kids encyclopedia robot

Education in Australia facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Education in Australia
Australian Government
Minister for Education Alan Tudge
National education budget (2015)
Budget A$111.8 billion
5.9 percent of GDP
General details
Primary languages English
System type State
Established compulsory education 1830s
1870s
Literacy (2003)
Total 99%
Male 99%
Female 99%
Enrollment (2008)
Total 20.4% of population
Primary 1.9 million
Secondary 1.4 million
Post secondary 1 million

Education in Australia encompasses the sectors of early childhood education (preschool) and primary education (primary schools), followed by secondary education (high schools), tertiary education (universities and Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). Regulation and funding of education is primarily the responsibility of the States and territories, however the Australian Government also plays a funding role. Education in Australia is compulsory between the ages of four, five, or six and fifteen, sixteen or seventeen, depending on the state or territory and the date of birth.

For primary and secondary education, government schools educate approximately 60 per cent of Australian students, with approximately 40 per cent in non-government schools. 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.

Underpinned by the Australian Qualifications Framework, implemented in 1995, Australia has adopted a national system of qualifications, encompassing higher education, vocational education and training (VET), and school-based education. For primary and secondary schools, a national Australian Curriculum has been progressively developed and implemented since 2010.

Australia is a leading global provider of education to international students, and in 2012 was ranked as the third-largest provider of international education after the United States and the United Kingdom. Australia has the highest ratio of international students per head of population in the world by a large margin, with 812,000 international students enrolled in the nation's universities and vocational institutions in 2019.

The Education Index, published with the UN's Human Development Index in 2018, based on data from 2017, listed Australia as 0.929, the second-highest in the world.

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

Regulation and funding

The regulation, operation, and funding of education is primarily the responsibility of the States and territories, partly because the Federal Government does not have a specific constitutional power to pass laws with respect to education. However, the Federal government helps fund independent or private schools, helps fund public universities and subsidises tertiary education through a national student loan scheme, and regulates vocational education providers.

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, the present version of which is the Department of Education and Training.

For primary and secondary schools, a national Australian Curriculum is currently under progressive development and implementation. At present, parts of the Australian Curriculum have been adopted by some States and territories.

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 and TAFE colleges, and from late February until mid-November for universities with seasonal holidays and breaks for each educational institute.

Pre-school

Pre-school and pre-prep programmes in Australia are relatively unregulated, and are not compulsory. The first exposure many Australian children have to learning with others outside of traditional parenting is day care or a parent-run playgroup. This sort of activity is not generally considered schooling, as pre-school 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 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, pre-school 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.

Pre-schools 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. Pre-school 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. 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.

Responsibility for pre-schools in New South Wales and Victoria, lies with the Department of Education and Communities and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), respectively. In all other states and territories of Australia, responsibility for pre-schools lie with the relevant education department.

The average net cost (taking into account the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Tax Rebate entitlements) for a long day care in Australia is $3.85 per hour, or a net cost of around $46 a day for a long day care service offering 12-hour days.

Rankings

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

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. 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. In 2012, education firm Pearson ranked Australian education as thirteenth in the world

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.

Tertiary education

.
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 Registered Training Organisation studying Diploma or above in order to receive a qualification or further skills and training. 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. VET providers, both public and private are registered by state and territory governments.

There are 42 universities in Australia: 37 public universities, 3 private universities and 2 international private universities. As of 2015, the largest university in Australia was Monash University in Melbourne: with five campuses and 75,000 students.

There are non-self-accrediting higher education providers accredited by state and territory authorities, numbering more than 132 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).

International tertiary students

Australia has the highest ratio of international students per head of population in the world by a large margin, with 812,000 international students enrolled in the nation's universities and vocational institutions in 2019. Accordingly, in 2019, international students represented on average 26.7% of the student bodies of Australian universities. International education, therefore, represents one of the country's largest exports and has a pronounced influence on the country's demographics, with a significant proportion of international students remaining in Australia after graduation on various skill and employment visas. The Australian onshore international education sector is predicted to rise 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. According to a 2016 report by Deloitte Access Economics for the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, higher education and Vocational Education and Training (VET) were projected to be the fastest-growing sectors in onshore international education by 2025.

Rankings

36 Australian tertiary educational institutions were listed in the QS World University Rankings for 2021; and 37 institutions were listed in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in the same year. As of 2020, 34 Australian universities were listed in China's Academic Ranking of World Universities ranking, with The University of Melbourne achieving the highest global ranking, at 35th. In the same year, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities Rankings, 38 Australian universities were ranked, ranging from the University of Melbourne, at 25th place, to Bond University, at 1133th place.

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. 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. In 2012, education firm Pearson ranked Australian education as thirteenth in the world.

The Education Index, published with the UN's Human Development Index in 2018, based on data from 2017, listed Australia as 0.929, the second-highest in the world.

kids search engine
Education in Australia Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.