The education system in Australia is famous around the world as one of the most reliable and high-quality. This is why they strive to win grants to study at a University or at least to enroll on a paid basis.
Each Australian state and mainland territory has its own laws concerning education. The federal government was long reluctant to take on responsibilities delegated to the states, but it has taken upon itself responsibility for schooling in the Capital Territory and for the education of immigrants and aborigines. Since one fifth of the population in the early 1990s had a non-English-speaking background, federal funds were provided for teaching English as a second language.
Preschool and school education
Generally, preschool and school education in Australia lasts for 13 years, with some variations across states and territories. It is divided into a preparatory year, primary school and secondary school. The preparatory year is not compulsory but is almost universal. Currently, school education is compulsory until age 15.
Approximately 3.3 million students attend 9500 schools in Australia. Of these, 72% are of government schools, and they are attended by more than two-thirds of full-time students.
There are approximately 260 000 school teachers in Australia. In secondary schools, the number of students per teacher averages 12.4.
The curriculum and syllabus for each program or course in the state schools is prescribed by the
Pre-school education lasts one year.
This is the special course which prepares little children for school. It is not obligatory.
Primary school lasts seven years.
– All the subjects are taught by one person;
– Special teachers are invited for the children having physical defects;
– Parents and teachers discuss the progress of the child during special meetings held once or twice a year;
– At the end of every term parents receive report about the results of their child.
Secondary school lasts three years.
It usually includes 8-10 grades. After the 10-th grade a student can leave school or finish High School (Senior Secondary School).
High school (Senior Secondary School) lasts two years.
It includes 11-12 grades. After passing the exams and finishing High School a student receives High School Certificate (HSC). There is no entrance examinations, admission to the University depends on the results of final exams at school.
Department of Education.
Since the seasons in Australia are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere, the school year begins at the end of January or early in February, and it ends in mid-December. A vacation of about six weeks is taken over the summer months, December to February. There are two shorter vacations that divide the school year into three terms.
Secondary schools in Australia can be not only public (government schools), but also private (independent schools). In addition to schools, you can send your child to study at private colleges and so-called Polytechnic institutes (TAFE).
All secondary schools can be divided into:
school for boys (boys’ schools);
school for girls (girls’ schools).
After graduation from high school, students receive a state certificate.
In General, schools in the country are the same, depending on the state, schools may have their own characteristics.
From the age of six, children enter schools. Until the age of 12, they are trained at the first stage of secondary education-Primary School. The second stage begins at 12 and ends at 16 - Junior Secondary. And grades 11–12 are Senior Secondary, the third stage of education in Australia, designed for students up to 18 years of age. The following subjects are taught in Australian schools:
Art (drawing, music, etc.).
In the last grades, the choice of subjects is greatly narrowed. And what students choose for themselves determines their future orientation at the University.
Tertiary education (среднее специальное образование)
Tertiary education programs are offered by institutions and industry in the vocational (профессиональный) education and training (VET) sector as well as by universities.
Australia’s vocational education and training system provides individuals with the skills required in a modern economy and delivers competency-based training that is practical and career-oriented. Institutions called TAFE (technical-and-further-education) colleges and private post-secondary education institutions provide practical courses, courses which are more job-focused than higher education courses. They teach skills needed for specific jobs in the various industries. They have less theoretical content and are more technically based than university courses.
TAFE colleges in Australia are the same professional training as in Russia. But there are some differences. This type of educational institution provides professional training in a wide range of areas. Like Polytechnic institutes, colleges are divided into:
private-paid institutions that do not provide any guarantee for further employment;
state – integrated into a single TAFE (Technical and Further Education) system. Their education is considered the most high-quality and prestigious, which equates them to universities.
But their main differences from each other (both colleges and universities) – the way of financing and material base. At the same time, there is a generally accepted state level, below which the University is forbidden to present knowledge.
Australian colleges stand out because they are aimed at a serious practical load. You will need to practice in a number of specialties. Sometimes this practice is paid, sometimes not-it all depends on the employer.
After graduating from College, you can get a certificate of 1, 2, 3 or 4 degrees, a diploma or Advanced diploma, depending on your primary education. The duration of training for obtaining a certificate is from 12 to 52 weeks. For a diploma, you will need to spend 1.5-2 years, and an advanced diploma - 2.5-3 years of study.
Features of Australia’s training programs
Education at universities and colleges in Australia has its own nuances. The most important feature is the credit-modular system – a kind of cumulative system for evaluating knowledge.
The essence of this system is that students can switch to another program of study without any exams. To go, they need to collect the minimum number of credits (points).
There are no entrance exams. The decision to enroll an applicant is made after reviewing the package of documents.
For example, you may have taken a language course at a College. After graduation, you decided to start studying in a professional program, after which you can get a first-degree certificate. And then you can work on getting the remaining certificates of the second, third and fourth degree. If you intend to study further, you must complete a program that aims to obtain a diploma, and then – a bachelor’s degree. Moreover, you can always take and transfer (if desired) to the 2nd or 3rd year of the partner University.
