Blogs on 'Study in Australia'

Education System in Australia

8 min read
Blog Summary Gain insights into the dynamic education system in Australia, known for its world-class universities and diverse programs.

When you study in Australia, you can be assured of outstanding educational excellence, globally recognised qualifications, and vast job opportunities. Universities in Australia are well-known for their research and training approaches, making them a popular choice for Indian students.

Academic achievement, campus life, and competent instructors are other essential factors in Australian institutions continually being rated in the QS World Ranking and Times Higher Education Rankings. It features a well-structured curriculum that focuses on various abilities like critical thinking, creativity, communication, literacy, analytical thinking capacity, ethical understanding, and others.

The country is home to some of the world's most prestigious colleges, which, in addition to delivering unrivalled educational excellence, also bring enormous career opportunities and indisputably fulfilling campus life. Australian universities are noted for their creative approaches to teaching and have a teaching panel composed of internationally renowned faculty members.

The Australian education system has consistently ranked first in the QS World Ranking and the Times Higher Education Ranking, and it offers over 22,000 different types of courses across 1,100 institutes. It also has the world's top-rated education cities, which includes Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and Brisbane.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

The Australian Qualification Framework (AQF), formerly known as the Australian Qualification Training Framework (AQTF), establishes education and qualification requirements across Australia. It combines all qualifications from all educational sectors into a single regulatory framework. The AQF strives to create a flexible, nationally consistent, high-quality framework that benefits all Australian students pursuing postsecondary education.

The AQF consists of ten levels that unite numerous schools, colleges, universities, and educational institutions in a unified national system. Students can shift from one study level to another with greater freedom, choice, and better career planning if their student visa criteria are met.

The Australian Qualification Framework encompasses all aspects of Australian education and training, including:

  • Schools
  • TAFEs
  • Universities
  • VET Providers
  • RTOs
  • Private Training Providers.

The AQF Objectives

  • Allow for a wide range of training options today and in the future.
  • Contribute to the national economy through well-developed training outcomes
  • Support, create, and sustain accessible educational routes.
  • Establish a regulatory framework for the education and training industry.
  • Improve students', graduates', and employees' national and international mobility
  • Conform to worldwide educational norms and frameworks.

How Many Levels of Education are there in Australia?

To maintain a high quality, the country employs a closely controlled education system supervised by the AQF, as previously described. The education system is divided into three levels: primary, secondary, and tertiary, with "school education" referring to primary and secondary education and "tertiary education" referring to higher education. It comprises higher education (university level) and Vocational Education and Training. 

This level is necessary for all children aged six to sixteen across the country and is divided into:

Study Level


Primary Education

Running for about seven years, from kindergarten or preparatory to Year 6 or 7.

Secondary Education

From Year 7 to Year 10, the programme lasts roughly four years.

Senior Secondary Education

This refers to the final two years of secondary school, namely Years 11 and 12.

Tertiary Education

Higher education (including universities) and vocational education and training are both included in tertiary education (VET).

Aside from primary and secondary school, Australia has ten levels of education, according to the AQF. These levels are related to tertiary or higher education in Australia, which has an expanded version specific to this country. 

The table below depicts the various levels of education according to the AQF:

Study Level


Level 1

Certificate I: Relates to fundamental or functional knowledge required for further education.

Level 2

Certificate II: Applicants should be able to apply what they have learned as a stepping stone to a higher level of study.

Level 3

Certificate III: This level allows students to pursue skilled jobs while continuing their studies.

Level 4

Certificate IV: Enhances students' skill sets and encourages them to pursue higher education.

Level 5

Diploma: This relates to the acquisition of theoretical and technical skill sets.

Level 6

Advanced Diploma: Development of paraprofessional skill sets for the application of specialised theoretical knowledge.

Associate Degree: Use theoretical knowledge to assist paraprofessional jobs.

Level 7

Bachelor's Degree: Be able to apply for jobs in various professional fields.

Level 8

Bachelor's (H) Degree, Graduate Diploma: Apply what the candidate has learned in their line of employment.

Level 9

Master's Degree: Qualified advanced knowledge gained via study or research.

Level 10

Doctoral / Research Degree: Qualified students who conduct research on new subjects and levels are funded by Australian Government scholarships.

Primary School

Australia uses the UNESCO term primary school, which usually includes a child's education from pre-Year 1 to Year 6 (sometimes known as infants schools). The length of primary school years varies by Australian state and territory. Most adopt seven years, except in South Australia, where pupils graduate with Year 7, making primary school eight years.

