Exciting metropolises, fascinating landscapes, a unique animal world and and and. There are many reasons for studying in Australia. A very important reason for the many international students who are drawn to Down Under is certainly the excellent Australian university landscape.
Australian universities can regularly place themselves at the top of international university rankings. They offer an almost infinite selection of subjects, including such special courses as Aboriginal Studies. The internationally recognized Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degrees are also firmly anchored in the Australian system of studies.
Academic and job-specific qualifications
The tertiary education sector in Australia is divided into two areas:
- Higher education
- Vocational Education and Training (VET)
While degrees are awarded in the Higher Education Sector, degrees from the Vocational Education and Training (VET) area are job-specific qualifications. Graduates of such VET programs complete them with a certificate or diploma.
Educational institutions in the higher education landscape in Australia
The tertiary education sector in Australia recognizes three different types of institutions that award academic or professional degrees.
- Universities: There are currently 43 universities in Australia. These include 40 Australian universities, one specialist university and two foreign universities with branches in Australia. Almost all Australian universities are government institutions and there are few private universities. Common degrees at Australian universities include Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degrees, as well as Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma. Some universities also offer degrees that are lower in terms of qualification level, such as the associate degree.
Vocational Education and Training degrees can also be obtained at some universities. Various Australian universities have come together to form university associations. In total there are four such networks in Australia: The Group of Eight (go8), the Australian Technology Network (ATN), the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) and the Regional Universities Network.
- TAFE institutions: The TAFEs ( Technical and Further Education ) are state institutions that primarily offer various vocational VET programs. Some of them are also based at universities. In addition to degrees from the VET area, some TAFEs now also offer various courses of study that lead to academic degrees such as a bachelor’s degree. These TAFES then belong to the so-called Non-University-Higher-Education-Providers (NUHEPs). The courses at the TAFEs are more practice-oriented than their counterparts at universities.
- Private educational institutions: Private educational institutions ( private providers or private colleges ) can offer VET programs as well as Bachelor, Master and other study programs. Private educational institutions can also be counted among the NUHEPs, provided they award degrees. Often the private educational institutions specialize in certain areas, for example hotel management or other business administration courses. In general, private educational institutions are allowed to offer almost all subjects in the program. Some subjects such as medicine or architecture are, however, reserved for universities.
Quality of Australian Educational Institutions
Education providers in the higher education sector must be registered with the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA). TEQSA was founded by the Australian government. Your job is to ensure that the facilities of Australian universities meet government standards. The TEQSA is an important one of several quality assurance tools in Australian higher education. For Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training which is Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) responsible.
Responsibilities in Universities in Australia
While the responsibility for the higher education sector used to lie largely with the states, the Australian government now plays the most important role. Since it took over the task of accreditation and quality assurance for universities from the states, its influence has been greater than ever. Although the states still have some rights and obligations in the area of higher education, the most important areas are now under the control of the Australian government. The main responsibility lies with the Department of Education.
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Internationalization of Universities in Australia
The number of international students has risen sharply since the 1980s. In 2013, one in five college students in Australia came from abroad. Most of the international students come from Asia. Through the ESOS Act ( Education Service for Overseas Student Act ), the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (also: National Code ) Quality assurance is carried out in Australia specifically for international students.
The strong trend towards the internationalization of Australian universities is also reflected in the fact that Australian universities now have branches in other countries. Examples are the Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak in Malaysia and the James Cook University Singapore in Singapore.
Special features of universities in Australia
What is striking about the higher education landscape in Australia is that the types of institutions cannot be clearly distinguished according to the types of degrees they offer. Universities as well as TAFES and private education providers can be active in the field of higher education as well as in the field of vocational education and training. In addition, the high quality standards of Australian educational institutions and the various means of quality assurance for local and international students should also be emphasized. Since the Australian universities are very international, students who spend a semester abroad in Australia, for example, meet people from all over the world.