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Learn and Understand the Australian Education System

Reading Time: 15 minutes

Education is a vital part of everyone’s life.In order to provide quality education, each and every country in the world follows a certain education pattern. No matter whether you are a local or an overseas candidate, you must be aware of the education system of the country you are about to spend your academic life in.

australian education system

If you are an international student who wishes to study in Australia, then continue reading this post. In this blog post, you will get detailed information on the Australian Education System.

An Overview of the Australian Education System

In general, each country follows a unique education system to teach and update the knowledge, skills, values, morals and beliefs of an individual who belongs to different age groups. When compared to other countries, Australia follows a distinctive education system.

The duty of regulation and the funding of education in Australia are completely managed by the state. However, the Australian Federal Government also provides funds for education. Especiallyfor school education, Australia has developed a standard National Curriculum.

The education system in Australia is highly organized and well-structured. The Australian Department of Education and Training (DET) is responsible for providing top-quality education to students. Also, it helps Australians to access different levels of education such as childhood education, school education, higher education, vocational education, international education, academic research and training.

Usually, education in Australia starts at the age of 5 or 6. The official language of Australia is English, and hence the main language of instruction in the Australian Education System is English. However, some schools also offer bilingual programs.

Till now, we saw a brief overview of the education system in Australia. Now, let us have a quick look at the general structure of the Australian education system or the different levels of education in Australia starting from preschool.

Structure of the Australian Education System

Education system

The Australian Education System is commonly structured as follows.

  1. Preschool
  2. Primary School
  3. Secondary School
  4. Tertiary Education

Preschool

Preschool is a highly popular education trend in many countries. Generally, kids from 3 to 5 years of age will be given preschool education. For them, the preschools will typically stand as the first exposure to education.

Preschool education is a foundation to formal learning where kids below 5 years of age will be engaged in different activities such as painting, block construction, puzzle-solving, etc. Mainly, this level of education helps the students to develop their motor skills and social skills through the play-way method.

The ultimate role of the preschools is to prepare kids for primary school by cultivating the basic and necessary skills needed for the kids to adapt to further education with utmost care and supervision.

In Australia, each state follows a different preschool approach. Some preschools operate separately as daycare and some preschools function within the primary school. But, on the whole, the country doesn’t count preschool education as schooling because, as per the Australian education system, preschool is different from regular primary school.

The preschools are not regulated by the Australian Government and are also not compulsory for the kids to complete their pre-schooling.Parents who wish to tune their children to the education process can admit their children to preschools.

Primary School

In Australia, primary school is considered the first stage of formal education. The kids of 6 years of age must compulsorily start their education by stepping into primary school.

The main role of primary schools is to teach the core subjects to students and to develop their numeracy and language skills. Also, it functions to providefundamental knowledge to the children about the world around them.

Generally, the primary school curriculum lays a strong educational foundation for children between 6 and 12 years of age. But in Australia, some states follow the concept of middle school and offer primary or foundation level education to students from 7 to 10 years of age. However, this education concept differs from school to school.

In the Australian states that follow the middle school concept, students after completing middle school can enroll in secondary schools or high schools to complete years10, 11 and 12.

In all the states and territories in Australia, the students should compulsorily complete grade 10 and participate in any training, employment or full-time education until the age of 17 years.

Secondary School

The students can join the secondary school after completing their education in primary school or middle school depending upon the school system in their states. Usually, students between 13 and 18 years of age attend secondary schools or high schools.

In secondary schools, the students will be given in-depth subject knowledge. The schools follow a standard curriculum and teach the subjects like English, Maths, Science, Social Science, Citizenship, and Economics to enhance the knowledge of the students on various topics.

The students have freedom of choice to select the subject they wish to pursue in the year or grade 11 and 12. On successful completion of the senior secondary school studies, the students will be awarded a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.

Here is a gist of the schooling system in Australia.

Preschool: Daycare [Age: 3 to 5 years]

Primary School: Grade 1 to 6 (or) 1 to 7 [Age: 5/6 years to 12 years]

Secondary School: Grade 7 to 10 (or) 8 to 10 [Age: 13 years to 16 years]

Senior Secondary School: Grade or Year 11 and 12 [Age: 17 and 18 years]

Tertiary Education

After the senior secondary school education, the students can continue to pursue vocational and higher education courses or start working.

The education that involves higher education and vocational education and training is referred to as tertiary education.

Higher Education

Higher education involves studying at a technical college or university. In Australia, the education providers such as colleges and other institutes that are recognized by the Australian Government offer various higher education degree courses.

All the organizations that offer higher educational qualifications in Australia must be registered by Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), which is Australia’s national quality assurance and regulatory agency for higher education.

