Primary and Secondary Schools:
This is equivalent to 10+2 education in India. Schooling in Australia starts with a kindergarten or preparatory year followed by 12 years of primary and secondary school. In the final year of secondary school, Year 12, you can study for a government-endorsed certificate that is recognised by all Australian universities and vocational education and training institutions. This Senior Secondary Certificate of Education is also recognized by many international universities.
Foundation courses help international students who may not initially meet entry requirements gain entry to undergraduate study at Australian universities and colleges. They also help students adapt to the Australian academic environment and life in Australia. Some foundation courses promise a place at university after successful completion of the course.
English Language Schools (ELICOS):
The ELICOS program has been designed for students who require English language training before commencing formal studies in Australia. There are other English language programs besides ELICOS that a student can do, but the Australian government has an official ELICOS student visa especially for students who do one of these courses.
ELICOS stands for English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students. This acronym is used only in Australia: other countries may use English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to describe this kind of program, as opposed to English as a second (or other) language (ESL) programs that may be offered to migrants or citizens. All types of English language program can be grouped under the generic term English language teaching (ELT).
ELICOS is NOT an institution or an employer. An institution such as TAFE or a private provider may offer ELICOS courses, but ELICOS is not an employing body in its own right.
Vocational Education and Training Institutes:
Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) institutions offer the opportunity to improve your skills in real and artificial work environments. The practical expertise you gain in the workplace will give you a genuine advantage over other graduates.
At these institutions, you can study a wide range of disciplines, including: business and management, science and technology, design and arts, communications, sport and recreation, community service and health, tourism and hospitality, engineering and building, horticulture and land management and English.
Programs are provided by public Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Institutes, private colleges and a number of schools and universities. Industry and Government work together to develop training outcomes, which are then implemented according to nationally endorsed training packages.
This allows you to apply knowledge learnt inside the classroom, outside in the real world. You learn by doing, rather than just reading from textbooks. Your initial qualification can be built on to achieve higher qualifications, provide the basis to begin or change a career, or assist with further study at university.
You can also use this training as a pathway to other avenues of higher education. Depending on your qualification, universities may provide you with credit towards a Degree. This gives you the practical skills as well as the theory from a university Degree. You’ll leave Australia with two qualifications that are recognised around the world—a major advantage over other graduates.
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.