University program helps Indigenous students make their mark

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The first graduates of a University of Adelaide program that helps Indigenous high-school students achieve academic success in Year 12, have received offers to study at the University in 2018. Based on last year’s success, the University will expand its program in 2018.

The Karnkanthi Indigenous Education Program, which was launched in 2017, provides high-achieving Indigenous students in Years 11 and 12/13 with academic, cultural and personal support to help them succeed in their final years of school and continue this success at university.

“The Karnkanthi Indigenous Education Program is about ensuring young Indigenous people are equipped to thrive during their final years of high school and can see a clear pathway into university to pursue their choice of career,” says Professor Shane Hearn, Dean of Indigenous Research and Education Strategy at the University of Adelaide.

“There are a cohort of Indigenous students demonstrating excellence, who could be future PhD students, great school teachers, doctors, lawyers and strong community leaders, and we want to ensure they have all the support they need to succeed,” Professor Hearn says.

Of the five program graduates, four to date have received first round offers for their preferred courses.

Pantju Nam achieved an ATAR of 96, and has been accepted into a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical and Pharmaceutical) at the University of Adelaide. He thought he would achieve a good ATAR but was delighted with his end result.

“I am very proud of what I have achieved, all my hard work has paid off – my mum, dad, grandparents, aunties and uncles – all of them are very proud,” says Pantju.

Pantju was able to access tutoring support through the program and found this a great help. “The extra checking of my assignments and answering of any extra questions was really useful,” he says.

As for choosing to study chemical and pharmaceutical engineering, Pantju wanted to study something he enjoyed, which could provide him with career opportunities both here and overseas.

“I wanted to study something different, where I could venture off and make an impact on the world, and science is something I get great enjoyment out of,” he says.

Off the back of the success of its first year, 17 students are enrolled in the Karnkanthi Indigenous Education Program for 2018 (there were 10 in 2017) with applications still open for entry.

“The program has been such a success that we’ve been able to offer more places to students in 2018, furthering the University’s commitment to lifting the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students attending the University of Adelaide,” says Professor Hearn.

More information on the program


Contact Details

Kelly Brown
Communications Coordinator
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 (8) 8313 3943