Education in Australia

Education in Australia encompasses the sectors of early childhood education[6] (preschool) and primary education (primary schools), followed by secondary education (high schools), tertiary education (universities, TAFE colleges, and vocational education and training providers) and adult education (referred to as adult and community education or ACE)[7]. Regulation and funding of education is primarily the responsibility of the States and territories, but the Federal Government also plays a funding role.[8]

Education in Australia is compulsory between the ages of five or six[9] and fifteen, sixteen or seventeen, depending on the State or territory and date of birth.[10]

For primary and secondary education, government schools educate approximately 60% of Australian students, with approximately 40% in non-government schools.[3] At the tertiary level, the majority of Australia's universities are public, and student fees are subsidised through a student loan program where payment becomes due when debtors reach a certain income level.[11]

For primary and secondary schools, a national Australian Curriculum has been progressively developed and implemented since 2010.[12]

The Education Index, published with the UN's Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, listed Australia as 0.993, the highest in the world.[13]

In 1966 Australia signed the Convention against Discrimination in Education, which aims to combat discrimination and racial segregation in the field of education.

Education in Australia
National education budget
Budget$243.5 billion
General details
Primary languagesEnglish
System typeState
Established compulsory education1830s[1]
1870s[1]
Literacy (2003)
Total99%[2]
Male99%[2]
Female99%[2]
Enrollment (2008)
Total20.4% of population[3][4]
Primary1.9 million[3]
Secondary1.4 million[3]
Post secondary1 million[5]

Regulation and funding

The regulation, operation, and funding of education is the responsibility of the States and territories, because the Federal Government does not have a specific constitutional power to pass laws with respect to education.[14] However, the Federal government helps fund non-government schools,[15] helps fund public universities and subsidises tertiary education through a national student loan scheme,[16] and regulates vocational education providers.[17]

Post-compulsory education is regulated within the Australian Qualifications Framework, a unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training, and the tertiary education sector.

The Federal Government's involvement in education has been the responsibility of a number of departments over the years,[18] the present version of which is the Department of Education and Training.

The academic year in Australia varies between States and institutions, but generally runs from late January/early February until early/mid-December for primary and secondary schools, with slight variations in the inter-term holidays[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26] and TAFE colleges,[27][28][29] and from late February until mid-November for universities with seasonal holidays and breaks for each educational institute.[30]

Preschool

Preschool and pre-prep programmes in Australia are relatively unregulated, and are not compulsory.[31] The first exposure many Australian children have to learning with others outside of traditional parenting is day care or a parent-run playgroup.[32] This sort of activity is not generally considered schooling, as preschool education is separate from primary school in all states and territories, except Western Australia where pre-school education is taught as part of the primary school system[33] and Victoria where the state framework, VEYLDF covers children from birth to 8 years old, is used by some schools over the federal framework. In Queensland, preschool programmes are often called Kindergarten or Pre-Prep, and are usually privately run but attract state government funding if run for at least 600 hours a year and delivered by a registered teacher.[34]

Preschools are usually run by the state and territory governments, except in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales where they are more often run by local councils, community groups or private organisations.[33] Preschool is offered to three- to five-year-olds; attendance numbers vary widely between the states, but 85.7% of children attended pre-school the year before school.[35] The year before a child is due to attend primary school is the main year for pre-school education. This year is far more commonly attended, and may take the form of a few hours of activity during weekdays.[36]

Primary and secondary education

Compulsory attendance requirements

Australian Census 2011 demographic map - Australia by SLA - BCP field 2817 Infants Primary Total Persons
People attending an infants or primary school as a percentage of the local population at the 2011 census, geographically subdivided by statistical local area

School education in Australia is compulsory between certain ages as specified by state or territory legislation. Depending on the state or territory, and date of birth of the child, school is compulsory from the age of five to six to the age of fifteen to seventeen.[10]

In the ACT,[37] NSW,[38] the Northern Territory,[39] Queensland,[40][41] South Australia,[42][43] Victoria,[44] and Western Australia,[45][46] children are legally required to attend school from the age of six years old, until the minimum leaving age. In Tasmania, the compulsory school starting age is 5 years old.[47]

In recent years, over three quarters of students stay at school until they are seventeen. Government schools educate approximately 60% of Australian students, with approximately 40% in non-government schools.[3] A small portion of students are legally home-schooled, particularly in rural areas.[48]

Australian Census 2011 demographic map - Australia by SLA - BCP field 2829 Secondary Total Persons
People attending secondary school as a percentage of the local population at the 2011 census, geographically subdivided by statistical local area

