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EDUCATION IN AUSTRALIA

Australia has some of the world’s best facilities and educators, providing international students with a range of quality study options.

Australia is the world’s 3rd most popular international student destination despite having a population of only 23 million, ranking only behind the United Kingdom and the United States

Australia has seven of the top 100 universities in the world! In fact, with over 22,000 courses across 1,100 institutions, Australia sits above the likes of Germany, the Netherlands and Japan, ranking eighth in the Universitas 2012 U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems.

Australia has five of the 30 best cities in the world for students based on student mix, affordability, quality of life, and employer activity – all important elements for students when choosing the best study destination. And with more than A$200 million provided by the Australian Government each year in international scholarships,

The Australian education system provides primary, secondary and tertiary education.

Australia offers a diverse range of study options for international students, with more than 1,200 institutions and over 22,000 courses to choose from.

You can study at all levels of education from primary and secondary school, to vocational education and training (VET), from English language courses to higher education (including universities).

So no matter the type of course you want to study, how long you want to study for or where you want to study, you can be assured that in Australia you will have a high quality and rewarding study experience.

Study in Australia

 

EDUCATION IN CAIRNS

Cairns is located in tropical North Queensland, and offers some of the world’s best international study programs and breathtaking attractions. Cairns is an ideal location for study since it boasts the conveniences of a major city, including world class food, accommodation and cultural arts; combined with plenty of opportunity for adventures in the outback, on the reef, and in the rainforest!

Every year, thousands of students choose to study in Cairns whether it is for a few days on a study tour program or at any one of our first class internationally accredited schools, colleges or Universities for a qualification. Cairns offers a broad range of programs within a diverse cultural environment

Cairns is well represented by the four education sectors, with two Universities, TAFE and private VET providers, English Language Colleges, public and private schools all offering study options to international students.  An advantage for international education students in Cairns are the established education pathways between each education sector enabling international students to undertake study in more than one education sector.

For all inquiries about studying in Australia Contact us for a free enquiry on +61 7 56 41 43 42.

About Australian Education

Australian education system

  • School education (Primary and Secondary)

    School education is similar across all of Australia with only minor variations between states and territories. School education (primary and secondary) is compulsory between the ages of six and sixteen (Year 1 to Year 9 or 10). School education is 13 years and divided into:

    • Primary school – Runs for seven or eight years, starting at Kindergarten/Preparatory through to Year 6 or 7.
    • Secondary school – Runs for three or four years, from Years 7 to 10 or 8 to 10.
    • Senior secondary school – Runs for two years, Years 11 and 12.

    Tertiary education

    Tertiary education includes both higher education (including universities) and vocational education and training (VET).

    Language of instruction

    English is the official language of Australia and the main language of instruction in the education system. Many schools offer bilingual programs or programs in other languages.

    Australian Qualifications Framework

    The Australian education system is distinguished from many other countries by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).(opens in a new window) The AQF was established in 1995 and is a national policy that covers qualifications from the tertiary education sector (higher education and vocational education and training) in addition to the school-leaving certificate; the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.

    The AQF has 10 levels and links school, vocational and university education qualifications into one national system. This allows you to move easily from one level of study to the next, and from one institution to another, as long as you satisfy student visa requirements. It allows for choice and flexibility in career planning. All qualifications in the AQF help prepare you for both further study and your working life.

    If you are studying an AQF qualification, you can be sure that your institution is Government-authorised and nationally accredited, and that your degree or other AQF qualification will be genuine.

    Our institutions are linked across the country and across the world, which makes it easy to move throughout the education system between courses or institutions and formal agreement and recognition frameworks mean every step of the path will contribute to your future no matter what your study or career goals.

Quality assurance and protection

Regardless of what you are studying or how long you are studying for, Australia’s laws promote quality education and protection for international students.The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (National Code) provide nationally consistent standards for providers of education and training for international students.As an international student on a student visa, you must study with an institution and in a course that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). CRICOS registration guarantees that the course and the institution at which you study meet the high standards expected by international students. You can search for courses and institutions here on the Study in Australia website.

Along with the ESOS Act and National Code, there are also regulatory and quality assurance organisations for higher education and VET institutions. These government organisations are responsible for registration/re-registration of institutions and accreditation/re-accreditation of courses. These organisations are:

Higher education – Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)

VET – Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

Education pathways

If you don’t meet the entry requirements to get into the course you want in Australia, there are many pathways that can help you reach your goal. This might include studying in an Australian school, taking English language preparation or studying a vocational education and training course. Another pathway may be Foundation Studies – one-year intensive preparatory courses available through the majority of institutions. These will give you the skills you need to enter an undergraduate (Bachelor Degree) course.

