Educational System in Australia
The Commonwealth country’s education system is broken into three categories: primary (includes kindergarten), secondary, and higher education, with only primary and secondary being compulsory. After completing these stages of the school system, students can choose to pursue higher education at some of the country’s best schools and universities.
By 2021, there are 37 top universities in the country, with 6 of these being in the top 100 institutions worldwide.
Education (both public and private schools) along with international schools in Australia are first-rate. The UN’s education index lists Australia as second globally, so you can undoubtedly expect your child to receive a high-quality education in this country. However, Australia can be an expensive country to study—especially for international students.
Australia has some of the best schools and higher education options. It is one of the countries with the most international students in the world. So if you are an expat parent looking to enroll your children in the Australian education system, it would be best to get to know some things beforehand.
For starters, you will have to choose between public (sometimes known as “government schools”), private, or even international schools for your kids. The cost of this schooling will depend on which type you choose.
If your child has completed compulsory education (primary and secondary), and if you are interested in having them pursue higher education, be prepared to pay a hefty price tag. In 2018, this average was 30,840 AUD (20,926 USD) for an undergraduate degree and 31,596 AUD (21,444 USD) for a postgraduate.
Australia features 36 universities in the recently released QS World University Rankings 2021. Of these, only six have fallen in rank this year, with the majority of Australian universities making significant improvements.
Australian National University (ANU) is once again the top university in Australia this year, despite dropping two places in the rankings. The rankings are based on a methodology which assesses each university on its academic and employer reputations, research impact and more.
The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the policy for regulated qualifications in the Australian education and training system. The AQF was first introduced in 1995 to underpin the national system of qualifications in Australia, encompassing higher education, vocational education and training (VET), and schools. The AQF is the agreed policy of Commonwealth, State and Territory ministers, and is administered by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
The AQF provides an integrated policy that comprises:
- the learning outcomes for each AQF level and qualification type
- the specifications for the application of the AQF in the accreditation and development of qualifications
- the policy requirements for issuing AQF qualifications
- the policy requirements for qualification linkages and student pathways
- AQF qualifications and qualification pathways
- the policy requirements for the addition or removal of qualification types in the AQF, and the definitions of the terminology used in the policy.
AQF incorporates the qualifications from each education and training sector into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework.
Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) is based on partnership between governments and industry. ET qualifications are provided by government institutions, called Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions, as well as private institutions. Australian governments (federal and state) provide funding, develop policies, and contribute to regulation and quality assurance of the sector. Industry and employer groups contribute to training policies and priorities, and in developing qualifications that deliver skills to the workforce.
Traditionally, VET courses are known to focus more on providing practical and work-orientated occupational skills, whereas university or higher education courses are better known for focusing on providing theory-based knowledge and professional career paths. There are many exceptions to this rule, however, because VET covers such a wide range of different courses and qualifications.