Government schools

Government schools (also known as public schools or State schools) are free to attend for Australian citizens and permanent residents, while non-government schools usually charge attendance fees.[49] However, in addition to attendance fees, stationery, textbooks, sports, uniforms, school camps and other schooling costs are not covered under government funding. The additional cost for schooling has been estimated to be on average $316 per year per child.[50][51]

Department of Education (New South Wales) Department for Education (South Australia)
Department of Education and Training (Victoria) Department of Education (Tasmania)
Department of Education and Training (Queensland) Minister for Education (Northern Territory)
Department of Education (Western Australia) Department of Education (Australia)

Regardless of whether a school is part of the Government, Catholic or independent systems, they are required to adhere to the same curriculum frameworks of their state or territory. The curriculum framework however provides for some flexibility in the syllabus, so that subjects such as religious education can be taught. Most school students wear uniforms,[52] although there are varying expectations and some Australian schools do not require uniforms. A common movement among secondary schools to support student voice has taken form as organisations such as the Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC) in Victoria bring together student leaders to promote school improvement.

Non-government schools

In 2010 66% of students in Australia attended government schools, 20% attended Catholic schools and 14% attended independent schools.[53] In 2000 these figures were 69%, 20% and 11% respectively.

Most Catholic schools are either run by their local parish, local diocese and their state's Catholic education department.[54][55] Independent schools include schools operated by secular educational philosophies such as Steiner or Montessori; however, the majority of independent schools are religious, being Anglican, Protestant, Jewish, Islamic or non-denominational. In addition, some private schools are also Catholic, but independent of those run by the Church and Catholic education departments, which are classed as systemic schools. [56]

Some non-government schools charge high fees and because of this, Government funding for these schools is often controversial.[57] [58]

Tertiary education

Australian Census 2011 demographic map - Australia by SLA - BCP field 2865 University or other Tertiary Institution Total Persons
People attending a tertiary institution as a percentage of the local population at the 2011 census, geographically subdivided by statistical local area

Tertiary education (or higher education) in Australia is primarily study at university or a technical college[59] studying Diploma or above in order to receive a qualification or further skills and training.[60] A higher education provider is a body that is established or recognised by or under the law of the Australian Government, a State, the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory.[61] VET providers, both public and private are registered by State and Territory governments.

There are 43 universities in Australia: 40 public universities, two international universities and one private university.[62] The largest university in Australia is Monash University in Melbourne: it has five campuses and 75,000 students.[63]

There are non-self-accrediting higher education providers accredited by State and Territory authorities, numbering more than 150 as listed on State and Territory registers. These include several that are registered in more than one State and Territory.

All students doing nationally recognised training need to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI).[64]

International students

In 2017, the number of international students studying in Australia reached a new record of 583,243. This represented an increase of more than 10% on the previous year.[65][66] The Australian onshore international education sector is predicted to rise from the current 650,000 enrolments to 940,000 by 2025. The biggest source markets for onshore international learner enrolments in 2025 are expected to be China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, Malaysia, Brazil and South Korea. Higher education and VET will be the fastest growing sectors in onshore international education by 2025.[67]

Rankings

33 Australian educational institutions are listed in the QS World University Rankings for 2016,[68] 31 institutions are listed in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings,[69] 29 institutions are listed in China's Academic Ranking of World Universities ranking,[70] and 26 institutions in U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities Rankings.[71]

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) evaluation in 2006 ranked the Australian education system as sixth for reading, eighth for science and thirteenth for mathematics, on a worldwide scale including 56 countries.[72] The PISA evaluation in 2009 ranked the Australian education system as sixth for reading, seventh for science and ninth for mathematics, an improvement relative to the 2006 rankings.[73] In 2012, education firm Pearson ranked Australian education as thirteenth in the world.[74]

The Education Index, published with the UN's Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, lists Australia as 0.993, the highest in the world.[13]

Issues and controversies

Government education policy

Despite a substantial increase in government spending per student over the past ten years (after correcting for inflation), the proportion of students who are proficient in math, reading and science have actually declined over that same period. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Menzies Research Centre have both concluded that increasing school funding above a basic level has little effect on student proficiency. Instead, they both recommend greater autonomy. That is, the states should merely monitor the performance of the schools. Individual principals should have full authority and responsibility for ensuring student proficiency in core areas.[75]

School violence

In Queensland, the Education Minister of the State of Queensland said in July 2009 that the rising levels of violence in schools in Queensland were "totally unacceptable" and that not enough had been done to combat violent behaviour. In Queensland, 55,000 school students had been suspended in 2008, nearly a third of which were for "physical misconduct".[76]

In South Australia, 175 violent attacks against students or staff were recorded in 2008.[77] Students were responsible for deliberately causing 3,000 injuries reported by teachers over two years from 2008 to 2009.[78]

See also

Further reading

  • Martin, Arthur Patchett (1889). "The State Schoolmaster" . Australia and the Empire (1 ed.). Edinburgh: David Douglas. pp. 157–187. — free, secular and compulsory education in colonial Australia

External links

References

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Academic grading in Australia

This article is a summary of academic grading in Australia.

