Technical and Further Education (TAFE): A Complete Guide

 

Students are sitting on a table with laptop searching for cheapest TAFE course for international students.

 

Are you looking for a practical course in Australia that leads to a higher education pathway or to build a career in a specific field? If yes, the Technical and Further Education (TAFE) is your correct choice.

 

 

1. What Is TAFE?

 

Technical and Further Education (TAFE) studies are certifications or vocational programs provided by Vocational Education and Training (the national training system of Australia). 

 

TAFE courses operate through the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) and include everything from construction and engineering to arts and winemaking programs. 

 

The state and territory government of Australia runs and funds TAFE institutes. TAFE provides diploma/certificate qualifications and has recently started offering post-graduate diplomas and bachelor's degrees in some fields. 

 

The TAFE system acts as an entry point for students who want to earn credits for a bachelor's degree granted by a university. In some cases, students can transfer TAFE credits to full degree programs. TAFE institutions mainly concentrate on one field or a range of related subjects. 

 

 

2. TAFE Institutes In Australia

 

TAFE is the most critical education and training sector in Australia. It has around 59 TAFE institutes spread across many regional and metropolitan areas of the country. 

 

TAFE courses give students the training, skills, and qualifications needed to join the workforce. 

 

The state or territory government regulates TAFE institutes. Hence, the fees and policies may differ everywhere. You can visit your territory or state's TAFE website for more information. Here are some of the well-known TAFE institutes in Australia:

 

 

 

3. TAFE Study Areas

 

Technical and further education institutions offer courses in various subject areas, including the following:

 

 

 

4. TAFE Study Levels

 

Apart from offering a wide range of courses, TAFE institutes provide many qualifications you can choose from, depending on your career goals. Some courses focus on the basics of a subject, while others are more specialised. 

 

The most common TAFE qualifications are as follows:

 

  • Certificate I: This is the first qualification level, covering training in routine tasks and basic skills.

 

  • Certificate II: This qualification helps to obtain operational knowledge in skill fields where you can apply solutions to foreseeable problems. 

 

  • Certificate III: With this qualification, you'll be able to develop higher skills and gain the theoretical knowledge required to solve various problems. A student who chooses this qualification can judge and interpret information. 

 

  • Certificate IV: You'll develop a broad knowledge base at this level. You'll also learn how to evaluate and analyse information and apply skills in various areas. The duration of certificate IV is usually one to two years (full-time) or equivalent (part-time). 

 

  • Diploma: Students obtain broad creative, theoretical or technical skills and knowledge at this level. Diplomas prepare students for paraprofessional and industry careers. Graduates at this level work independently in complex technical operations. Students also have a great chance to use their diploma study to earn credits towards university. The duration of this qualification is up to two years of full-time or equivalent part-time study. 

 

  • Advanced Diploma: This qualification takes your study to an advanced level by offering expert-level skills. It allows graduates to apply for managerial or supervisory roles in their chosen fields. Advanced Diplomas may vary in length and may last up to 1.5 to 2 years (full-time study). 

 

  • Graduate Certificate: The graduate certificate helps to acquire advanced employment-related skill levels. It often involves graduation with a diploma or higher level. Also, it requires industry experience and expertise relevant to the industry. 

 

 

TAFE Course Structure

 

Unlike university degrees, the skills and units covered by students in TAFE do not vary from one institute to the other. 

 

This is because VET qualifications follow an industry-relevant and nationally endorsed training package, which lays out the required competencies that students must accomplish at each qualification level. This help students gain uniform skills demanded by the industry. 

 

The training packages are available in various fields, such as hospitalityinformation technology, community services, business services, financial services, retail, engineering and the metal industry. All the qualifications range from certificate I to advanced diplomas/certificates, and the training packages consist of various course areas. 

 

VET students must complete their training from the TAFE institute and prove that they have met each competency level via assessment. 

 

On the other hand, higher education degrees do not consist of training packages, so the skills and units may differ from one institute to the other. TAFE students must complete both "off-the-job" training provided by the institute and paid "on-the-job training" with an employer to receive their qualifications. 

 

 

6. TAFE Tuition Fees

 

TAFE tuition fees may differ depending on the institution, course and campus you choose. Some courses are government-funded, and others are full-fee courses. Eligible students may also receive exemptions or concessions. 

 

The students who are completing their advanced diploma course are allowed to defer their fees until they earn a certain income. Scholarships are also available for TAFE students. And someone who's pursuing higher education courses can access FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP

 

 

7. TAFE Entry Requirements

 

As compared to universities, TAFE institutes have fewer entry requirements. Entry requirements for VET courses range from very little or no entry requirements (certificate I) to Australian year 12 or equivalent (certificate IV, diploma and advanced diploma).

 

Your work experience might count as well. Some courses require students to give interviews, auditions, and tests and provide portfolios before entry. Always remember that higher education degrees at TAFE institutes may have higher admission requirements than universities.

 

Useful Topics to Explore:

⇒ Types of Education in Australia
⇒ Applying to Study in Australia: Student Timeline
⇒ The Ultimate Guide to Australian Visas
⇒ Enligsh Language Courses Overview (ELICOS)
⇒ MBA and Management Education in Australia 
⇒ Vocational Education & Training Courses (VET)
⇒ Higher Education - Undergraduate Level
⇒ Higher Education - Postgraduate Level
⇒ Study Abroad & Student Exchange
⇒ Online & Distance Education
⇒ Foundation Courses
⇒ Secondary Education

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