Every Australian student will have been through the education system in their country, but for students who have come from overseas, it can be confusing. This education essay will run through the Australian education system, and how it works.
Education in Australia is compulsory between the ages 4-5 and 16-17, depending on the state or territory you’re living in. At time of writing, about 60% of Australian children are in public education, with the remaining 40% in independent or private schools.
Preschool is not a requirement of most states in Australia, but over 80% of children aged 3-5 to attend some kind of preschool. These are usually run by the community, and aren’t considered to be formal schooling.
Primary and secondary education
All schools are required to stick to the same curriculum, whether they’re a public school or private. This also means religious schools, such as Catholic schools, must use the same curriculum too.
Although public schools are free to attend, items such as books and supplies aren’t covered by government funding. It’s been estimated that the cost of sending a child to school in Australia can be $316 AUD per year.
Uniforms are usually worn by school students. However, not all schools use them, depending on the area and the requirements of the students.
Tertiary education, or higher education, is education for those aged 17 and over. It’s not compulsory, but many students go on to higher education in order to train for their chosen careers, or improve their career options.
There are 43 universities in Australia, the largest one being Monash University in Melbourne. It has five campuses and 75,000 students.
Higher education is paid for through a student loan program. Students are loaned the amount needed to cover their tuition fees, and they then pay it back when they start working. However, they don’t pay that money back until they start earning over a certain threshold amount.
Australian education bears a striking similarity to the British education system. It’s no surprise, as the countries are still linked. As in Australia, there’s a primary and secondary level of education, and higher education beyond that.
Australia has become an attractive prospect for overseas students, thanks to the high level of education on offer and the proximity to several Asian countries.
This is the basic overview of the Australian education system. As you can see, education is prized here, and it’s seen as important that all children get a full and comprehensive education.