The students must put a lot of effort into pursuing the higher education courses rigorously for a specific period of years to become a graduate. The advantage of higher education is that it prepares students for future job prospects.

Australia is a perfect destination for higher education. It is the home of 40 public universities, 2 global universities and 1 private university.Nearly 1100 institutions in Australia offer over 22,000 highly reputed coursesin Arts, Design, Teaching, Medicine, Accounting, Law, Health and Science, Management, Engineering and Technology.

Students after their secondary school education can join any higher education course of their choice and do their graduation, post-graduation or research education from a reputed Australian University.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

It is not mandatory for students to pursue higher education after senior secondary school education. Instead, they can also join Vocational Education and Training (VET).

Vocational Education and Training is an education and training program in Australia that focuses more on providing essential skills for work. The VET is different from higher education. In general, higher education focuses on delivering theory-based knowledge while VET courses focus more on delivering practical training.

Under the VET program, thousands of professional and certification courses are offered to students. By pursuing the VET course, the students can upgrade their job-oriented skills in their desired field. Most importantly, without having higher education, students can directly acquire job skills by joining the VET courses.

VET Registration and Entry Requirements

The VET courses are offered by accredited Australian educational bodies. The Registered Training Organization (RTO) is an education provider in Australia that delivers nationally recognized vocational education training and qualifications.The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is the national regulator for Australia’s VET sector.

In Australia, the VET sector works in partnership between government and industry. Also, the VET qualifications will be provided by private institutions and government institutions called Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions. In addition to higher education courses, some universities also provide VET courses in Australia.

Not just the Australians, the overseas students who wish to learn VET courses in Australia can also register themselves in their desired course. But the RTOs that enroll the overseas students must also register themselves with the Australian Government Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). Through CRICOS, the Australian Government monitors the education offered to overseas students in Australia.

To join any VET course in Australia, the students must complete their study level equivalent to the years 10, 11 and 12. Some courses require work experience from the students. For joining the arts and design VET courses, the students must submit their portfolios.Though the entry requirements for VET courses are common, each institute sticks to different admission and selection criteria.

Career Outcomes of VET

The VET courses mostly provide advanced diplomas, diplomas or certifications. The students who complete VET can gain the essential skills and join the workforce for the first time, rejoin the workforce after a break and also shift to a different career. Business, marketing,manufacturing, hospitality, sports and tourism are some of the popular industries the VET students can look for.

VET courses are outcome-based, and they offera flexible learning pathway for students. It trains the students in the industry context and offers different levels of certificates and qualifications such as Certificate I, II, III and IV as well as Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses.

Mentioned below are qualifications and the possible career outcomes for the VET courses in Australia.

  • Competent Operator (Certificate I)
  • Advanced operator (Certificate II)
  • Qualified tradesperson or technician (Certificate III)
  • Supervisor(Certificate IV)
  • Para-professional(Diploma)
  • Junior manager (Advanced Diploma)

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

The Australian Qualifications Framework is a national framework of qualifications in the school, VET and higher education sectors in Australia. In simple terms, AQF is a national educational policy that defines the hierarchy of educational qualifications in Australia.

The AQF is designed and governed by the Australian government. The main purpose of AQF is to ensure a consistent educational title across the nation.

The Australian Qualification framework is classified as 10 levels. Each AQF level is briefly discussed below.

Level 1- Certificate I

Graduates at this level will have foundational knowledge and skills to perform initial work and will also be prepared for community involvement and further learning.

Duration of Study: 0.5 to 1 year

Skills:

The level-1 graduates will have cognitive, communication and technical skills to

  • Conduct defined routine activities
  • Identify and record simple issues and problems

Level 2- Certificate II

Graduates at this level will have technical, factual and procedural knowledge in a particular area of work along with necessary skills.

Duration of Study: 0.5 to 1 year

Skills:

The level-2 graduates will have basic cognitive, communication and technical skills to apply appropriate tools, methods, materials and processed information to

  • Conduct defined activities
  • Offer solutions to predictable problems

Level 3- Certificate III

Graduates at this level will have technical, factual, theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in a particular area of work and learning.

Duration of Study: 1 to 2 years

Skills:

The level-3 graduates will have a wide range of cognitive, communication and technical skills to apply appropriate tools, methods, materials and information to

  • Finish routine activities
  • Offer solutions to both predictable and unpredictable problems

Level 4- Certificate IV

Graduates at this level will have a broad spectrum of technical, factual, theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in a particular or broad area of work and learning.

Duration of Study: 0.5 to 2 years

Skills:

The level-4 graduates will have a wide range of cognitive, communication and technical skills to apply appropriate tools, methods, materials and information to

  • Finish both the routine and non-routine activities
  • Offer solutions to both predictable and unpredictable problems

Level 5- Diploma

Graduates at this level will have technical, theoretical and specialized knowledge and skills in a particular or a broad area of work and learning. With the skills acquired, the graduates can do skilled or paraprofessional work.

