CQUniversity offers First Nations RHD Academy, opening up opportunities for ECEC
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > CQUniversity offers First Nations RHD Academy, opening up opportunities for ECEC

CQUniversity offers First Nations RHD Academy, opening up opportunities for ECEC

by Freya Lucas

October 02, 2020

First Nations Australian people wishing to study early childhood education and care (ECEC), and other fields, at a higher level will now be supported by a unique, first of its kind program being offered by CQUniversity.


The First Nations Research Higher Degree (RHD) Academy launched yesterday, having been developed in response to research indicating that First Nations people are under-represented in postgraduate research training programs in Australian universities.


Professor Adrian Miller, CQUniversity Deputy Vice-President of Indigenous Engagement, said it was a great privilege to open a research Academy that will provide greater opportunity for Indigenous Australians.


“The enrolment rates of Indigenous RHD candidates in this country are well under the population parity rate; in fact, Indigenous RHD student enrolments would need to almost triple to achieve population parity,” Professor Miller explained.


“The CQUniversity First Nations RHD Academy aims to address that parity while being the first Australian university to do so.”


CQUniversity, Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Nick Klomp said, is an institution “committed to inclusion, engagement and reconciliation, all of which are significant drivers for providing educational opportunities and connecting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”


“This Academy will assist CQU in increasing Indigenous participation in research and, more importantly, assist candidates in achieving strong levels of cultural, pastoral and academic support that is critical for the success of Indigenous research candidates.”


Ten First Nations students are currently enrolled in RHD level studies, representing just two per cent of the University’s total RHD candidates.


It is hoped that the establishment of a First Nations RHD Academy will increase RHD enrolments and completions, while offering a supportive and culturally-safe learning environment, for Indigenous research candidates to thrive and complete their research qualifications – no matter where they are based in Australia.


As well as having a focus on capacity-building through attracting more Indigenous students to participate in research degrees, CQUniversity will also seek to upskill the broader research community to be aware of the importance and sensitivities of undertaking meaningful and respectful research with Indigenous students and their communities.


The program will have a strong focus on engaging with Indigenous-identified academic staff from within CQUniversity and elsewhere as supervisors, including an Elders program that will be established.


The First Nations RHD Academy will be overseen by Academic Lead and Mentor, Professor Jenni Judd.


To learn more, please see here

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