Until they are 11, 12, or 13 years old, primary schools emphasise the development of critical reading, numeracy, and social skills and provide students with foundational information about the world around them.

Children begin to learn critical courses in primary school. The major goal is to provide a basic understanding of their world. Essential numeracy and literacy skills are taught to children. Students enrol in high or secondary schools to complete years 10, 11, and 12.

Secondary School

Secondary schools provide the educational needs of students from Year 7 to Year 12.

In certain areas, students can drop out of high school to pursue vocational training and apprenticeships.

The secondary school education system in Australia follows a national curriculum structure. Mathematics, science, history, languages, geography, the arts, health, and physical education, information and communication technology, civics and citizenship, economics, and business are the subjects taught.

Students who complete senior secondary school (Years 11 and 12) take examinations and are granted a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.

Senior Secondary School

Senior Secondary School (Years 11 and 12) - This school prepares pupils for further education and employment. Students at this level continue their studies in history, mathematics, physics, geography, and English. It allows students to choose their subjects and the level of difficulty of their education. They can also include job studies into their schooling and pursue vocational training.

The senior secondary education grading method is comparable to previous years' grading. It also employs a grade percentage rather than a letter grade system. Filling out an enrollment form and submitting papers such as passports, visas, birth certificates, and address evidence are required for admission to Years 11 and 12.

In addition, before beginning their studies, students must complete a pre-enrollment interview and meet with administration personnel.

Students who complete Year 12 get a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Each territory and state in Australia has its name for this certificate. However, they all signify the same degree of education. 

Tertiary Education

Tertiary education (or higher education) in Australia primarily consists of studying at a university or a Registered Training Organization at the Diploma level or higher to get a qualification or further skills and training. A higher education provider is an organization created or recognized by the Australian Government, a State, the Australian Capital Territory, or the Northern Territory. State and territory governments register VET providers, both public and private.

Australia has 42 universities, including 37 public universities, three private institutions, and two overseas private universities. Monash University in Melbourne was Australia's largest university in 2015, with five campuses and 75,000 students.

More than 132 non-self-accrediting higher education providers are accredited by state and territory authorities, as reported on state and territory registrations. Several of these are registered in more than one state or territory.

Every student enrolled in nationally recognised training must have a Unique Student Identifier (USI).

Language of Instruction

English is Australia's national language and the primary language of teaching in the educational system. Many schools provide bilingual or multilingual programmes. Because Australia is an English-speaking country and your classroom instruction will be in English, you must be fluent in this language. If you have inadequate English ability, you may be encouraged to enrol in an English language course before beginning your programme. There are over 100 private English language centres in the country to select from.

The majority of students are taught maths and science in English. Some schools provide bilingual education; however, if the language of instruction is not English, it is usually a second or extra language rather than a native language (although some schools deliver education in indigenous languages).

Australia's educational system is one of the world's greatest. If you've recently started a new job or are considering moving to Australia, you should be aware of the educational system. To pursue their education, a large number of international students are migrating to Australia. Australia is the perfect location for any academic assistance. If you want to continue your education, you may be eligible for the next level of education in Australia since there are plenty of appropriate courses and programmes for the right candidate.

You can contact us directly through our website AECC if you have any queries, and our expert consultants can help you quench your doubts and upscale yourself in living your dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the education system in Australia like for international students, and how is it structured?
The education system in Australia is known for its quality and diversity, offering a range of programs from primary school to higher education institutions like universities.
Are there specific entry requirements for international students to enroll in Australian educational institutions at different levels, such as primary, secondary, or tertiary education?
Entry requirements can vary depending on the level of education, but international students often need to meet academic and visa-related requirements.
How does the Australian education system compare to systems in other countries, particularly in terms of curriculum, grading, and assessment?
The Australian education system is known for its high standards, and it is often compared favorably to systems in countries like the USA, UK, and Canada.
Are there opportunities for international students to engage in extracurricular activities and cultural experiences while studying in Australia?
Yes, international students in Australia have access to a wide range of extracurricular activities, clubs, and cultural experiences, enriching their educational journey.
What makes the Australian education system an attractive choice for international students seeking high-quality education and diverse cultural experiences?
The Australian education system offers a multicultural environment, excellent academic institutions, and a strong emphasis on practical skills, making it appealing to international students.

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