Boosting Uni Enrolments in the NT

Program attracting school students into university expands to the NT’s regions.
Oct 11, 2023
The path to university begins with an idea of what to expect.

Lots of young people in the NT don’t end up going to university, there are many reasons for that but a major one is a lack of familiarity with tertiary education.

In response, Charles Darwin University (CDU) runs a program helping to guide high school students into tertiary education which is now expanding to Katherine, Alice Springs and Nhulunbuy.

CDU’s Aspire program, supports, guides and encourages high school students to pursue higher education by introducing them to university life, pathways and provides support to set and achieve academic goals.

From next year the program will be expanded to CDU’s Katherine and Alice Springs campuses and Nhulunbuy centre, as well as continuing in Darwin and Palmerston.

Students are welcomed to CDU’s campuses and participate in coaching, workshops, and faculty activities, meet academics, staff and Aspire alumni.

Aspire Program Officer Louise Turner said the team was excited to bring the experiences, information and guidance of Aspire to more Territory students.

“Aspire is about exposing students to university and breaking down those barriers towards higher education,” Ms Turner said.

“It’s about building self-confidence, resilience, and awareness so they have a better understanding of themselves and their own strengths to take pathways into higher education.

“We are so excited to work in the regions, showcase the phenomenal campuses and their resources.”

Students who participate in the program have access to a $1000 scholarship per annum in Year 11 and Year 12. The funds can be put towards school fees, tutoring, course, and study materials and more.

Students who graduate from the Aspire program and enrol at CDU are also eligible to apply for a $10,000 scholarship.

Ms Turner said a key focus of the program was showcasing the opportunities for students to pursue higher education locally.

“We want our young people to stay in the Northern Territory and use their knowledge and wisdom to better and shape the Territory,” she said.

“We encourage students to stay here, study here and go out into the workforce and be amazing human beings.”

The program has supported students enrolling in nursing, business, and arts qualifications at CDU.

Applications for the Aspire program close on October 31.

Image by Rachel Claire