Academic ranks (Australia and New Zealand)

This article is about academic ranks in higher education in Australia and New Zealand. Both systems have derived from a common heritage in the British university system.

Australasian College for Emergency Medicine

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM), based in Melbourne Australia, is the primary training body for specialist emergency physicians in Australia and New Zealand. The college is recognised by the Australian Medical Council and Medical Council of New Zealand as such and provides services for approximately 2700 Fellows and 2600 Trainees.

Australian Ballet School

The Australian Ballet School was founded in 1964 as the primary training facility for The Australian Ballet by Dame Margaret Scott. It is part of the Australian Ballet Centre, which is located in the Melbourne Arts Precinct, Southbank in Melbourne, Victoria. It is a member of the Australian Roundtable for Arts Training Excellence.

Australian Film, Television and Radio School

The Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) is Australia's national screen arts and broadcast school. The school is an Australian Commonwealth government statutory authority. It is a member of the "Australian Roundtable for Arts Training Excellence".AFTRS focus is to advance the success of Australia's screen arts and broadcast industries by developing the skills and knowledge of talented individuals and undertaking research.

Australian Institute of Sport

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is a sports training institution in Australia. The Institute's headquarters were opened in 1981 and are situated in Canberra (the capital city of Australia). The 66-hectare site campus is in the northern suburb of Bruce. The AIS is a division of the Australian Sports Commission.

Australian Qualifications Framework

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) specifies the standards for educational qualifications in Australia. It is administered nationally by the Australian Government's Department of Industry, with oversight from the States and Territories, through the Standing Council of Tertiary Education Skills and Employment. While the AQF specifies the standards, education and training organisations are authorised by accrediting authorities to issue a qualification.

Australian Tertiary Admission Rank

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is the primary criterion for entry into most undergraduate-entry university programs in Australia. It was gradually introduced during 2009 and 2010 to replace the Universities Admission Index, Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Rank and Tertiary Entrance Rank. Queensland still retains its own separate Overall Position system, but began using the national ATAR system for year 10 subjects in 2018, which will impact year 12 students graduating in 2020.

In Victoria ATAR is derived from mapping a student's aggregate score to the national averages. A student's aggregate score can be calculated using the following formula:

Where is their English scaled study score, is the sum of their three best scaled study scores excluding English, and is the sum of their next best two study scores. Because ATAR is ranked on averages, a new table is published each year for mapping aggregate scores to ATAR (e.g. 159.8 aggregate = 90.00 ATAR in 2013).

Other states vary, e.g. in Queensland and Tasmania, English needs to be passed but will not be a mandatory component of the ATAR.

Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) is responsible for examining and qualifying anaesthetists in Australia and New Zealand. The College maintains standards of practice in anaesthesia.

Catholic education in Australia

Catholic education in Australia refers to the education services provided by the Roman Catholic Church in Australia within the Australian education system. From 18th century foundations, the Catholic education system has grown to be the second biggest sector after government schools in Australia. The Catholic Church has established primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions in Australia. Today one in five Australian students attend Catholic schools. There are over 1,700 Catholic schools in Australia with more than 750,000 students enrolled, employing almost 60,000 teachers.Many Catholic schools in Australia are connected to the Internet via Catholic Education Network (CEnet).

Government and non-government education in Australia

Education in Australia can be classified according to sources of funding and administrative structures. There are two broad categories of school in Australia: Government schools (also known as public or state schools) and non-government schools, which can be further subdivided into Catholic schools and independent schools.

Graduate diploma

A graduate diploma (GradD, GDip, GrDip, GradDip) is generally a qualification taken after completion of a first degree, although the level of study varies in different countries from being at the same level as the final year of a bachelor's degree to being at a level between a master's degree and a doctorate. In some countries the graduate diploma and postgraduate diploma are synonymous, while in others (particularly where the graduate diploma is at undergraduate degree level) the postgraduate diploma is a higher qualification.