Foundation Studies

If you don’t meet academic requirements, there are a few options to prepare you for further study. Depending on your previous studies and the final qualification you want to study, you can enrol in secondary school or Foundation Studies.

Foundation Studies is usually a one-year intensive preparatory course that will give you the skills you need to enter an undergraduate course at a university or higher education institution. These studies are usually divided into streams such as business studies and science studies, and offer both compulsory and elective subjects. English language support is usually available.

Many schools, vocational education and training institutions, and universities offer Foundation Studies courses. The common feature of Foundation Studies is that a university allocates a provisional place in an undergraduate program assuming you achieve the prescribed grades.Education pathways

Schools

School education in Australia includes preschool, preparatory (or kindergarten), primary school, secondary school (or high school) and senior secondary school (or college).

Schooling lasts for 13 years, from preparatory to senior secondary. School is compulsory until at least the age of 16. Types of schools include government schools, non-government schools (including faith-based schools such as Catholic or Islamic schools) and schools based on educational philosophies such as Montessori and Steiner. All schools must be registered with the state or territory education department and are subject to government requirements in terms of infrastructure and teacher registration.

Australian schools do more than just educate students. They prepare them for life − developing communication skills, self-discipline and respect for themselves, their peers and their world. Schools offer a broad curriculum in the key learning areas – English, mathematics, studies of society and the environment, science, arts, Languages Other Than English (LOTE), technology, health and physical education. They also believe strongly in the benefits of a rounded education – including the teamwork, self-expression and personal development that happen outside the classroom.

In Australia, students will enjoy a diverse learning environment that is as personally enriching as it is educational, and develop the skills and qualities needed in a changing world

After completion of senior secondary school (Years 11 and 12) students sit for exams and receive an official certificate of qualification. The name of this certificate varies within Australia’s state-based education systems but regardless of what the certificate is called, it is recognised by all Australian universities, higher education and vocational education and training institutions, as well as many institutions internationally.

Vocational education

Whether you’re looking to move straight into the workforce, or to take an initial step in your tertiary education, an Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification can take you where you want to go.

Australia’s VET sector is based on a partnership between governments and industry. VET 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.

  • Many of our VET courses incorporate a period of on-site learning, which means you don’t just learn in a classroom, but get priceless industry experience in a genuine work environment. It’s real-world industry experience that ensures your qualifications fully prepare you for employment in your chosen industry.

Universities and Higher Education

Higher education courses can be taken to earn an advanced degree and continue your studies in Australia. There are three main types of higher education which lead to Bachelor, Master and Doctoral Degrees.

In Australia it is quite common for students to enrol in a double or combined Bachelor Degree program which leads to the award of two Bachelor Degrees. This is most common in the fields of arts, commerce, law and science.

Australian institutions offer a wide range of courses – from science to management and commerce, humanities to engineering, and law to health sciences. Australian institutions rank among the world’s best by discipline, particularly in engineering and technology, medicine, environmental science, and accounting and finance.

There are 43 universities in Australia (40 Australian universities, two international universities, and one private specialty university). Along with our universities, many other institutions offer higher education courses. You can search for institutions and courses using the Institution and Course Search on this website.Accommodation

Accommodation

Once you have confirmed where you will be studying, you can look for accommodation that suits your needs and budget. Some tips when searching for accommodation include:

  • The costs will vary depending on your chosen state, city, and type of accommodation.
  • Always confirm the total cost and any other expenses you may be required to pay, such as a bond and utility fees.
  • Consider how far it is from your campus and whether it is easily accessible by public transport, such as bus or train.
  • Find out what shopping centres, hospitals and emergency service facilities, and other amenities are nearby.

Short-term accommodation

Short-term accommodation options you might want to consider when you first arrive in Australia include:

  • Hostels and discounted rates on hotels.
  • Temporary housing which may be offered through your institution while you get settled. Talk to your institution’s international support staff or check their website for details.

Rental

You can rent or ‘lease’ a property by yourself or with friends. This can be done through a real estate agent or privately. When renting a property you will need to pay a security deposit or ‘bond’ (which is usually four weeks rent), as well as rent in advance (also usually four weeks). The bond is held to repair any damage that you, your house mates or house guests cause to the property while renting. Some, or all, of this amount may be refunded to you once your tenancy agreement has terminated.

