Australian business schools can be doing more to boost the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business students, according to the President of the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) Professor David Grant.
Professor Grant says the 39 university business schools around Australia needed to do more actively engage with Indigenous communities to better understand their needs and expectations of business and business education.
“We’ve looked at the performance of the business school sector in Australia – in comparison to, for example, medicine or engineering – in the sense of pulling Indigenous [students] onto our programmes, getting them interested in business and what it can do for their communities, and for themselves, for them personally,” Professor Grant said.
“We have not got as strong a record as we should have. We can do better.”
While many business schools already offer MBA scholarships for indigenous students – including Griffith Business School, UniSA and Melbourne Business School – Professor Grant said business schools needed to take a more active role to promote business courses to Indigenous students.
“They need to be far more actively engaging with the Indigenous community as to what their needs may be and their expectations may be, as regarding business and business education,” he said.
“And they need to work in partnership with industry in order to help effect a better pipeline of Indigenous talent onto business schools programmes.”