could be the critical thing that loses ‘us’ (Trudgett 2011, p. 392–393).

These are important reflections for supervisors because, of course, it is also their job to ensure that advanced training in disciplinary methods is provided. This is true in both cultural studies and in medicine. Empathy must be combined with rigour for an effective supervisory relationship.

Many present and past Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students consulted as part of the Review have had positive experiences with supervision. For example, a survey respondent at the IHEAC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Academic Doctors’ Forum reported:

My supervisor was caring and committed to my project – open and keen to learn.98

A number of submissions spoke of the considerable goodwill of non-Indigenous supervisors. A submission, for example, indicated that some academics were reluctant to take on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students ‘through fear of “getting it wrong”’ (submission no. 16, Group of Eight, p. 21).

Survey work on this issue undertaken as part of a doctoral thesis in 2008 also showed a general consensus among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students that supervision played an important role in the academic experience (Trudgett 2008, p. 140, cited in Trudgett 2011, p. 392).

In 2008, according to the survey of 55 students, 70.9% had a non-Indigenous supervisor; 21.8% had an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supervisor (and 7.3% had no supervisor as they were masters by coursework students). Interestingly, those students who identified as being part of a local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community thought it was extremely important to have an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supervisor (47%), while only 14% of those who did not identify as part of a local community expressed a similar view. This illustrates a diversity of needs depending on the student, location, the field of interest and thesis topic (Trudgett 2011, pp. 391–2).

This research also found that most students prefer an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supervisor where their research deals substantially with Indigenous subject matter (Trudgett 2011, p. 391).

While there were many instances of supervisors who were able to support student achievement, generally the ability of university supervisors to understand student needs in a culturally sensitive way was regarded as lacking. This suggests a need to better understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the university context.

Through consultations, the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council and PhD holders suggested that:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supervision be a competency within a university’s internal accredited supervisor training. Training should include information on the types of barriers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students face and how supervisors can best support them.
  • universities ensure that co-supervision arrangements are available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students, utilising the appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander expertise for the thesis. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander co-supervisors could support the application of appropriate epistemologies, data collection and working with communities. Consideration could also be given to having Elders and community members as co-supervisors.
  • a national register of supervisors be developed listing researchers with the necessary skills to supervise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research students
  • better mechanisms be developed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to provide feedback on support and supervision, such as student surveys and exit statements
  • a national research supervision award be created to acknowledge outstanding research supervisors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research students.

The Panel believes it is critical that attention be given to supervision to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students receive the support they need to produce high-quality research that is able – should they choose – to engage energetically with Indigenous knowledges and perspectives. Supervisors also need to be provided with better models to embrace their role. This is particularly important as the vast majority of supervisors are non-Indigenous (Trudgett 2011, pp. 391–2).

Good practice models should be disseminated nationally, for example, through a national project on good practice supervision or through AIATSIS providing a role in supporting good practice for universities. The Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council could also initiate an annual award for supervision of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students.

Building on existing efforts

The University of Melbourne’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander postgraduate summer school is designed to provide not just Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students with introductory information but also their supervisors. Initially based on the summer school and mentoring program of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the University of Melbourne also provides cohort support through its Postgraduate Summer Schools for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students initiative.

For universities and supervisors looking for guidance, the Lowitja Institute has produced a very comprehensive guide, Supporting Indigenous researchers: a practical guide for supervisors, which provides advice for researchers and supervisors on building culturally appropriate and ethical research approaches including supervision. Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous researchers were consulted in the development of this guide.

Capacity building and cohort support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students

Building capacity and cohort support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is another key element in raising HDR enrolments and completions.

A number of submissions emphasised the importance of capacity-building courses, master classes and mid-degree support to both assist existing HDR students, as well as to build a pipeline of students prepared for HDR study.99 The Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council and many PhD holders indicated that there was a strong need to provide guidance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research students and supervisors.100

Short programs or master classes were suggested. Issues to be covered could include information sharing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research practices, for example, ethics, intellectual property issues and fieldwork practices. Dr Bronwyn Fredericks indicated in a private submission to the Review that a three-year competitive research funding program for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academics was needed to provide the training for HDR study and develop competiveness for Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council grants.