For more information on your rights and obligations when renting in Australia you should visit the relevant government Fair Trading agency in your state/territory.

On Campus

Campus living can be a great option to minimise travel. Most universities have comfortable and furnished apartment-style living on campus or close by, sometimes with cleaning and meals included. Contact your institution directly to find out the accommodation options they have available and how the costs compare with organising your own accommodation.

Homestay

With homestay, you will live with a family in their home. Homestay can be a good option for younger students as you will have all the comforts of an established home, often with meals and cleaning included. Families offering homestay accommodation to international students are thoroughly screened to ensure they can provide a suitable living environment for students.

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Working while you study

Working while you study in Australia can help complement your study and living experience. There are a number of reasons you might want to undertake part time work while studying in Australia, including assisting with living expenses and gaining work experience in your study area.

Most student visas allow you to work for up to 40 hours every two weeks while your course is in session, and unrestricted hours during any scheduled course break, but before you undertake any paid work you need to make sure your visa allows you to work. Find out more at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Paid work

Australia has a wide range of industries and many have part time employment opportunities, including:

  • Retail – supermarkets, department and clothing stores.
  • Hospitality – cafes, bars and restaurants.
  • Tourism – hotels and motels.
  • Agricultural – farming and fruit-picking.
  • Sales and telemarketing.
  • Administration or Clerical roles.
  • Tutoring.

If you have existing qualifications and/or professional work experience, you may be able to secure casual or part time work in your field.

Internships

Paid or unpaid internships can be a great way to get exposure to the professional, financial and creative industries. Learn more about getting an internship on the Internships page in the Education System section of this website.

Volunteering

There are many charities and non-government organisations (NGOs) in Australia and they always need volunteers to help out. It can be a great way to meet friends, get some hands on work experience and give back to the community. To find out more about volunteering, start your search at: http://www.govolunteer.com.au/

Your rights

Everyone working in Australia, including international students or those on working holiday visas, have basic rights at work. These rights protect entitlement to:

  • A minimum wage.
  • Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job
  • Leave, breaks and rest periods.
  • A healthy and safe work environment.

Most employers in Australia are covered by an ‘award’, which sets minimum wages and conditions for a type of job or industry. To find out more about your work rights visit the Australian Government’s Fair Work Ombudsman’s website or call them on 13 13 94.

In Australia, employers (your boss) must also do all they can to make sure your job does not hurt you or make you sick. This law is called work health and safety (WHS) or occupational health and safety (OHS).

The law also says your boss must have insurance for you in case you are hurt at work. This is called workers’ compensation. If you are hurt or get sick at work, the insurance may pay for your medical treatment and for your wages until you can work again.

This covers all workers in Australia, even if you are on a temporary visa. Visit Safe Work Australia for more information.

You will also need to get a tax file number to work in Australia. Visit the Australian Taxation Office website to find out more information on getting a tax file number, as well as information about paying taxes in Australia.

Finding Work

There are plenty of ways to find work that suits you, including:

  • Newspapers and online job sites.
  • Some institutions provide job notice-boards on campus and online. Contact your institution’s international student support staff to find out what options your institution offers.
  • Register your details at a recruitment firm; many of them help place people in casual or short-term work.

Living Costs

Knowing the average living costs in Australia is an important part of your financial preparation. For your reference, here are some of the costs associated with living and studying in Australia. (All costs are in Australian dollars and linked to the consumer price index.)

Accommodation

  • Hostels and Guesthouses – $90 to $150 per week
  • Shared Rental – $85 to $215 per week
  • On campus – $90 to $280 per week
  • Homestay – $235 to $325 per week
  • Rental – $165 to $440 per week
  • Boarding schools – $11,000 to $22,000 a year

Other living expenses

  • Groceries and eating out – $80 to $280 per week
  • Gas, electricity – $35 to $140 per week
  • Phone and Internet – $20 to $55 per week
  • Public transport – $15 to $55 per week
  • Car (after purchase) – $150 to $260 per week
  • Entertainment – $80 to $150 per week

Minimum cost of living

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has financial requirements you must meet in order to receive a student visa for Australia. From 1 July 2016 the 12 month living cost is:

  • You – $19,830
  • Partner or spouse – $6,940
  • Child – $2,970

All costs are per year in Australian dollars.

 

About Australian Education

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