Australia enjoys a worldwide reputation for academic excellence, offering internationally recognised qualifications with immediate employment and career development opportunities. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) currently ranks Australia's education as one of the best education destination in top 5 on the world and, according to UNESCO figures, Australia has one of the highest ratios of enrolment in primary and secondary education in the world.
Australia has almost 40 public and Catholic universities through which admission is primarily on the basis of academic achievement. There is also a wide variety of specialist and private universities and colleges. The ratio of international to local students in tertiary education in Australia is the highest in the OECD countries.
The Australian school year runs from January to December, with four school terms. The longest holiday is over the Christmas period (the Australian summer). Most educational institutions close for at least six weeks over the Christmas holidays. There are three other two-week school holidays during the year, in April (Easter), July and October.
The most prestigious, wealthiest and oldest universities in Australia are known as the Group of Eight (Go8). They include:
Some other universities:
In Australia vocational education and training is mostly post secondary and provided through the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system by registered training organisations. This system encompasses both public and private providers in a national training framework.
TAFE (Technical and Further Education)
Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions provide a wide range of predominantly vocational tertiary education courses in Australia. Fields covered include hospitality, tourism, construction, engineering, secretarial skills, visual arts, computer programming and community work. TAFE colleges generally award qualifications up to the level of advanced diploma. In many instances TAFE study can be used as partial credit towards bachelor degree-level university programs.
ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students )
ELICOS courses are designed to help international students and visitors develop their English language skills so that they can fully participate in Australian life. In the case of international students, ELICOS courses provide a great way to develop your English language skills so that you can meet the English language requirements of your institution or simply develop confidence in your English abilities before beginning your studies. A number of institutions are affiliated with English language schools and will 'package' English language preparation courses with vocational or higher education courses.