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One of the important preparations before studying in Australia is knowing education the education system. The education system in Australia is highly structured, linking education across the country and the national boundary.
It generally ranges from preschool, preparatory (kindergarten), primary school, secondary school (high school), senior secondary school (college), and tertiary education (higher education and VET – vocational education and training).
As one of the most advanced education systems worldwide, what makes Australian education different? Let’s figure it out.
How is The Education System in Australia?
The education system is generally similar throughout Australia, with only slight differences in some states and territories.
In general, the compulsory education structure in Australia consists of primary and secondary schooling, which typically expands from Year 1 to Year 10 (between the ages of 6 and 16). After completing junior secondary school, students can choose to continue their education at the senior secondary school level or at the college or university level. Here is a detailed explanation of the timeline of the education in Australia.
- Primary school
It runs for 7 or 8 years, starting at Foundation (or Kindergarten or Preparatory or preschool) to Year 6 or Year 7.
- Secondary school
It runs for 3 or 4 years, namely from Year 7 to Year 10 or Year 8 to Year 10.
- Senior secondary school
It runs for 2 years, namely Year 11 and Year 12.
- Tertiary education
This comprises higher education (including universities) and VET – vocational education and training.
Types of Schools
The following are the types of schools you can find in Australia.
- Government schools
- Non-government schools – including faith-based schools like Catholic or Islamic schools
- Schools based on educational philosophies – like Montessori, Steiner, etc.
Australian Education has its National Curriculum for the above education structure. The curriculum development falls under the responsibility of the so-called ACARA – the Australian Curriculum, Assessment, and Reporting Authority.
The curriculum covers the key learning areas, such as mathematics, English, science, studies of society and the environment, arts, technology, LOTE (Language Other Than English), physical education, and health.
Post-Compulsory Education – The AQF
What distinguishes the education system in Australia from other countries is its AQF – Australian Qualifications Framework. A national policy established in 1995 covers AQF as post-compulsory education.
Consisting of 10 levels, this national framework links the qualifications of school education, higher education, and vocational education into a single national system. AQF enables the learners to move easily from a particular level of study to another or the next and between institutions.
The AQF provides the learners with choice and flexibility regarding their career planning. In other words, it helps them prepare for further studies and work.
The Main Language of Instruction
Australia has English as its official language and the main language for the whole education system (instruction). Still, many schools have bilingual programs or offer programs in other languages in Australia.
The Academic Year
The academic year for school students in Australia usually starts in late January or early February and through mid-December. There are mostly three or four terms annually in the majority of schools.
What Makes The Education System in Australia So Good?
International Standards of Excellence in Education
The above AQF implies globally-recognized Australian education. It links not only education across the country but also across the globe. It allows for easy movement throughout the education system – from courses or institutions to others.
No wonder this country has been one of the most chosen destinations for international students. Some of the background reasons are as follows.
- The education system does not only emphasize theoretical knowledge but goes beyond classroom teaching
- The curriculum focuses more on the latest recent development in a particular subject area
- The assessment is not merely based on an examination but rather more on learners’ understanding of practical skills through projects and reasoning, as well as high value-based questions, assignments, seminars, essays, assignments, and the like
According to a United Nations report, Australia has ranked among the top countries worldwide for its highly exceptional quality of life. People know this country for its outstanding economic growth, world-class infrastructure, high-quality medical and healthcare facilities, cutting-edge transportation, best universities, excellent standard of living, and more.
All of the above excellences support Australia in terms of its top-notch education. This country is indeed home to globally-ranked institutions and internationally-recognized qualifications. It offers a varied range of study opportunities with over 1,100 institutions and more than 22,000 courses.
Among the finest in the globe, the education system in Australia indeed offers not only high-quality but also highly rewarding study experiences. Australian schools do beyond merely educating learners but preparing them for life.