One hundred Indigenous students from high schools across Australia will call UNSW home for a week-long residential program designed to provide a stepping-stone to higher education.

The year 10, 11 and 12 students from as far afield as Alice Springs in central Australia, Emerald in Queensland, Mandurah in Western Australia and Boggabilla in NSW’s far north, will take part in the Nura Gili Winter School program from 7- 11 July.

Michael Peachey, Student Services Manager at Nura Gili, UNSW’s Indigenous Programs Unit, has been overseeing the program since 2009. He says 30 per cent of Indigenous students currently enrolled at UNSW have come through the Winter School program.

“Winter School provides an opportunity for students to experience university first-hand and hear from other Indigenous students who have gone on to complete degrees in their chosen field.

“Students stay on campus and choose an area of focus, for example, engineering, business, law or medicine. There is a full timetable of academic sessions, excursions and activities as well as a graduation ceremony at the end of the week,” Peachey says.

Global financial firm UBS sponsors the program, covering all costs for the students. The Balnaves Foundation also contributes significant funding to Nura Gili and to Indigenous scholarships at UNSW.

UNSW currently has 376 Indigenous students enrolled in undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs.

The University has one of the best Indigenous student retention rates in the country with more than 78 per cent of students completing their studies.

The UNSW Medical Faculty has the highest number of Indigenous medical students in Australia and there is also a strong Indigenous cohort in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Law.

What: Nura Gili Winter School

When: Sunday, 6 July to Saturday, 12 July 2014

Where: Balnaves Place, Home of Nura Gili, UNSW Kensington campus

Media contact: Leilah Schubert, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 8107