Consultations with PhD holders also indicated the majority of HDR students experience a sense of isolation relating to time spent on research. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students, this is compounded because often they are the only, or one of only a few, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students undertaking HDR study at their institution.

In its submission, the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations noted that:

[o]ne significant issue with completing research has often included a feeling of isolation from the Indigenous community following a period of study, particularly where the results are seen to be a Western recognition of knowledge, and thus causing separation from a candidate’s community (submission no. 56, Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations, p. 8).

A central part of support provided by the New Zealand Government to support Māori and Indigenous HDR students is the Māori and Indigenous program. This program both builds capacity in Māori and Indigenous students while providing means to connect with their student cohort nationally. New Zealand has had high levels of success in increasing the number of Māori and Indigenous New Zealanders with PhDs in the last two decades with the assistance of this network.

A national body to oversee the development of postgraduate students and a national online network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research students in Australia, along the lines of the Māori and Indigenous network in New Zealand, was suggested at a consultation with Dr Michelle Trudgett.

Indeed, a number of Australian universities are initiating cohort support approaches to support within their institutions, which provide important capacity-building and emotional support. For example, Queensland University of Technology’s Indigenous Student Research Network and Postgraduate Research Capacity Program and James Cook University’s postgraduate program appear to be effective cohort support models. A number of participants from the IHEAC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Academic Doctors’ Forum and submissions to the Review provided particularly positive feedback regarding Queensland University of Technology’s model (submission no. 48, Fredericks).

The Panel commends universities initiating cohort support programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students. The Panel encourages other universities to explore these approaches and consider how they might be able to share or implement similar strategies in their own institutions.

The Panel also notes that the Australian Research Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Researchers’ Network – expected to be operational in 2012 – may assist in providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with cohort support and capacity-building opportunities. The Australian Research Council is providing funding of up to $3.2 million for four years under its Special Research Initiatives scheme, to be led by experienced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers. The network’s core functions will include building Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research capacity, mentoring new researchers and advancing research in Indigenous knowledge systems. A key objective will also be to improve the retention and completion rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students.

The network itself will have a dispersed presence, administered from a central ‘hub’ working with collaborative ‘spokes’ of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers throughout Australia. Each spoke will be linked to a node. The network will have at least four nodes in two or more states and/or territories.

The Panel looks forward to seeing benefits from this national initiative.

Targeting Research Training Scheme funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students

The main source of funding for supporting the tuition costs of domestic students in universities undertaking HDR courses is the Australian Government’s Research Training Scheme ( RTS). The RTS is paid as a block grant to universities, which are provided significant autonomy in the administration of this funding, including determining the number of students supported through the funding provided ( DIISR 2011a).

In 2010, 344 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students received RTS funding, representing 1.0% of all students receiving RTS funding. In 2010, 9.3% of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students receiving RTS funding received an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship, compared with 24.1% of non-Indigenous HDR students ( DIISRTE 2012a).101 Up to 2.2% of total RTS funding at 2012 rates for the RTS would be $14.2 million from total funds of $643.5 million.

As discussed previously, there is a clear imperative that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR student numbers increase. Data also suggests that higher completion rates need to be achieved and thus that there needs to be greater focus by universities to ensure effective support.

There is some support in the sector for further RTS funding to be allocated to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The Group of Eight asserted that a proportion of funding for research training should be utilised to provide additional resources to supervision to ensure that this critical support is provided to students (submission no. 16, Group of Eight, p. 20).

Directing funding from their RTS allocation in line with the targets set for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR student participation would allow universities to do more to support existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students and provide a higher-quality research experience. This would also enable universities to more adequately support the research and development needs of students in the pipeline.

Universities will then report through the mission-based compacts on the use of RTS funding, including the strategies and outcomes to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people undertaking HDR study. It may be necessary to amend the RTS guidelines to take account of these changes.

