Officially called the ‘Commonwealth of Australia’, this sovereign country is home to twenty-five million people. It has become one of the foremost global powerhouses of education and is now providing education to approximately 5,10,000 foreign students every year. The educational institutions in Australia have been providing the students with groundbreaking innovation and knowledge and world-class study patterns. Australia has the third-highest number of international students intake, after the US and the UK.
The most interesting fact about Australian universities is that almost seven universities among the top 100 universities in the world are located in Australia. Australian universities have been constantly securing the top ranks in the surveys or assessments conducted by different ranking agencies or organisations. Among the 30 best cities in the world, five cities are located in Australia where a student can get quality and affordable education with a greater scope of employability.
An important and surprising fact about Australia is that almost 2.5 million international students who completed their studies/higher education in Australia are working in top companies/organisations/firms across the country.
With a wide variety of over 2,200 study programmes and more than 1,200 institutions available in the country, Australia is one of the largest study abroad destinations in the world.
To start with the higher education system in Australia, the vocational education system comes first. The Australian vocational education system is called Technical and Further Education (TAFE). Vocational education institutes or TAFEs are directly funded by the government, and these institutes award Certificates, Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas. In certain areas of study, TAFEs award Bachelor’s degree as well.
As far as university education is concerned, there are around 37 public-funded universities in Australia, which are funded by the Commonwealth.
Usually, the duration of Bachelor’s degree courses in Australia is three years, and the candidates can also take up the fourth year in a Bachelor’s course, which is referred to as ‘Honours’. However, students taking up Honours courses are required to write and submit a thesis to be awarded the degree. Candidates who complete an Honours course are awarded an honours qualification as a part of the degree. For example, Chemistry with Honours, Zoology with Honours, etc.
Apart from the Major course, a student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Australia has an option to choose ‘Minor’ courses in a specific field. Usually, minor courses are fewer than majors and minors are treated as specialisations in a specific academic area.
Some Australian universities allow students to pursue double degrees. Students taking up double degree courses are required to complete major courses in two fields of study.
When it comes to Master's courses, the duration/length of the course is of two years in most Australian universities.
Australian universities conduct one or two exams per term, and the final assessment of students is done on the basis of performance in these exams. Certain courses in Australian universities require laboratory work/language classes, and these courses place more emphasis on attendance, assignments and participation.
Student participation/involvement is one of the major components of the Australian education system. At universities, students are encouraged to express opinions, ask questions and speak up in lectures. The examination system of Australian universities places more emphasis on the critical thinking of students rather than the mere memorisation of subjects/topics/lectures.
English is the official language of Australia. In order to study there, a student must have a certain level of proficiency over the language. This has to be manifested/ proved to the authorities of both the university as well as the visa office.
The best way of improving your level of English is by sitting the International English language Testing System (IELTS) exam. Most university websites give the level required to be achieved for the course the student intends to study in terms of the IELTS Score.
Other Tests: Higher studies in specific or professional areas such as teacher training or teacher assistant courses may require course specific tests as well.
Australia’s student visa reforms allow students to work after they study in Australia. Students are also permitted to apply for permanent residency depending on their skills and the course they have studied. However, the numbers of job opportunities in Australia are limited as compared to other developed nations.
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