Tertiary-Higher Education

Group of Eight

Tertiary education, more commonly referred to as postsecondary education, refers to academic pursuit undertaken after high school. Undergraduate programs include any postsecondary education that takes up to four years to complete, including certificates, diplomas, and associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Graduate programs typically require prior completion of an undergraduate degree and include diploma, certificate, master’s and doctoral degree programs. You can find tertiary education programs at vocational schools, community colleges, technical schools, professional schools, colleges and universities.

Australia Group of Eight

The Group of Eight (Go8) is a coalition of world-leading research-intensive Australian universities. The Go8 universities are some of the largest and the oldest universities in Australia and are consistently the highest ranked of all Australian universities. It is generally recognized as the Australian version of the Ivy League. They have always been a leader in the Southern Hemisphere and the Pacific Rim, and they enjoy nearly 70% of the Australian government ’s education and research budget. The headquarters of the Alliance is located in Canberra, the Australian capital territory. In addition to the fruitful research results and first-class scientific research talents, the enormous academic resources of the Go8 have also made a profound impact on various fields such as politics and economics which have far-reaching influences. They not only have a large number of outstanding alumni in the political and business circles around the world, but also have cultivated a number of Nobel Prize winners.  In 2016 all Go8 Universities were ranked in the top 150 worldwide, with six in the top 100. Go8 Universities feature in the top 100 places for every subject area in the QS world university subject rankings. All Go8 Universities are in the QS top 100 for literature, biological sciences, environmental sciences, accounting and finance, anthropology, law and education.

The member universities of Go8

Specialized University

Innovative Research Universities (IRU)

Innovative Research Universities (IRU) is a coalition of seven comprehensive universities committed to inclusive excellence in teaching, learning and research in Australia. These Australian universities that joined IRU were established between the 1960s and the 1970s. They all have multiple campuses in major cities and towns. The institutions together account for 15 percent of the nation’s college enrolment. The IRU seeks to be at the constructive centre of Australian university policy making, influencing political developments beyond individual university capacities to do so. The IRU members’ research focus is on the translation and commercialization of research on issues of critical importance to the communities in which they are based and addressing problems of national and global scale. There will also be opportunities to benchmark against each other along with collaborating in professional development initiatives, e-learning and new information and communications technology and industrial issues.

The member universities of IRU

The Australian Technology Network (ATN) is a coalition of five Australian universities that share a common focus on the practical application of tertiary studies and research. The network claims they have a special strength in the way each of the member universities is focused on producing practical outcomes through their academic activity. The ATN is recognized as a global leader of a new generation of universities focused on industry collaboration, real-world research with real-world impact and produce work-ready graduates to become global thinkers in business and the community. These universities share a common background in the way they distinguished themselves as technical colleges before becoming accredited universities. It is from this background that the universities have been able to develop a framework of flexibility and innovation that continues to deliver practical results. 

Australia Technology Network (ATN)

Australian Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes are government-owned providers of VET courses.

International students attend TAFE institutes to complete courses that range from certificate to postgraduate level. For more information, visit the Vocational Education and Training section. It mainly provides students with a variety of vocational higher education courses, covering hundreds of subjects such as commerce, IT, nursing, chef, visual arts and so on. TAFE’s courses can be directly linked to the bachelor’s courses of Australian universities, which is a way to help students succeed in the university. At the same time, TAFE also provides students with high-quality, and high-level vocational skills training, so that students graduate with a professional level of vocational skills. VET courses are also offered by private Registered Training Organizations (RTOs), typically known as private colleges, but many students choose to study VET courses through TAFE institutes because of the additional security they provide as government-owned education providers. Some Australian universities also operate a TAFE division and offer VET courses in addition to higher education courses.

TAFE courses at the certificate IV, diploma and advanced diploma level can provide students with a pathway into the higher education sector. In addition to helping students meet entry requirements, TAFE courses can also provide credit towards some higher education courses. For example, students who graduate with a diploma may receive up to two or three semesters of credit towards a related bachelor degree. The exact amount of credit granted depends on the institution, the degree and the TAFE qualification completed. It is important to check pathways and credit arrangements with institutions. It is also becoming increasingly common for higher education graduates to complete TAFE qualifications in order to gain practical, work-orientated skills to assist them to enter the workforce.

Since 2002, the TAFE Education Department has been offering bachelor’s degree programs. As of June 2009, 10 TAFE colleges (mainly in New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia, ACT and Queensland) now award their own degree-level scholarships and postgraduate diplomas, but initially no more than a bachelor’s degree.

However, Melbourne Institute of Technology has been accredited in 2015, offering two master’s degree courses. Similarly, some universities, such as Charles Darwin University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology offer vocational education courses (traditionally in the field of TAFE). These are funded by local state and regional governments. Some high schools also offer TAFE development and certification courses.

International students enrol in Australian TAFE institutes to:

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