A separate issue raised in consultations was the need to ensure that the real cost of fieldwork in communities is provided, as well as sufficient support for living costs and travel in ways that allow sufficient consultations with communities (whether this be via research training block grants or separate university research funding). Consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PhD holders indicated that adequately resourcing fieldwork in regional and remote localities is an ongoing issue. As one PhD holder related:

Researching in rural and remote Aboriginal communities is expensive due to transport but also expensive in terms of time as building trust in the community is essential to the data collection … I travelled to the remote Aboriginal community six months prior to conducting the fieldwork, as it proved impossible to obtain permission from the community to undertake my fieldwork over the phone and via email as they wanted to meet with me. This trip took five days and cost $1100. At the meeting I was advised that I would be required to be in the community for approximately eight weeks. I had to seek additional funding for this from the university. I was fortunate and able to receive $8,000 from a university fund to meet these expenses. I had to take leave from work, while my family of seven got by on an Indigenous Staff Scholarship (Dr Peter Radoll, Australian National University).102

The Review found it difficult to ascertain the size and scale of this issue and suggests that it be examined in the context of the current review of research training arrangements.

Targeting Australian Postgraduate Awards for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students

Financial support is critical for a HDR student to be able to undertake and complete a PhD. It is also a key lever to fast-track PhD completions, as without the necessary support, PhDs can take upwards of five years.

The Group of Eight and several other submissions outlined that better financial support, as well as the number of scholarships, should be increased to acknowledge the additional challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.103

A key mechanism for supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students is through the Australian Postgraduate Awards ( APA) scheme. The scheme provides financial support for HDR students who undertake their research degree at an Australian higher education provider. These awards are provided as stipends at the rate of $23,728 for 2012, which are available for a period of two years for a research masters degree or three years for a research doctorate (with the possibility of a six-month extension for a research doctorate). In contrast to non-government scholarships, subject to the agreement and capacity of the institutions concerned, an APA is transferable across universities and is not tied to a particular field of research.

Consultations and a number of submissions also highlighted that the award amount is insufficient to provide support for most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as most are mature age and supporting families; and that the three-year timeframe for duration of the award does not realistically allow the student to receive support through to completion. Curtin University of Technology stated in its submission:

It is highly unlikely that an Indigenous Honours graduate would apply to enrol in an HDR course without a scholarship. Indigenous HDR applicants tend to be older students supporting themselves and their families. The APA … scholarships are insufficient for HDR students to do this, and financially represent a substantial reduction in expenses when compared to a working wage. In addition, the three-year duration of most HDR scholarships is unrealistic for students undertaking interpretive research, where it is vital to spend time building relationships with communities and research participants (submission no. 49, Curtin University of Technology, p. 6).

The total number of APAs supported within the system in 2010 was 8,352. In 2010, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students accounted for only 0.4% of all APA students enrolled. The Panel supports a greater proportion of APA funding being used to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students given the need to increase participation and outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in HDR study. If, for example, 2.2% (the parity rate) of funding currently provided for the APA scheme was to be provided for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students, this would provide $5.2 million in funds at 2012 rates (total funds for APAs in 2012 are $236.6 million).

As with the allocation of RTS funding, the Panel believes that universities should allocate funding from their existing APA allocation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students that is commensurate with their specified HDR targets. Universities will then report through the mission-based compacts on the use of APA funding. It may be necessary to amend the APA guidelines to take account of these changes.

Strengthened pathways to higher degrees by research for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

To increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people undertaking a higher degree by research, universities will need to consider how they strengthen pathways to higher degrees from within the university, the workforce and the broader community.

Submissions and consultations indicated that there is a need for better preparation for HDR study for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students. In its submission, the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council emphasised that better research methodology training was needed prior to commencing HDR study and that this training should incorporate the particular requirements for Indigenous-related research and research practices that relate to ethics, intellectual property issues and fieldwork practices.104 This was supported by a number of submissions and was also a recommendation of PhD holders at consultations.105

In its submission, the Group of Eight emphasised the importance of universities strengthening pathways into HDR study from the workforce as well as developing supportive pathways for general staff (submission no. 16, Group of Eight, p. 7).

Indeed, some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academics have been highly successful in developing research courses specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the workforce. In information provided to the Review Secretariat in 2011, Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson states:

In putting together the Doctorate of Indigenous Philosophies, I became aware that you did not have to have an undergraduate degree for entry into the MBA, or DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration), but entry was considered on industry experience and an entry application (research proposal).

With the support of the school of business, I crafted a document to progress the Doctorate of Indigenous Philosophies through academic board, to allow entry to people who might have 20 years field experience in a government department, at a senior public service level, but no undergraduate degree.