As a result, it turns out that a professional program in College is a fairly advanced possible way to get to University.
There are narrow schools in Australia. For example, the school of tourism and hotel management offers students a diploma program in cooperation with institutions in Switzerland. After finishing it, the student is awarded as many as 2 diplomas (Australian and Swiss).
Such schools are focused on narrowly focused training for restaurants, hotels, and travel companies. Australian schools generally aim to develop students ‘ professional skills based on a substantial amount of practical training. At the same time, students practice in the same hotels (or other institutions that correspond to the chosen specialty). And for their work, they are often paid a decent salary.
Australian higher education is highly valued in the Pacific region. And diplomas from this continent are valued all over the world.
Higher education has become a vital component of the economic and social life of Australia. In recent years the strategic focus has included internationalization, professional development, concentration of research, collaboration across education and training sectors and the application of information technology in teaching and research.
Developments in science and technology are having a profound effect on industry development and on the course content of educational institutions. The new requirements of business and industry for a blend (объединение) of technical, managerial and entrepreneurial skills are creating new demands on the programs of educational institutions.
Australia’s universities provide high-quality education to students from all backgrounds. Diversity and quality underpin (лежат в основе) Australia’s education services. Australian institutions have a strong commitment to quality, equity (равенство), high academic standards and programs of continuous improvement.
Academic year lasts from February till December and consists of two semesters. Some universities accept students in the middle of the academic year in March, June and October.
Universities and other higher education institutions offer programs leading to bachelor degrees and a range of postgraduate awards. Universities also offer some shorter undergraduate and corporate development programs. More than $100 billion is spent annually on education in Australia. Education funding is provided through three key sources-the Australian government, state governments, and through private investment. Overall, the Australian government contributed $47.2 billion of this funding in 2020, $ 39.1 billion and another $ 25.5 billion came from private sources. Over 1 000 000 students are studying at universities.
The Australian higher education sector comprises 37 public universities; 3 private universities, which are autonomous and self-accrediting; 4 other self-accrediting higher education institutions; and over 100 other institutions, such as theological colleges and providers specializing in professional and artistic courses of study.
Australian universities are established as autonomous bodies by legislation that vests (наделять) responsibility for their governance in a council or senate.
Most of all private and public educational institutions are located in the largest cities of the country – Melbourne and Sydney. The University of Sydney is the oldest University in Australia, was founded back in 1850. In addition, the following universities are considered prestigious:
The Australian National University, ANU (category A);
The University of New South Wales, UNSW (category A);
The University of Melbourne (category A);
The University of Queensland (category A);
The University of Sydney (category A);
Monash University (category A);
The University of Adelaide (category A);
The University of Western Australia (category A);
Curtin University of Technology (category B);
Flinders University (category B);
Macquarie University (category B);
Queensland University of Technology (category B);
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (category B);
The University of Wollongong (category B);
Bond University (category C);
Deakin University (category C);
Griffith University (category C);
LaTroube University (category C);
Murdoch University (category C);
Newcastle University (category C);
Swinburne University (category C);
The University of Tasmania (category C);
The University of South Australia (category C);
Where category A is a five-star university, category B is a four – star university, and category C is a three – star university.
The University of Sydney (the oldest one)
Jacaranda tree is in bloom. This means that it is time to take the exams
The education system at the universities of Australia is three-stage:
Bachelor degree — basic higher education;
Higher education — complete higher education;
Master degree - postgraduate study.
To study for a bachelor’s degree, you will have to spend 3-4 years. In some areas (medicine, dentistry, engineering) the duration of training increases to 6 years.
Students can also take advantage of such a popular service as getting a “double degree” – two degrees at once in the fields of business and law, or management and information technology. But the double-step training will take longer.
If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can get a master’s degree in 1-2,5 years. There are two options for master’s programs:
Course Work is a standard program designed for attending lectures, practical classes, and taking tests.
Research - this option is similar to Russian graduate school with a minimum of subjects, followed by writing a scientific paper.
The highest academic qualification is the degree of doctor of science (PhD), which is awarded only as a result of in-depth study of a theoretical course, as well as writing a research paper. Together with the research, the study will last about 3-4 years.
The system of knowledge assessment
There are 2 knowledge assessment systems in Australia:
Four-stage system is a system with ratings: HD (High Distinction), D (Distinction), C (Credit), P (Pass). The last two points indicate an unsatisfactory rating: CP (Conceded Pass), F (Fail)
Alpha system modeled on the American education system with A+, A, B, C, D grades.
If you find it difficult to understand and compare these two systems, here is a simple table that can make everything much clearer:
There are more than 250 000 overseas students studying in Australia. The top 10 countries of origin of overseas students in Australia are China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Japan, India, Thailand, the United States of America, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Australia is the preferred choice for international students from many countries and is the third-largest English-speaking study destination. Australia offers international students some 25 000 courses, training colleges and schools. The most popular fields of study were business, administration and economics.
