TAFE and College is, generally speaking, a public and private vocational educational
institution respectively. Every private educational institution
authorized by the Department of Education can grant a degree equivalent
to that of a public educational institution. The credits gained from
private colleges can be recognized when entering universities. However,
if earned a very small private college, credit recognition can be
limited by universities. Therefore, you need to choose TAFE/College
carefully depending on the purpose of your enrolment: learning skills
or entering a university.
So-called Community College, in U.S.A,
can be considered as an Australian private college and a number of
them, specially those supported by a large education fund, are linked
to universities in a form of ‘pathway’.
Hundreds of TAFEs are there throughout Australia.
Partly because the schools are funded by the government and partly
because permanent residents and citizens are eligible to be subsidized
their tuition fees by the government when enrolling TAFEs. Names of
TAFEs are different in each state; New South Wales and Tasmania have
set a common name as NSW TAFE and Tasmania TAFE. They put a campus
name in addition to indicate the area of study each campus is offering.
Studying period varies with the type of a
degree; Certificate I, II, III, IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma,
Association Degree and Bachelor.
Bachelor is normally granted by a university, however, standardized courses such as a business degree can be offered by a TAFE.
International students MUST study full-time (more than 20hours/week)
while most of local students choose 'Apprenticeship’ mode where they can
combine 10hours/week of work and 10hours/week of studying.
Total studying period for a degree is longer for local students e.g. they could study for
Certificate III over appx. 3 years.
A college in Australia may refer to a private institution of tertiary education;
it ranges from small, local, private institutions to those operating as a part of a university.
Colleges may offer more specialized courses that are not easy to be found in TAFEs,
providing better facilities and equipments; students need to make a
careful choice based on what they wish to study.
Until recently, many students have chosen
private colleges that offer quality programs at affordable fees, for the
purpose of applying for a Permanent Residence. However, the significant
changes in the immigration policy announced in 2010 urge that students
should make a careful decision when planning to study in Australia.
Large private college
Some private colleges are run by a large education fund; they may be
closely related to a specific university or share their facilities
with a university. Students in such private colleges have a head
start in going on to the related university and their credits are
readily recognized by the university thanks to the linked curriculum
e.g. Martin College, IBT Group, Kaplan, etc.