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Australian TAFE education & training

Australia looks to Technical and Further Education (TAFE) as a means of training its workforce as it strives to meet the challenges of taking the nation into the 21st century. For more than 100 years, TAFE has been the largest provider of vocational education and training in Australia.

TAFE training is easily accessible through a national network of institutes, colleges, campuses and centres which reach out to service not only major cities, but also rural communities and special needs groups. Each year more than 1.2 million students undertake thousands of vocational and non-vocational courses at institutions Australia-wide.

TAFE in Australia is Government-funded and guaranteed, with TAFE authorities in all Australian States and Territories working together to structure network of vocational training which not only meets the needs of industry but also gives people immediately useable skills which will win them jobs. TAFE Institutes are located in different locations throughout Australia. While most international students choose to attend TAFE institutes in major coastal cities, others prefer the charm and spirit of country towns situated across Australia.

Advantages of studying with TAFE in Australia

Increasing numbers of international students and industry groups are choosing TAFE to provide the training they need. Some of the unique features of TAFE courses include:
  • the large variety of courses available for study
  • the emphasis placed on practical and professional vocational learning
  • different admission levels providing opportunities for students to progress to Diploma level courses
  • qualifications are widely recognised throughout Australia and overseas
  • smaller class sizes providing for more extensive individual attention from teachers, and
  • courses are designed after extensive consultation with industry to ensure they meet employment needs.
TAFE - Education Pathways to University Study

By liaising with schools and universities, TAFE is able to provide students with a number of education pathways for articulation. Increasingly, international students who successfully graduate from TAFE courses are receiving recognition of their TAFE qualification under Articulation Agreements between TAFE and various Australian universities. These agreements enable students to gain recognition of completed TAFE courses of specific subjects in a related university degree. It is important to note that the level of exemption they receive will depend on the level of TAFE course undertaken and how it relates to the university course. Most States and Territories are able to provide publications which clearly set out Articulation Agreements between TAFE and Australian Universities. Students should seek information on Articulation Agreements from individual institutions.

Generally, students who graduate with a TAFE Diploma may receive up to two years credit towards a related university degree, while students who graduate with a TAFE Associate Diploma may receive up to one year’s credit towards a related university degree. The articulation initiative is designed to maximise a student’s learning options by avoiding unnecessary repetition of course work.

Recognition of TAFE Courses

TAFE courses are accredited by each State or Territory under strict guidelines. This ensures that the quality of teaching and resources meet Australian competency standards. TAFE courses are widely recognised in Australia by industry, employers and universities. In overseas countries, TAFE is negotiating with polytechnics, ministries of education, universities, employing authorities and professional associations to ensure that the TAFE qualifications gained by international graduates are officially recognised in their home countries.

ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for International Students) in TAFE

Many international students may wish to improve their English language ability before commencing their formal vocational course or training with TAFE. As a result, TAFE can provide students with the opportunity to enrol in a TAFE English Language (ELICOS) Centre. These centres offer students ELICOS programs. TAFE ELICOS Centres have an added bonus of catering for students with different levels of English proficiency, while also providing advanced English instruction relating to specific study areas. The centres are well equipped with contemporary language laboratories and computer equipment to aid in the instruction of English language.

TAFE - a Cultural Experience
Each year Australian TAFE plays host to thousands of international students from a vast collection of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Currently TAFE contributes to, and enjoys cross-cultural relationships with students from Asia, Africa, Oceanaia, India, South America, Scandinavia, North America and Europe. TAFE is sensitive to the culturally diverse needs of international students and provides support services at each step along the education pathway.
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