The education system

  • William Angliss Institute in Melbourne. Photo credit: William AnglissWilliam Angliss Institute in Melbourne. Photo credit: William Angliss

The education systems in Australia and New Zealand are based on the UK model and there are many similarities in terms of the range and types of qualifications offered, teaching methods and student lifestyle.

There are two types of tertiary or post-school education available in Australia and New Zealand – university study and vocational study.  Vocational education is more practical, hands on and industry-focused in nature.

In Australia, government-backed vocational providers are called Institutes of TAFE (Technical and Further Education) whereas in New Zealand, vocational government-backed providers are known as Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics.  There are also private institutions in both countries that provide vocational courses.  We use the term "colleges" to loosely group all of these different kind of institutions together.  You can see the full list of colleges that we represent on Where can you study?

At a college, students are offered the chance to study for a certificate, diploma and advanced diploma. Some institutions will also offer bachelor degrees and postgraduate qualifications. Courses range in length from 6 months to several years.

The beginning of the academic year in Australia and New Zealand is February; this intake is called semester one. Many of the universities and vocational institutions also offer students the opportunity to start in semester two, which begins in July.

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