Australia checks on all corners when it comes to factors that affect the selection of a country for international students. Perhaps the cost of living and cost of education is not that significantly lower than the other study abroad destinations, it is still cheaper and offers quality education at a much lower price. It is a quality prospect but what is the education system in Australia like? What is the structure? What kinds of degrees are awarded and what is the eligibility? More importantly…how different is it from the Indian Education System? Well…read on.
Structure of Study in Australia
Based broadly on the English Education system, the Australian Education system is not much different from the Indian education system. Generally speaking, there is 6 to 7 years of primary education followed by a secondary school for another three or four years (usually till grade 10). Following the two, there is a senior secondary certificate for 2 years similar to the Indian 10+2 system.
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Following the school system, the students can opt for either University or Higher Education or go for Vocational Education. While the first one is offered by state or private universities, the latter is offered by special Vocational Education & Training institutes called Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions. Australian Vocational Education and Training or VET institutions offer certificates and diplomas (depending on the length of the program). Students pursuing advanced diplomas (stretching from about 24 to 36 months) can usually opt to transfer to a university for a bachelor’s degree (generally with credits). Vocational education and training across institutes if regulated and monitored by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (AQSA).
From the university, you can earn either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree. An Associate Degree is usually a 2-year course that aims at making a student job ready. The purpose of the course structure is to train the student in practical aspects of a job/discipline. Students taking an associate degree can follow take admitted in the bachelor’s degree. A Bachelor’s Degree, on the other hand, runs for 3 years (like in India) or for 4 years (for specific subjects or in case the student wishes to do Honour’s course). The degree is a step up from the associate degree and provides a wider scope of understanding of the subject. It is also the eligibility criteria for pursuing a Master’s Degree.
Beyond graduation, students can go for master's and then doctoral programs which are available across various universities as well as private institutions in Australia. Whichever the institute might be, all are supervised and regulated by TEQSA or Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency set by the Australian government.
Eligibility Criteria to Study in Australia
For both the Vocational Education & Training qualifications as well as university degree programs at the undergraduate level, a minimum senior secondary school qualifier is required. In other words, to apply for a UG degree or diploma in Australia, you need to have completed your 10+2 in India and should have attained an age of 17 before the course begins. All the universities/ TAFE institutions would have a minimum cut-off and would require over and above 60%. This again is an average figure and may vary greatly.
Some of the top Australian universities are also among the world top universities and have an unusually high cut-off percentage. However, in case you do not qualify for the same, there is always an option of applying for a foundation course instead, which would give you a chance to improve your score.
For post-graduation courses, Australia has a large number of truly world-class offerings. The Melbourne Business School is amongst the top b-schools of the world. The Australian National University along with University of Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland and New South Wales feature in the World Top 50 in the latest QS Top University Ranking. Needless to say, the eligibility cut-off for these universities would be much higher. Top universities might require a GMAT/ GRE for post-graduate courses, but they are not mandatory.
Apart from the above, whether you are applying for a certificate diploma, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree or a doctoral program, you would have to show language proficiency. English is the official language of Australia and the medium of instruction. Hence, you would have to show English proficiency and take mandatory tests for admission to any course. Both IELTS and TOEFL are accepted across different institutions and universities in Australia.
It is important to note that universities in Australia look at the larger picture and admission decisions are made on a cumulative assessment of your grades across the senior secondary school, your admission essay and the letters of reference you produce.
To sum up, it’s relatively easier for Indian Students to assimilate the Australian system because it is not really different. They might call it differently, but both are essentially off-shoots of the English system and hence similar in ways more than one. This in turn facilitates the transition and makes Australian Universities a favourable choice for Indian students.
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