Open Universities Australia

Open Universities Australia (OUA) is an online higher education organisation based in Australia. The organisation was previously known as the Open Learning Agency of Australia. The chairman is Professor Bruce S. Dowton and the chief executive officer is Stuart Elmslie.

Seven Australian-based universities control the ownership of the organisation. A board of directors, consisting of nominees from the universities which own the organisation, governs OUA. There are also up to five independent directors on the board at any one time.

While the majority of enrolled students are based in Australia, courses are available to students globally. Most undergraduate courses offered have no first-year entry requirements and there are no quotas for most courses.

Through OUA, students can enrol in over 190 qualifications online, which are provided by Australian universities and other education providers.

Postgraduate diploma

A postgraduate diploma (PgD, PgDip, PGDip, PG Dip., PGD, Dipl. PG, PDE) is a postgraduate qualification awarded after a university degree, which voids the original degree awarded to the recipient. It can be contrasted with a graduate diploma. Countries that award postgraduate diplomas include but are not limited to Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Spain, South Africa, India, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Republic of Panama the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago and Zimbabwe . Level of education and recognition differ per issuing country.

Royal Australasian College of Physicians

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) is a not-for-profit professional organisation responsible for training, educating, and representing 17,000 physicians and paediatricians and 8000 trainees in 33 medical specialties in Australia and New Zealand.Specialties include paediatrics & child health, cardiology, respiratory medicine, neurology,

oncology, public health medicine, occupational and environmental medicine, palliative

medicine, sexual health medicine, rehabilitation and addiction medicine.The College is responsible for education of trainees and the ongoing education of Fellows of the College. It also publishes two medical journals, The Internal Medicine Journal and The Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, and has a foundation which provides funding for research in the field of internal medicine.

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is the leading advocate for surgical standards, professionalism and surgical education in Australia and New Zealand. The head office of the College is in Melbourne, Australia.

The College is a not-for-profit organisation that represents more than 7000 surgeons and 1300 surgical trainees and International Medical Graduates. RACS also supports healthcare and surgical education in the Asia-Pacific region and is a substantial funder of surgical research.

RACS was formed in 1927 as the Australian College of Surgeons, and its prime purpose, as outlined by the Medical Journal, was to "enable the public to distinguish between surgeons and men who undertake operations". Its major roles are in training surgeons, continuing education, and setting standards for surgical practice. The members of the College fall into the following categories: Fellows (who possess the fellowship of the College - FRACS), Trainees (doctors training to be surgeons) and IMGs (International Medical Graduates). The College is independent from government and universities and is funded through fees paid by Trainees and Fellows.

The College trains in nine surgical specialty areas:

Cardiothoracic surgery

General surgery

Neurosurgery

Orthopaedic surgery

Otolaryngology head and neck surgery

Paediatric surgery

Plastic and reconstructive surgery

Urology

Vascular surgerySome surgical specialties receive their training from separate colleges, these include: ophthalmic surgeons who are examined by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), oral and maxillofacial surgeons who are examined by the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (RACDS), and obstetric and gynecological surgeons who are examined by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).

The major activities of the College are surgical training and examination, setting standards for surgical practice, continuing professional development and government and media relations. The Surgical Education and Training (SET) program has improved the efficiency of surgical education and training through early selection into specialty training and streamlining training.

Tertiary education in Australia

Tertiary education in Australia consists of both government and private institutions. A higher education provider is a body that is established or recognised by or under the law of the Australian Government, a state, or the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.There are 43 universities in Australia: 40 public universities, two international universities, and one private specialty university.The flagship Australian universities are Go8 universities. Australian universities are modeled from the British system, so learning is comparatively challenging, but there are other intermediate options to take as preparatory steps and very research-oriented starts early from the similar American freshman year (there is no liberal arts requirement in the first year, so many of them only have three years to graduate), and generally sets international research-ready standards throughout the entire learning experience to evaluate students' academic performances. Australia ranked 4th (with Germany) by OECD in international PhD students destination after US, UK and France.

University of Sydney Centre for Continuing Education

The Centre for Continuing Education (commonly referred to as CCE) is an adult education provider within the University of Sydney, Australia. It is located on Missenden Road in Newtown, an inner-west suburb, just south-west of the Sydney city centre. Extension lectures at the university were inaugurated in 1886, 36 years after the university's founding, making it Australia's longest running university continuing education program.

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University (ECU) was established in 1980 to provide performing arts tuition. WAAPA (commonly pronounced "whopp-a") operates as a part of ECU, located at the ECU campus of Mount Lawley, a suburb in Perth, Western Australia.

The Director of WAAPA is Professor David Shirley.

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