Study in Australia
Education in Australia offers international students more than academic achievement and a globally recognized qualification. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience through which a student can develop independence, maturity, an understanding of other cultures, and the ability to see issues from different perspectives. Education in Australia better prepares a student to work in today’s global marketplace. This is why several foreign companies recruit directly from Australian universities and vocational institutes. Many international organisations and companies employ overseas students with Australian qualifications because their exposure to the outside world gives them greater independence and maturity. With international trade barriers disappearing, great opportunities exist for those with the skills, experience and knowledge to seize them. In Australia, international students can gain this experience in a safe, friendly environment and at an affordable cost.
The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006 evaluation ranked the Australian education system as sixth for reading, eighth for science and thirteenth for mathematics, on a worldwide scale including 56 countries. The PISA 2009 evaluation ranked the Australian education system as sixth for reading, seventh for science and ninth for mathematics, an improvement relative to the 2006 rankings.
The academic year in Australia varies between states and institutions, but generally runs from late January/early February until mid-December for primary and secondary schools, with slight variations in the inter-term holidays and TAFE colleges, and from late February until mid-November for universities with seasonal holidays and breaks for each educational institute.
School education in Australia is compulsory between certain ages as specified by state or territory legislation. Depending on the state or territory, and date of birth of the child, school is compulsory from the age of five to six to the age of fifteen to seventeen. In recent years, over three quarters of students stay at school until they are seventeen. Government schools educate approximately 65% of Australian students, with approximately 34% in Catholic and independent schools. A small portion of students are legally home-schooled, particularly in rural areas. Government schools (also known as public schools) are free to attend for Australian citizens and permanent residents, while Catholic and independent schools usually charge attendance fees.
Tertiary education (or higher education) in Australia is primarily study at university or a technical college in order to receive a qualification or further skills and training. A higher education provider is a body that is established or recognized by or under the law of the Australian Government, a State, the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory. VET providers, both public and private are registered by State and Territory governments.
In 2009, the Australian higher education system consisted of: –
- 41 universities, of which 37 are public institutions, 2 are private, and 2 are Australian branches of overseas universities;
- 3 other self-accrediting higher education institutions; and
- Non-self-accrediting higher education providers accredited by State and Territory authorities, numbering more than 150 as listed on State and Territory registers. These include several that are registered in more than one State and Territory.
Benefits of Studying in Australia
Absorbing Australian Culture
Australia as a nation has a culture which fosters creativity, innovation and practicality. A lot of international students find that our classrooms are filled with a lot more discussion compared to textbook learning, both at individual and group level. What this means is that Australian classrooms are engaging, active and lively and allow students to not only absorb information, but really learn how to interact with it at a deeper level. In practice, this means that Australian students are better equipped to go out into the workforce and really apply what they have learnt under a variety of environmental constraints.
Transfer of Training
Whilst many international universities focus on teaching surface or textbook knowledge, the Australian educational system follows an instructional system design. This means that we value education as ‘training’ and really strive to design courses which will allow students to apply theoretical concepts to the real world. A testament to this process- many international students will find that a wide range of our university courses require students to participate in industry placements, so as a transfer of training can be achieved. These placements will allow students to work next to other live practitioners and help develop their practical skills next to what they learn in the classroom.
University Scholarships and Financial Support
As a growing nation, Australia values the talent that international students can bring to its shores. Accordingly, the Australian government provides a whole variety of scholarships and financial aid to student travelers, from supported student visas to financial protection. Even better than this, Australia hosts one of the largest student support industries full of organizations that assist travelling students to transition into the educational and work system down under.
Travel and Lifestyle
It goes without saying that Australia usually makes the top 5 list of any serious traveler. With the pristine beaches of the Gold Coast to the beautiful Sydney skyline, Australia hosts some of the most popular tourist destinations across the world. The Australian university system allows for long, 6-8 week semester breaks allowing many of our international students to explore our country in great depth. We have very established and flexible air and land travel options which can cater for any budget.
