Defence and Education


Each state government within Australia manages the school system within their state. This means that they provide funds and regulation for their schools.

Both public schools and private schools exist in each state. The curriculum taught in each state or school may vary but the learning areas are the same in all. Each state has a Vocational Education and Training (VET) or Technical and Further Education (TAFE) system.

VET prepares people for work in a career that does not need a university degree. Each state manages their system and meets at a national level to coordinate their effort. VET is transferable between all states. Typically, a VET/TAFE course takes two years of study. The Federal government provides funding for universities in all the states but each is independent in its governance. Typically, a university course takes three or four years of study.


In Australia, the term ‘higher education’ generally refers to education at degree level and above. In the Australian Qualifications Framework, higher education courses are those leading to the award of associate degree, bachelor’s degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, master’s degree or doctoral degree. Some courses leading to the award of a diploma or advanced diploma may also be accredited as higher education.

Almost all higher education in Australia is offered by universities.

A small but growing number of non-university providers and overseas institutions also offer accredited higher education courses.

Vocational education and training

Vocational education and training (VET) provides skills and knowledge for work through a national training system.
The system consists of a network of all State and Territory Governments, the Australian Government, along with industry and training providers that work together to provide nationally consistent training across Australia.

VET in schools allows young people to remain enrolled at school while completing education and training programs delivered by other learning providers in the community, such as TAFE and other Registered Training Organisations.


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