Other postgraduate pathways can also provide important entry and re-entry points from the workforce that can lead to longer-term HDR studies. Universities may need to look at support to students in these courses. According to 2010 data, retention rates106 for a number of postgraduate courses are the lowest of any course level. Retention in masters degrees and doctorates by coursework is 61.9% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people compared to 74.8% for non-Indigenous students. Retention rates are particularly low for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students for other postgraduate courses (46.4%) compared to non-Indigenous students (63.3%) ( DIISRTE 2012a).107

Universities may also need to consider what strategies and pathways are needed to support community members with non-traditional backgrounds to undertake HDR study. A number of submissions referred to the need to support non-traditional pathways to recruiting Indigenous people into academia. For example, the Group of Eight in its submission indicates:

Entrenched educational disadvantage is another reason why universities will not be able to rely solely on conventional academic pathways to build an Indigenous academic workforce. On the other side of this coin, exclusive reliance on conventional academic pathways would exclude many Indigenous experts and practitioners in various fields whose perspectives would be very useful to university teaching and research, including those experienced in various professions as well as those with strong traditional knowledge (submission no. 16, Group of Eight, p. 22).

One submission also observes that good practice in conducting research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities encourages the participation and development opportunities afforded by research in communities (submission no. 22, Arnold & Peters, p. 1).

Recommendations

Recommendation 20

That universities incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supervision in their planning and as a competency within their internal training for higher degree by research ( HDR) supervisors, and consider, where appropriate, flexible co-supervision arrangements that provide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supervisors who are not necessarily academic staff in a university.

Recommendation 21

That the Australian Research Council consider conducting an early review of implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Researchers’ Network to ensure that it is appropriately targeting HDR students.

Recommendation 22

That the Australian Government work with universities through compact negotiations to ensure that they:

  • allocate Research Training Scheme funding equivalent to a university’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR student target to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research training and a pipeline of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students. Universities will need to report on their strategy and level of funding as well as report on outcomes through the compact.
  • allocate Australian Postgraduate Award funding equivalent to a university’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR student target to support the completion of degrees by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students and a pipeline of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students. Universities will need to report on their strategy as well as on outcomes through the compact.

90 Based on Table A providers and domestic students only.

91 Based on Table A providers and domestic students only.

92 ‘Rate of retention’ is defined as the number of domestic students who studied in 2008 and studied again in 2009 at the same provider (excluding any students who completed in 2008) as a proportion of domestic students who studied in 2008 (excluding any who completed in 2008).

93 Based on Table A providers and domestic students only.

94 IHEAC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Academic Doctors’ Forum, November 2011.

95 For example, submissions by the Group of Eight (no. 16); the National Tertiary Education Union (no. 45); Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (no. 56); Australian Catholic University (no. 37); Bronwyn Fredericks (no. 48); University of Queensland (no. 42).

96 For example, submissions by the National Tertiary Education Union (no. 45); Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (no. 56); Deann Grant (no. 15); Bronwyn Fredericks (no. 48).

97 Survey information from IHEAC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Academic Doctors’ Forum, November 2011.

98 Survey information from IHEAC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Academic Doctors’ Forum, November 2011.

99 IHEAC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Academic Doctors’ Forum, November 2011. Submissions from Group of Eight (no. 16); National Tertiary Education Union (no. 45); Australian Catholic University (no. 37); Bronwyn Fredericks (no. 48).

100 Survey information from IHEAC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Academic Doctors’ Forum, November 2011.

101 Based on Table A providers and domestic students only.

102 Australian National University consultations.

103 Submissions by the National Tertiary Education Union (no. 45); Curtin University (no. 49); Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (no. 56); Bronwyn Fredericks (no. 48); Group of Eight (no. 16); University of Queensland (no. 42).

104 Submission no. 73. See also the submission by the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (no. 56).

105 Submission no. 56, Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations, p. 8; submission no. 22, Arnold & Peters, p. 1; consultations with PhD holders at the IHEAC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Academic Doctors’ Forum, November 2011.

106 Based on 2009 retention rates, i.e. 2009 students who returned in 2010.

107 ‘Other postgraduate’ as defined in DIISRTE data includes postgraduate qualifying/preliminary, graduate/postgraduate diploma and graduate certificate courses. Based on Table A providers and domestic students only.