Duration of Study: 1 to 2 years

Skills:

The level-5 diploma graduates will have a wide range of cognitive, communication and technical skills to apply technologies and methods to

  • Analyze information to finish a range of activities
  • Offer solutions to complex problems
  • Transmit skills and necessary information to others

Level 6- Advanced Diploma, Associate Degree

Graduates at this level will have broad technical, theoretical knowledge and skills in a particular or a broad area of work and learning. With the skills acquired, the graduates can do highly skilled or paraprofessional work.

Duration of Study:1.5 to 2 years (Advanced Degree)& 2 years (Associate Degree)

Skills:

The graduates at this level will have a wide range of cognitive, communication and technical skills to apply technologies and methods to

  • Analyze information to finish a range of activities
  • Interpret and provide solutions to unpredictable and complex problems
  • Transmit skills and necessary information to others

Level 7- Bachelor’s Degree

Graduates at this level will have broad and coherent technical, theoretical knowledge and skills in one or more disciplines of work or areas of practice.

Duration of Study: 3 to 4 years

Skills:

The bachelor’s degree graduates at this level will have cognitive, communication and technical skills. Also, using those skills, they will select and apply technologies and methods to

  • Analyze and evaluate information to finish a range of activities
  • Analyze, interpret and generate solutions to unpredictable andcomplex problems
  • Transmit skills, ideas, knowledge and other necessary information to others

Level 8- Bachelor Honors Degree, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate

Graduates at this level will have advanced technical, theoretical knowledge and skills in one or more disciplines of work or areas of practice.

Duration of Study:1 year(Bachelor Honors Degree), 1 to 2 years (Graduate Diploma) & 6 months to 1 year(Graduate Certificate)

Skills:

The graduates at this level will have advanced cognitive, communication and technical skills, and they will apply technologies and methods to

  • Critically analyze and evaluate information to finish a range of activities
  • Analyze, interpret and generate solutions to complex problems
  • Transmit skills, ideas, knowledge and other necessary information to others

Level 9- Master’s Degree

Graduates at this level will have advanced and specialized knowledge and skills for research in one or more disciplines of work or areas of practice.

Duration of Study: 3 to 4 years

Skills:

The graduates at this level will have specialized cognitive and technical skills to

  • Critically analyze and synthesize complex problems, information, theories and concepts
  • Conduct research and apply the established theories into practice
  • Transmit skills, ideas, knowledge and other necessary information to non-specialist and specialist audiences

Level 10- Doctoral Degree

For the advancement of learning and professional practice, the graduates at this level will have a systematic and critical understanding of a complex study field and specialized research skills.

Duration of Study: 3 to 4 years

Skills:

The graduates at this level will have specialized cognitive, research and technical skills in a specific discipline area to

  • Involve in critical reflection, evaluation and synthesis
  • Create and implement research methodologies to extend and redefine existing knowledge or professional practice
  • Promote new ideas to the community and peers
  • Develop original knowledge to make a contribution to a discipline or an area of professional practice.

Final Words

We hope you are now clear with the Australian Education System and the various levels involved in the AQF. The Australian education system is one of the most well-known education systems in the world. If you want to find a new job in Australia, then you can complete a VET course in any of your desired fields.

In case you plan to settle in Australia or wish to pursue a higher education degree in Australia, then take some initiative to know more about the Australian Education System.Along with education, some Australian universities also provide scholarships and other educational benefits for international students.

Having strong knowledge of the education system of the country you wish to settle inor join for higher studieswill help you to easily prepare a career plan and explore various career opportunities available in your desired field of study.Not just high-quality education, Australia also provides good career opportunities for graduates and skilled people in particular academic disciplines.

When you pursue your education in Australia, you will be assigned a lot of assignments, academic projects, research paper writing work and case studies. If you struggle to complete your assignment, then you can contact us and get high-quality assignment help from our team of professional online assignment helpers who are subject matter experts.

  • 1. How is the education system in Australia?

    Australia has a three-tiered education system: primary secondary and tertiary.

  • 2. Does Australia have the best education system?

    Australia comes with one of the best education system in the whole world and it has received global reputation too. This education system aims at offering a very high quality education to all its students.

  • 3. Is education in Australia free?

    It depends. Sometimes it is free for the school children. The residents of the state schools can take this benefit. Moving on to the higher studies, government schools offer mostly free education to the Australian citizens and permanent citizens.

  • 4. Is Australian or UK education better?

    Both are good, but if you need more options of streams and subjects, UK should be your destination. In case you are looking for a flexible study system, Australia should be your choice.