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Australian Education System

Australian qualifications Framework...

Type of Institutes

Type of Programs and Awards

The figure below shows the Australian qualifications framework.

Doctoral Degree
Masters Degree
Honours Year Graduate Diploma
Graduate Certificate


Bachelor Degree Advanced Diploma




Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (10+2) <---> Certificates I - IV



Secondary School Education ( 10 years)

  1. Primary and secondary schools: This is equivalent to 10+2 education in India. Certification at the end of schooling is by continous assessment within the schools or by a combination of internal assessment and public examinations.These procedures form the basis for qualification for entry to universities or other tertiary institutions.

  2. Foundation Studies: Foundation studies give international students the knowledge and skills for a smooth transition from learning in their home country to undergraduate studies in Australian universities. Foundation Studies are usually one year in duration and students are assessed and examined by their lecturers. Foundation studies are divided into various streams like arts and science studies. The common feature of foundation studies is that a university allocates a provisional place in an undergraduate course for a student who achieves the prescribed grades.

  3. English Language Schools (ELICOS): These are specifically for people who come to Australia to study English either for educational purposes or for other reasons. The Australian system of English language training is known as English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS). There are a range of courses including General English; English for Special Purposes; Vacation Courses; and Examination Preparation. The starting dates of courses are fairly frequent and they generally run from 4 to 10 weeks. Many universities and TAFE institutes have ELICOS centres attached to their campuses.

  4. Vocational Education and Training Institutes: Vocational education and training (VET) gives students practical skills for their careers.

    The VET sector is divided into two sections: a nationally recognised government system of Technical and Further Education (TAFE); and private providers. TAFE is the largest provider of tertiary education courses in Australia with about 250 institutes and over a million students including about 41,000 international students.

    The awards in VET sector are: certificates, advanced certificates, associate diplomas, diplomas. Studying at TAFE level is also a way of gaining entry - termed a pathway - to Australia's universities.

    Most TAFE institutes have arrangements with specific universities, enabling students to gain credit for a portion of their study undertaken at TAFE. The VET courses include computing, design, pilot training, business managemnet, hospitality and tourism and many other courses.

  5. Universities (higher education):There are 37 public universities and two private universities in Australia which offer both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The most popular courses of study for international students have been in the fields of Business, Administration and Economics, followed by Science, then Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

    University study can lead to the following awards: Undergraduate - Bachelor Degrees, Bachelor Degrees (with Honours), Undergraduate Diplomas, Associate Diplomas; Postgraduate - Doctoral Degrees, Masters Degrees, Graduate Diplomas, Graduate Certificates.


  1. Bachelor Degree
  2. Bachelor Degree (with Honours)
  3. Undergraduate Diplomas
  4. Associate Diplomas


  1. Masters Degrees
  2. Doctoral Degrees
  3. Graduate Diplomas
  4. Graduate Certificates
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