Not only does Australia provide a relaxed and engaging university lifestyle, our degrees are amongst some of the worlds most recognized. Certainly, a degree from an Australian university holds a lot more value than those from our developing counterparts. In 2012, 7 out of our 19 universities ranked in the top 200 higher education providers in the world- according to the Shanghai World Rankings (http://www.australian-universities.com/rankings/). We hold our student competencies to an international standard- meaning that our graduates are offered some of the world’s most prestigious and valued positions.
- University of Melbourne
- Australian National University (ANU)
- University of Queensland
- University of Western Australia (UWA)
- University of Sydney
- Monash University
- University of New South Wales (UNSW)
- Macquarie University
- University of Adelaide
- Flinders University
- Griffith University
- James Cook University
Australia’s Top Student Cities
Universities in Sydney
The name of Australia’s biggest city tends to evoke images of beaches, surfing and drinking, all in the shadow of the nation’s most recognizable landmark, the Sydney Opera House. And, sure, it is famed for its party lifestyle. But, like many larger cities famous for their nightlife, it is also bohemian, creative, and intellectual.
If this sounds like your kind of environment, then universities in Sydney provide plenty of choice. Two of Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight universities – the University of Sydney (ranked 39th in the world) and the University of New South Wales (52) – are based in the city, as well as a number of other institutions, including the country’s top ranked non-Go8 university, Macquarie University (233), the University of Technology, Sydney (284) and the University of Western Sydney (601+).
Universities in Melbourne
Considered to be the cultural and multicultural capital of Australia, Melbourne is a good alternative for those who perhaps find Sydney a bit too brash – think of it as a sort of San Francisco to Sydney’s Los Angeles. However, it’s not a pretentious intellectual bubble either – Melbourne’s locals are known for their love of sport, and you won’t be left wanting in terms of nightlife.
It is also notable for being one of Australia’s best preserved cities architecturally. Universities in Melbourne again include two Go8 institutions, the University of Melbourne (ranked 36th in the world) and Monash University (61), as well as the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (246), La Trobe University (375), Deakin University (401-450) and Swinburne University of Technology (451-500).
Universities in Brisbane
Australia’s third biggest city, towards the east of the Australian mainland, Brisbane is known for the friendliness of its locals – often considered to be a major factor in the city’s growth (it is Australia’s fastest growing city). Of course, friendliness alone isn’t enough to make a city, and it also has a thriving live music scene, a plethora of world-class cultural institutions and – of course – access to plenty of beaches.
Among universities in Brisbane, the most prominent is the University of Queensland (Brisbane is the capital of Queensland), which is ranks 46th in the 2012/13 QS World University Rankings. The other ranked institutions in the city are the Queensland University of Technology (281), and Griffith University (368).
Universities in Perth
If it’s the quiet life you’re after, then maybe Perth should be quite high up your shortlist. The city lies in isolation on Australia’s west coast, and boasts a high volume of relatively unspoiled and quiet beaches. The city itself is uncrowded and peaceful. If you’re more into cafes, parks and peaceful beaches than all-night partying, then you and Perth might be a match made in heaven.
Universities in Perth include the University of Western Australia (79), Curtin University (258) and Murdoch University (401-450), and Perth is also the main location for one of Australia’s two private universities, Notre Dame University.
Universities in Adelaide
Located in the midst of Australia’s chief wine growing region, Adelaide is the capital of the region of South Australia. Like all of the cities listed here, Adelaide is a coastal city, so can offer the gold and blue shades which characterize Australia’s beaches as well as the lush greenery that provides the setting for the region’s vineyards. Unsurprisingly, given its setting, it is noted for being a good city for lovers of food and drink. It is also, as a result of the many nature preserves and conservation areas which lie within spitting distance of the city, a good choice for lovers of nature and wildlife. Among universities in Adelaide, the highest ranked is the University of Adelaide (102), followed by the University of South Australia (293) and Flinders University (342).