The Australian higher education system: What international students need to know?
With the ever increasing standards of education, Australian Institutes have been managing to provide world class and quality education to their students. Without any doubt, Australia has some of the best universities’ in the world and all local and international students hope to make it to those universities.
Australia is a diverse country which is very rich in culture. It is home to many wildlife animals and natural landmarks. This reason is enough to know why one would love to study in Australia. So in case if you’re planning to get into an Australian university and want a brief introduction to Australian higher education system, here is the guide that will assist you in choosing the best path for your future.
Australian higher education system:
Australian higher education system consists of public,private, independent universities and higher education institutions that provide professional qualifications.
In Australia A higher education provider is either:
- Public and Private Universities.
- Vocational Institutes (TAFE, RTO)
Public and Private Universities
Australia Higher Education University system consists of total of 41 universities out of which 37 are public universities which offer degrees from bachelors to doctorates.
Most of the public universities in Australia are funded by the Commonwealth Government therefore local students frequently receive financial aid and scholarships. However, international students have to cover their complete tuition fee.
Australian universities Promote independent learning. They provide 100% of resources to its students who take initiative to learn more and more. They promote critical thinking and plagiarism is considered a serious academic offence whose consequences can range from failing an assessment to expulsion from university.
These are the kind of programs offered by private and public universities in Australia:
Undergraduate Degree Programs:
- General Bachelor’s Degree which includes three years of full time study.
- Bachelor Degree (Professional) which includes 4 years of full-time study.
- Bachelor Degree + Honors which includes 3-4 years full-time study + 1 additional year’s successful completion which allows entry to a Masters by research or Doctorate program.
Fee: Typical Annual fee for undergraduate program ranges from AU $15,000 to AU $33,000 as per the official site for international students.
Admission Requirements: Admission Requirements for all programs are decided by individual universities and that varies from program to program but general criteria for undergraduate admission requires 13 years of school education.
Post Graduate Degree Programs:
- Extended Master’s Degree in which you have to complete 3-4 years full-time study.
- Masters by Coursework which consists of 1-2 years full-time study.
- Masters by Research with the duration of 1-2 years full-time study.
Fee: As per the Government Website, for international students, fee for Master’s Program ranges from AU$20,000 to $37,000.
Admission Requirements: Admission in Master’s Degree depends on the level of achieved grades in previous degree and relevant study background.
Doctoral Degree Programs:
- Doctoral Degree which consists of 3-5 years full-time study.
- Doctoral Degree (Professional) which consists of 3-5 years full-time study.
Fee: As per the Government Website, for international students, fee for Master’s Program Ranges from AU$14,000 to $37,000.
Admission Requirement: Admission to doctoral programs depends upon high achievement in a Research Master’s Degree or completion of a Bachelor Degree with First Class honors along with research proposal.
Vocational institute in Australia is also known as Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and is a largest educational and training sector that provides education after high school. These are government owned institutes with history in helping international students achieve their career goals. Since these are government owned, controlled and funded institutes so they make sure to provide quality education and security to students.
These government owned institutes are the safest and most affordable solutions to acquire quality training and educations for local and overseas students. TAFE is usually taught at TAFE institutes located all around Australia. A large number of courses are also available online.
These are the courses offered under the Banner of TAFE:
- Certificates I–IV
- Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas
- Graduate Certificates and Diplomas
- Associate and Bachelor Degrees
- Short courses
Fee: Average Tuition fee for TAFE programs ranges from AUD$4,000–$20,000 a year which varies from program to program. It also depends if you’re on studying on Government aid or a full fee paying student.
- Entrance requires from students to have education equivalent to Australian 10, 11 or 12 years.
- Some courses do require prior relevant education or work experience.
- Entrance into art course also requires from students to submit portfolio.
Vocational degrees can also be obtained at private vocational institutes known as Registered Training Organizations (RTO). These institutes deliver vocational education and training services. RTOs offer wide range of Certificates, Diplomas and Graduate Certificates after proper training. RTOs also help you in gaining nationally recognized courses and accredited Australian Framework qualifications.
Difference between TAFE/RTO and University:
Universities in Australia offer Bachelor’s degree with the duration of three to four years. However TAFE/RTO institutes offer courses and diplomas with the duration of one to three years. Australian education system ranks Bachelor’s degree higher then TAFE/RTO certificate or Diploma. In any Australian university, TAFE Diploma/Certificate holders may receive up to two or three semesters of credit towards a related university degree.
It is believed that TAFE/RTO gives practical work exposure to students as compared to universities and somehow it’s true. Most of the courses offered under TAFE/RTO banner are vocational which give insight to students who want to work in the fields of Tourism, Community, Hospitality and Construction Work etc.TAFE/RTO can definitely be a stepping stone for both national and international students to get accepted into their desired programs into the universities.
So what you are waiting for? Get admission into your interested course in Australia and enjoy the high class education in a vibrant and multicultural environment. You may face some challenges in the start but trust me; you are going to make it.
Study in Australia and be the next big thing!