Education System in Australia

Australia welcomes students from all over the globe and is an increasingly popular study destination. The Australia Education system offers top notch opportunities and qualitative education which is highly regarded and widely recognized all over the world. The Education System of Australia is diverse, which covers 12 years of elementary/primary and secondary education. The Education System in Australia offers a plethora of courses and choices, which includes traditional academic programs in addition to the further practical and vocational courses.
Australia is known for its academic excellence, offering internationally recognized qualifications with great and numerous career development opportunities. The Education System in Australia starts with a total of 12 years of Primary and Secondary Schools.

Primary Schools

Primary education in Australia is seven years of preliminary classes, where children commence their education at the age of 5 years (Year-1) and will be completed at the age of 12 (Year-7).
  • Day Care: There are many types of education for children up to 5 years, but the main ones are the "Child Care" regulated centerscentres or families in registered residences who take care of the kids in a system called "Family Day Care".

  • Kindergarten: Children typically attend Kindergarten at around the age of four to five.
This level of education provides general education to the students and gets them ready for a role in society and for the next level of education.

Secondary School

Secondary schools are known as High School. Schools are divided into "junior" and "senior" schools in recognition of the different roles they play in the overall education system.

Students move to secondary school (Year-8) at the age of 12 and it is mandatory to complete their two years of ‘junior high school’ till the Year-10, after which they have the option to discontinue their education or can pursue their further course of study. Students have to accomplish another 2 years of ‘high school diploma’ (Year-12). Students leaving their school after ‘junior high school’ can also go for a vocational education course or for apprenticeship training to get into the workforce.

Most Secondary schools offer a general curriculum, including English, Math, science and humanities subjects. Australia also has some language and technical schools that offer vocationally focused curriculum. On successful completion of Year 12, students are issued with a Senior Secondary Education Certificate. In Australia each State gives this certificate a different name, but they all denote the same level of education and are mutually recognised by each different State. Some schools also offer international award programs such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) as an alternative to the Year 12 school-leaver certificate.

Tertiary School

After completing final year (Year-12) of secondary school, students head for their higher (Tertiary) education that awards degree for Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral studies. Tertiary education in Australia is within the purview of the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF), which aims to integrate both vocational and higher education into a solitary classification of tertiary education.
  • Vocational Education and Training
    Australia is among the few countries that hold a vocational education sector where a trainee is evaluated by his or her acquisition of competencies, and focuses on the development of skills relevant to a profession or field of skilled specialisation. The VET sector is comprised of public and private training institutions, which are collectively referred as Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). Government-funded or public training institutions are known as colleges or institutes of TAFE i.e.,Technical and Further Education.

  • Higher Education
    Australia's higher education sector is world class and all Australia's universities have highly dynamic and comprehensive international programs. Cultural sensitivity, tolerance of religious observance and freedom of expression are proudly promoted and encouraged by all Australian universities. Every Australian university is autonomous and sets its own standards and norms, and course offerings, but each belongs to a unified national system which ensures that at undergraduate level, all Australian university degrees are nominally of equal calibre. Study at a college or university leading to the Bachelor's  Degree is known as "undergraduate" education. Study beyond the Bachelor’s Degree is known as "graduate" duration, or "postgraduate" education. Advanced or graduate degrees is Ph.D. i.e., doctorate.

Credit Transfer

This is the system of appreciating the student’s preceding level of education. This system is available for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Credit transfer system helps students to move between courses and institutions and provide diverse opportunities to accomplish their prospective and respond to varying employment needs.

Academic Year

In most of Australia, the primary and secondary school year typically lasts from late January or early February to mid-December, and is split into four terms:
  • Term 1 starts in late January or early February and ends in late March or early April (often in close proximity to Easter).
  • Term 2 starts in mid-to-late April and ends in late June or early July.
  • Term 3 starts in mid-July and ends mid-to-late September.
  • Term 4 starts in early-to-mid October and ends mid-December.
The table below shows the different study options that students have after completing different levels of education

 Year 10
  • Year 11 and then year 12
  • A vocational program (certificate 1 to certificate 3 depending upon the ability of the student. The course may be held in a school, at a TAFE college or at private college
 Year 11
  • A one year foundation course to prepare for university entry
  • A certificate 4 programme
 Year 12
  • A foundation programme
  • A certificate 4 programme
  • University undergraduate programme
  • A vocational diploma
  • A university undergraduate programme in year 2 , this again depends on the recognition that the university provides to the diploma
 Advanced Diploma
  • A university undergraduate programme in year 3 , this again depends on the recognition that the university provides to the diploma
 Bachelor degree (Under Graduate)
  • A one-year “Honors degree (for students who have the ability)
  • A postgraduate qualification
 Masters degree
(Post Graduate)
  • PhD

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