Indigenous high school students from across Australia are sampling university life this week as part of UNSW’s Nura Gili Winter School Program (2-6 July).

The popular week-long residential school is one of the largest Indigenous university preparation programs in Australia, attracting 150 students from across the country.

Students have come from the Torres Strait Islands, Tasmania, Broome, Brisbane, Darwin, Adelaide and NSW to attend the program, which began in 2002 with only six local students.

The Winter School helps Indigenous students from years 10, 11 and 12 to clarify their study interests and assists them to transition to tertiary studies.

Students have the opportunity to study their chosen discipline from Engineering, Business, Law, Medicine, Science, Indigenous Studies, Social Work, Education, Built Environment, Visual Arts and Performing Arts.

Winter School participants are selected based on their community involvement, commitment to education, future aspirations and school recommendation.

There are currently 279 Indigenous students enrolled at UNSW, many of whom have been assisted by Nura Gili’s preparation programs and learning support – resulting in retention rates similar to those of non-Indigenous students.

“UNSW has the most Indigenous students of any medical faculty in Australia and in 2011 we accepted our largest ever intake of Indigenous students for Law,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Richard Henry.

“The University is committed to boosting the numbers of Indigenous students from 279 to 500 by 2015.”

Global financial firm, UBS, a founding partner of UNSW’s Nura Gili Centre for Indigenous Programs, has invested $1.25 million over five years to support these programs.

For more information about Nura Gili programs check the website

Media contact: Denise Knight, UNSW Media Office | 02 9385 8920, 0405 207 685