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Education Australia - statistics & facts

Australia’s education system, which attracts domestic and international students alike, possesses an education structure which is comprised of two levels: school education and tertiary education. School education begins with a pre-school or kindergarten program, differing from state to state, which is followed by compulsory schooling. Compulsory schooling starts with primary education which then transitions into secondary education, finishing at the age of 16 years old. Attendance rates for compulsory education have remained relatively consistent throughout recent years. Following secondary school is two years of further secondary education, which is required in order to progress onto tertiary education. Tertiary education includes higher education and vocational education and training.

As an increasing number of people are choosing to partake in higher education in Australia, it does not seem a too surprising fact that attending university in Australia was a popular step for young people in Australia, who were determining their future plans after leaving school in 2020. Not only did young people consider going to university after school, a high share expressed they were extremely or very confident in achieving their study or work goals within the Australian higher educational system. The belief of success appears to be justified in the increasing amount of people in Australia who hold a bachelor’s level degree or higher. However, Australia’s tertiary education does not only specialize in university education. Australia also provides vocational education and training. This offers an alternative qualification, readying members of the public for the workplace. This type of qualification appears to have become increasingly popular, with the Australian government funding a significant number of students for vocational education and training in 2019.

As well as domestic students, Australia attracts many international students looking to further their education. This influx of overseas students is reflected in New South Wales’ intake of international students alone. In 2018, New South Wales recorded having over 118 thousand overseas students enrolled in higher education across its region. The mere volume of international students alone, who study in Australia, can be seen to help stimulate the reputation of Australia’s education sector.


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