Understanding the Education System to Study in Australia

School Education in Australia

School education in Australia covers a range of academic disciplines and vocational courses which prepare the student for university entry, for further training programs or to enter the workforce. The school studies follow a mixed format of directed classroom studies, extensive written assessments, formal examinations and may include common assessment tasks. Depending on course alternatives, as a student studying in Australia might also apply skills, demonstrate understandings, and undertake performance, project, group and field-work activities.

The Senior Secondary Certificate of Education is known by different titles according to the State and Territory issuing authority in that region of Australia.

Australian Vocational Education and Training Qualifications

The qualifications offered to students studying at vocational education and training institutions in Australia are Certificates I-IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma. They meet national industry standards and will prepare the student for employment in a host of occupations or for further studies.

University Qualifications in Australia

Associate Degree offered to students is a two year qualification following year 12 or equivalent, or Certificate III or IV. It is a shorter higher education qualification offering an exit point at the sub-degree level, or a fully articulated pathway into the Bachelor Degree for further in-depth study and professional preparation, or articulation into an Advanced Diploma for specialist industry competencies.

The Bachelor degree offered to students to study in Australia is the fundamental university qualification and is the basic qualification for entry to the professions. Some professions may require additional vocational qualifications as a condition of entry.

Graduate Certificates offered to students is of 6 month duration which typically involves broadening individual skills already gained in an undergraduate program, or developing vocational knowledge and skills in a new professional area.

Graduate Diplomas offered to students to study in Austrailia is usually of 12 months duration to broaden individual skills obtained in an undergraduate program or develops vocational knowledge and skills in a new professional area. This qualification can also be described as further specialisation within a systematic and coherent body of knowledge.

The Masters Degree offered to students involves enhancing specific professional or vocational skills. The Masters Degree is typically gained by research or coursework or a combination. Study at master level involves acquiring in-depth understanding of a specific area of knowledge usually by independent research.

A Masters Degree takes either one year after a Bachelor Degree with honours or two years after a Bachelor Degree.

The Doctoral Degree offered to students is the highest award offered by Australian universities as per the Australian education system and takes typically 3 years to complete. Although it is a research degree, some programs may have a course work component. There are three parts to a Doctoral Degree:

Part one involves searching review of the literature, experimentation or other systemic approach to a body of knowledge.

Part two involves an original research project resulting in a significant contribution to knowledge and understanding and/or the application of knowledge within a discipline or field of study.

Part three involves a substantial and well-ordered thesis, demonstrating the relationship of the research to the broader framework of the discipline or field of study.

The study in Australia is evolved and has a variety of options for students to study. School Education in Australia caters to primary and secondary schooling. Australian Vocational Education and Training Qualifications give Certificates I-IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma to students. University Qualifications in Australia offer Associate Degree, The Bachelor degree, Masters Degree and Doctoral Degree.

Public Relations for Online Educational Systems

Traditional public relations and community goodwill efforts for online education assistance is somewhat difficult because the online educational system helps those that participate in the virtual world as opposed to an educational facility. This fact should not deter a public relations specialist who works on online educational programs or systems because they need to contact those people who are not online and perhaps might like to look at online education systems as another option.

Many people cannot attend class due to transportation issues or human mobility issues. Many folks are stay-at-home parents and they cannot attend class either, but a need to get an online degree or participate in an online education system to get the skills they need to earn a living.

What types of ways can you promote an online educational system? Of course the best way is through word-of-mouth advertising. However, it is not always so easy to get to those people who are in their homes all day and sometimes it makes sense to use public service announcements on the radio or a little radio advertising. Other times direct mail can work.

The best thing is a front-page article in the newspaper of the success story of someone who used the online educational system to get an advanced degree or a good job. It is these sorts of public relations and publicity programs that make online educational systems more newsworthy. Perhaps you will consider some of this in 2006.

Why Finland’s Education System Works

Not too long ago, Finland’s education system was comparable to that in the U.S. How they changed their system is interesting, because by having “less” school they are achieving greater results. In the U.S., the system of “doing what you hate longer and harder” seems to be the prevailing logic driving the “scientific test-results” orientation to achievement. Both systems are multi-cultural and multi-lingual and have special populations served in the general education setting.

U.S. Approach To Reform

Children must enroll in school (kindergarten or first grade) at age 5. Many children have had preschool experiences because parents work or they are qualified for Head Start, Early Start, Even Start and other programs. Preschool standards involve readiness skills (standards directed), but not all children receive such instruction. Direct reading (decoding) instruction begins in kindergarten and ends in second grade. State (and federal) standards direct what instruction children receive from kindergarten through high school and in higher education settings (technical/vocational schools and colleges/universities). Children must remain in school until they reach the age of dropping out (varies by state but usually between 16 and 18 years of age) or they graduate by meeting all their state’s requirements. Standards, formal testing and statistics drive decision making by central administrators not in contact with students.

Finnish Approach To Reform

Children enroll in school at age 7, but they are given several years of preschool experiences which focus on language and physical development. The schools tend to be small because population centers are few; usually the schools have 300-400 students. Local teachers control their schools and curricula; they spend some of their work day developing and/or preparing materials to be used. Their school day is shorter than in the U.S. and they spend a lot of time outdoors, either in play or in applied “work” in the outdoor setting. Students attend elementary schools for 5-7 years, at which point they attend either a vocational schools or a higher education schools. Student skills and interests drive local decision making by teachers working with students.

What Are The Critical Differences?

The critical differences are:

· Preschool experiences are different: the U.S. focus on readiness (cognitive) skills development for reading and math, the Finnish focus on developmental skills in language and physical development. This translates into developmental readiness for instruction (Finland) or struggle to achieve (U.S.).

· School sizes differ: The U.S. consolidates and usually has 500+/school, the Finnish have few students so everyone receives attention. This translates into emotional security (Finland) or insecurity (U.S.).

· Children start reading instruction at different ages: the U.S. at age 5, the Finnish at age 7. This translates into being neurologically ready for instruction (Finland) or compensating with taxed memory skills (U.S.).

· Vocational schools are options for education in early adolescence. This translates into motivation (Finland) or non-motivational (U.S.).

· Decisions are based on testing/statistics (U.S.) or motivation and interests (Finland).

Conclusions

Focusing on behaviors and achievements for guiding change eliminates the humanness of education: interest, motivation, purpose. No matter how anyone looks at it, the U.S. system is a failure. Perhaps those making the decisions should relinquish the controls and let teachers who work with students and know what they need and want to learn make the decisions. Instead of rushing children to early achievement, maybe those who know about what happens to children developmentally will start driving the reforms.