The Australian Education System – An Overview
Australia has the reputation of having some of the highest ranked educational standards in the world, and is one of the top three English-speaking destinations for international students. The Australian government recognises the need to protect the integrity of Australia’s education sector by ensuring students of all nationalities have a safe and rewarding experience while studying in Australia.
Australia’s future depends on a high quality education system that provides students with the skills, values, knowledge and understanding necessary for lifelong learning, employment and participation in society.
Australia’s Education System
Schooling in Australia begins with a preparatory year followed by 12 years of primary and secondary education. Students are required to continue their education until the age of 17 either at school or through a combination of training and employment. Students who continue their education through years 11 and 12 study towards a government-endorsed certificate that provides a pathway to further education in an Australian tertiary education institution.
There are two types of tertiary education programs in Australia: those offered by public and private training providers and institutions in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector; and those offered by universities and other public and private higher education providers.
All Australian education providers are subject to government monitoring to ensure high standards are upheld.
Under Australia’s VET system, public and private institutions and colleges deliver industry-based qualifications designed to provide students with the skills identified as critical by employers. This type of training ensures students are provided with the knowledge and expertise they need to enter the workforce for the first time, re-train for a new job, re-enter the workforce, or upgrade their skills.
Australian universities offer programs that lead to qualifications ranging from undergraduate bachelor degrees to postgraduate doctorates. Many Australian institutions also offer foundation studies or bridging courses to help students meet the entry requirements for further study. Completing study through an Australian university increases employability and provides skills that are transferable to any part of a student’s life (see www.education.gov.au).
Many Australian institutions also offer English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS). International students who are required to undertake English language training prior to commencing their formal studies in Australia may do so through an accredited ELICOS institution. Students can choose to do a General English course, or specialise by doing a course in English for business, graphic arts, the hospitality industry, academic studies, or post graduate studies (see www.elicos.edu.au).
Innovative Education Policy
Australia is renowned for its innovative education policy. Many countries eager to develop their own education systems look to Australia for advice and policy direction. Government initiatives encourage quality teaching and learning, and ensures Australian education is judged by international benchmarks.
The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) provides a nationally consistent set of qualifications for all post compulsory education in Australia. The framework enables a practical and job ready approach to learning, covering work-based and academic qualifications, and awards students with a nationally recognised qualification (see www.aqf.edu.au).
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), works with the higher education sector to protect the overall quality of the Australian higher education system. TEQSA has the power to regulate, set standards and monitors quality of university and non-university higher education providers, encouraging best practice and streamlines current regulatory arrangements. This ensures students receive a high quality education at any higher education provider (see www.teqsa.gov.au).
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Study In Australia