The education system in Australia is among the best in the world and will open up a lot of doors for the students in the international job market. Explore this article to know more about it.

Education System in Australia

The education system in Australia begins with the pre-schooling (not compulsory) and moves on to compulsory 12 years of primary and secondary education before taking up undergraduate studies; subsequently postgraduate studies and remaining higher education like the doctoral programs. Australia offers more than more than 12,000 courses that are not only internationally recognized, but are more affordable as compared to education in UK or US while providing a safe environment and top notch educational infrastructure, teaching methodology, and standard of living for the international students. No wonder over 400,000 students from across 200 countries receive education in Australia every year. On top of that, Australia is only third to UK and US when it comes to number of international student base, with diverse cultural backgrounds in an English speaking environment. This makes up for excellent learning opportunities for students from all over. Continue reading to know more about the education system in Australia.
Education System in Australia
In most parts of Australia, the pre-schooling or kindergarten education is different from primary education in Australia and is not compulsory. However, in Western Australia and Queensland, pre-schooling education is a part of primary school system. The pre-schooling system in rest of the parts is mostly unregulated and children aging 3-4 years have to learn with children of their own age group in day-care centers or kindergarten schools.
Primary & Secondary Schooling
It is after a year or two of pre-schooling that 12 years of compulsory primary and secondary education starts, generally at the age of 5. There are many government funded and privately run schools in Australia. The schools run by government are free to attend for the Australian citizens and permanent residents, while the privately run schools (catholic and independent schools) usually charge an attendance fees. However, both government and privately run schools follow the same national curriculum framework. After completion of the final year in secondary school, students can study for a government-endorsed senior secondary certificate that is recognized by all Australian universities and vocational education and training institutions. This certificate is also recognized by many international universities too. International students wanting to apply for undergraduate courses in Australia need to possess a certificate equivalent to that of Australia with equivalent grades or marks.
All schools in Australia provide learning in eight different key areas, namely: English, mathematics, studies of the society and the environment, science, arts, languages other than English, technology and personal development and health and physical education. Many schools also have English language programs for international students to support their studies. Some specialized subjects like law, psychology, computing, graphic design, aviation, drama and many others are also there for secondary school students to choose from. These subjects vary from school to school.
There is a standard assessment scale to measure the performance of primary and secondary school students that is followed all around the schools in Australia. This grading system is as follows:
  • A (Excellent) - 85 and above
  • B (Good) - 70 to 84
  • C (Average) - 50 to 69
  • D (Fail) - 25 to 49
  • E (Failure) - 0 to 24
Academic Year
The academic year for every school starts from late January or early February and runs till December. This academic year is divided into four terms with short holidays in between. Students are required to attend schools from Monday to Friday each week for 5-6 hours.
Higher Education
Students wishing to pursue higher education in Australia need to have a government endorsed senior secondary certificate that is acquired after 12 years of primary and secondary education. The higher education in Australia has been further divided into four parts:-
Undergraduate Courses
The undergraduate courses in Australia are of two to four years of duration and require Australian senior secondary certificate or equivalent certificates from other countries to be eligible. One can either enroll in associate degree program that is of two years or can go for bachelor’s degree of 3 years and 4 years like professional degrees, combined degrees, or honors degrees.
Postgraduate Courses
Once the student has successfully acquired a bachelor’s degree of minimum three years’ duration; he/she becomes eligible to pursue postgraduate programs. These postgraduate or master’s courses take one to two years to complete and include taught coursework, research, or a combination of the two. Some universities also demand relevant work experience to be eligible for postgraduate courses.
Doctoral Courses
The doctoral courses are the highest level of educational qualification awarded by the Australian universities and require a master’s degree or bachelor’s honors degree in the chosen field of study. These courses are usually of three years duration and are either research doctorates or professional doctorates.
Vocational Education and Training
These are the qualifications offered at vocational educations and training institutions and range from certificates, diplomas, and advance diplomas. Not only these courses open up employment opportunities in the field of students’ choices but prepare them further studies.
Courses cover many disciplines such as the humanities, social sciences, environmental education, education, science, mathematics and computing, visual/performing arts, engineering and processing, health sciences, business, economics, law and agriculture, and many more.
Academic Year
These university courses usually start from early March and run till late November. While some universities operate on a semester basis, others follow a trimester system.

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