Diversity of Education
Institutions in Australia offer a wide variety of courses and degrees, making it easy for international students to find the fit that is right for them. When choosing a degree program, international students who wish to study in Australia should first decide on the type of school they are interested in. Students can choose among universities, vocational education, and English language training. These education sectors are linked, making it easier for students to move from one qualification level to the next and from one institution to another.
Australian universities offer programs that lead to bachelor degrees and higher qualifications in a large variety of fields. Australian universities provide their students with the opportunity to study every major discipline, in both individual and collaborative projects.
Although the bachelor degree is the most common qualification offered in Australia, master’s degree and doctoral degree programs are also offered. These provide students with opportunities for specialized research training and professional development. Postgraduate students in Australia develop skills in research that puts them at the forefront of the development and application of new technologies.
Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) institutions offer students the opportunity to hone their skills in both real and simulated work environments. These institutions offer their students the chance to study a wide variety of disciplines such as business and management, science and technology, design and arts, communications, sport and recreation, community service and health, tourism and hospitality, engineering and building, horticulture and land management, and English.
These programs are provided by public Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Institutes, private colleges, and a number of schools and universities. Industry and Government work together in developing training outcomes, which are then implemented according to nationally endorsed training packages. This allows the students in these programs to apply the knowledge they learn inside the classroom in the real world.
The training gained through vocational education can be used towards higher education. In other words, Australian universities may provide students with degrees or certificates from vocational education institutes with credit towards a degree.
English Language Training
As with any language, the best way to improve knowledge of the English language is to live among and converse with native speakers. Studying in Australia provides non-native English speakers with the opportunity to use and improve their English every day. Students in Australian English language classrooms learn not through reciting lists from text books, but by practical application of their skills. Students who wish to study English in Australia will be able to find a program that’s right for them and suits their specific needs, no matter what their level of proficiency in the language.
There are five main types of English courses taught in Australia:
- General English – focuses on the development of communication skills, particularly in speaking and listening.
- English for Academic Purposes – prepares students to study at an English-speaking university or vocational institute.
- English for Specific Purposes – focuses on practical English skills for specific course areas such as English for Business, Aviation, or Tourism.
- Secondary School Preparation – develops English skills for entry into an Australian secondary school.
- Examination Preparation – prepares students for English language proficiency exams, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and Cambridge Certificates.
- Students can enroll in English language courses at any time during the year. The length of full-time courses can range from four weeks to 48 weeks. Students who enroll in these courses should expect to spend about 25 hours a week studying. This includes both time spent in class and studying on their own.