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The Education Destination : The Education Destination
Vocational education and training The Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector provides opportunities for a broad range of learning designed to meet current industry needs. Vocational courses create job-ready graduates with the skills and knowledge to excel in their careers. All Australian vocational providers must be registered training organisations (RTOs). There are nearly 4200 RTOs in Australia. Government-funded or public RTOs include colleges and institutes of technical and further education (TAFE). Non-government or private RTOs include independent colleges, commercial training businesses, and industry and business associations. The VET sector operates under a national training system that is industry led, competency based, nationally consistent and quality assured. The standard of vocational courses is guaranteed by the Australian Quality Training Framework, which provides national standards for registering and auditing training providers and accrediting courses, and for delivering services. In 2008, there were over 175,000 international students enrolled in vocational courses across Australia. Foundation programs (bridging courses) If you do not meet the requirements for your tertiary institution, you may be able to complete a foundation program to be accepted into the university or vocational institute. Foundation programs or bridging courses are designed specifi cally to prepare international students for the Australian academic environment. They may also include English language training. Foundation programs are offered at universities and vocational institutes. Primary and secondary schools Australia has developed a set of national goals for education in the 21st century. They aim to ensure students leave school with the foundation skills, values, knowledge and understanding necessary for lifelong learning, employment and full participation in society. Quality in Australian schools is regulated by state and territory governments and through benchmarks agreed to by all levels of Australian government. State and territory education authorities and, to a lesser extent, schools, set quality standards by determining curricula, student assessment and certifi cation, resource allocation, and teacher-employment requirements and professional learning. School students are well prepared for further study or entry into the workforce. Students benefi t from a focus on academic achievement, as well as career education and transition-to-work programs. Children in Australia start school at around fi ve years of age and fi nish when they are about 18 years old. Australia has a system of primary schools (Kindergarten to Year 6) and secondary schools (Year 7 to Year 12). Students undergo assessments and exams in Years 11 and 12 to receive a senior secondary certifi cate of education for entry into tertiary study. Some schools also offer the International Baccalaureate. The school system includes both public (government-run) and private (independent or non-government) schools. Private schools may have a religious affiliation. Some schools are co-educational while others may be boys-only or girls-only. Many private schools have boarding houses for their students to live on campus. In addition to their academic teaching, schools provide a range of co-curricular and social activities to create well- rounded students. Some schools specialise in particular fi elds such as science and technology, gifted and talented, sports, drama, languages or music. Schools have dedicated support staff to help their international students adjust to life in Australia. More than 28,000 international students were enrolled in Australian schools in 2008. English language courses (ELICOS) Australia is a great place to improve your English language skills. It offers specifi c English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS). Australia has hundreds of colleges across the country providing a wide range of courses for beginners to advanced speakers. Many universities and vocational institutes also have ELICOS centres. You can take a course to suit your study or work needs including General English, English for Academic Purposes, English for Business and IELTS preparation. The English language training sector is closely regulated and monitored through government regulation and industry self-regulation. English language colleges must be registered on CRICOS. English language colleges provide support for their students in settling into Australia, as well as social events and sight- seeing trips. In 2008, more than 125,000 students were enrolled in ELICOS courses. Many students complete an ELICOS course in readiness for university or other study. 14 ABOUT AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION
Australia The Education Destination 2010