The University of Technology Sydney will open Australia’s first Indigenous residential college to encourage more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students into higher education. The $100 million facility will offer a comprehensive range of services to celebrate Indigenous identity and culture. Students from across Australia will be invited to apply and the cost of their accommodation and support services such as tutoring and mentorship will be covered by the university.
Designed with public spaces devoted to events and education, the new college accessible cultural and community spaces that will be host a program of events in collaboration with a range of education, cultural, community, industry and government partners. The site of the project will be near the UTS Ultimo campus. The university hopes the new project can help remove the barriers like cost and cultural isolation that have been hindering access to university education. Scholarships and accommodation supplements will be available for the college’s Indigenous residents.
UTS stated that the facility will have space for 250 beds, the majority of which will be exclusively for Indigenous residents. Michael McDaniel, UTS pro-vice-chancellor for Indigenous leadership and engagement, said, “The college affirms the inestimable value of Indigenous identity to all of Australia, in an education context and beyond. From the architectural and interior design to the programs, living and communal areas and beyond, all will be led and informed by Indigenous perspectives, identities and cultures.”
The new college plans to open by 2023 and will be jointly funded by UTS and the state government.