International students are attracted by the high standard of Australia’s education and training, its national qualifications framework, welcoming environment and diverse society.
The Study in Australia website provides comprehensive information on options open to students.
Some government and many private institutions throughout Australia offer full-time English language courses for overseas students. These are called ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) institutions.
Australia’s English-language schools are able to provide a wide variety of training. These range from short courses to improve students’ English-language skills while visiting Australia as part of a holiday, to formal courses in preparation for accredited levels of English recognized by education and immigration authorities around the world. English-language training in Australia is provided by specialized institutions. A national accreditation body (the National ELICOS Accreditation Scheme) sets standards for class sizes, teacher qualifications, teaching methods and the curriculum. Students from more than 100 countries come to Australia to study English for study, work, travel or personal reasons.
Many international applicants are studying at the preparatory courses called Foundation courses. On average, the training lasts about 44 weeks. However, if you are in a hurry, you can use the accelerated Fast-Track option. Often these quick courses are taken by those who want to study English and study several specialized subjects simultaneously.
If you successfully complete the training program, there is almost one hundred percent is guaranteed that you will become a happy first-year student.
Such a program is a kind of link between domestic secondary education and Australian higher education. They are designed exclusively for international students, giving them the necessary knowledge and skills with which the student can easily adapt to local student life.
The program consists of 3 main directions:
academic skills (the so-called acquisition of educational skills) is a special subject that does not exist in the Russian system of education.
The study of English here is aimed at strengthening the students’ preparation for a decent pass of the international IELTS exam (which is at least 6.6 points). In addition, in this course, the students learn the specific terminology necessary for the study of specialized subjects. You are not taught spoken English here, because you must already know it when you come here.
Special subjects are mathematics and specialized subjects in the chosen future specialty.
And academic skills is teaching learning: developing the ability to write notes, write reports and essays, work with a dictionary, and work on creating and defending group projects. All these skills are necessary for studying at any Australian University.
The present quota system provides for the university enrolment of international students 3 times a year. To enroll, you must present not only a certificate, but also prove a good knowledge of English. English proficiency is recognized by presenting IELTS and TOEFL certificates (for the first – at least 5.5 points, for the second – 500 points).
Engineering graduates get a salary of 50 000-60 000 Australian dollars at the start
Engineers, financiers, investment and banking specialists are highly valued here. Therefore, graduates of these specialties can expect fast employment and high salaries.
School of the Air (радиоэфир)
Living in the large continent of Australia can mean isolation and loneliness. Children living in the vast Australian inland are often miles away from the nearest school. Australians were the first to use School of the Air to educate isolated children.
In 1944 the late Miss Adelaide Miethke, an influential Adelaide schoolteacher, made a trip to Alice Springs as a member of a delegation looking at the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The RFDS radio network provided people living in extreme isolation on vast cattle stations, hundreds of kilometers from the nearest town, with direct access to medical services. It allowed them to send and receive telegrams and, through special broadcasts, to keep informed and in touch with one another.
Miss Miethke recognised that children living in the outback (необжитая местность) were very shy and lacking in social contact and she felt that the radio could be used to enable the children of station (ферма) families to participate in lessons conducted by trained teachers, and to communicate with fellow students. Although written correspondence had been a standard means of education since 1920, the idea of oral lessons for ‘invisible’ pupils, making use of air waves, was completely original. The idea caught the imaginations of local educationalists and the South Australian Education Department.
By mid 1950 experimental lessons were in progress and on 8 June 1951 the Alice Springs School of the Air (ASSOA) was officially opened. The lessons were scripted (писать сценарий) by the teachers and “rehearsed” before they went to air. Initially they were planned for one way transmission but they soon became two-way. Students could call in and ask a teacher for help.
Miss Adelaide Miethke is giving a lesson over the radio to children in the remote outback
It wasn’t long before other Schools of the Air started up, all of them, like Alice Springs, using the Flying Doctor radio to reach students in remote locations.
School classes were conducted via shortwave radio from 1951 through 2002, after which most schools switched to wireless internet technologies to deliver lessons that include live one-way video feeds and clear two-way audio. Each student has direct contact with a teacher in a major inland town. Each student typically spends one hour per day receiving group or individual lessons from the teacher, and the rest of the day working through the assigned materials with a parent or hired home-stay tutor.
The Alice Springs School of the Air has about one hundred primary school students spread over an area 1,000,000 square kilometers. Aboriginal children represent approximately 15% of the enrollment.
As the children are in isolated situations, the School of the Air is frequently their first attempt at socialization with children outside their immediate family. This is supplemented by annual gatherings where the children travel to the school to spend one week with their teacher and classmates.
Currently Australia has 15 Schools of the Air.
Schools of the Air nowadays