What is Tafe?

While browsing for various colleges, schools, or universities in Australia, you might come across the abbreviation TAFE quite frequently. So what exactly is it all about and

what does tafe stand for? 

Let’s start from the beginning, TAFE stands for ‘Technical and Further Education" and is run and operated by the Australian government. It aims to provide post-high school education in vocational fields i.e accounting, childcare, IT, business, recruitment, beauty, design, etc. Unlike universities that cover a variety of theories, TAFE tends to focus on job-oriented skillsets fit for a specific job role. For instance, Certification in Aged Care trains the student in the skills that come in handy while working in an aged care setting–an aged care facility or at a client’s home. 

All TAFE institutes across Australia offer TAFE courses and most of these courses can be accessed online. Students can also opt for a combination of learning options, which is a mix of both face-to-face + online learning. 

What is the difference between VET and TAFE?

Many international students might confuse TAFE with VET, but there’s no reason to get the two of these mixed since TAFE is just a sub-section of VET. While VET encompasses all kinds of vocational training courses in Australia, TAFE only covers a select few. Besides the government-run TAFEs, there are many private institutions that offer similar education in Australia. These private training providers are regulated by an authority of the Australian government called the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). Private colleges offer both on-campus as well as online TAFE courses.   

Here is some exciting research: Source

  • Approximately 4.3 million students were enrolled in nationally recognized vocational education and training (VET), up 9.0% from 2020 At least a third of them (1.2 million students) enrolled in government-run programs. 
  • Around 56.6 % of employers in Australia took at least one type of accredited training into practice. In the last few years, the Australian government placed special emphasis on TAFEs by allocating funds to both government-run and private providers of TAFEs. 
  • This means that International students in Australia get to study government-subsidized TAFE courses at both private and government TAFEs. 
  • For more information about your eligibility contact your international education counselor or visit the government's official website. 

List of available TAFE courses

What are the benefits of TAFE?

As a recent high school graduate looking for a clear future career pathway, TAFE can be a promising option for you. It’s a great step ahead that gives way to a bunch of career opportunities, enabling you to explore your passions, and just might open doors to your dream job. So if you’re still having second thoughts about going forward with TAFE, here are the benefits of opting for a TAFE course in Australia after graduating high school:

  • Gaining practical skills
  • Learning about industry operations and insights 
  • Work placement
  • Flexible learning i.e online and classroom-based
  • Lenient entry requirements
  • A multitude of course options 
  • Short-term course duration
  • Free TAFE courses or government-subsidized courses

Where can I study a TAFE?

There are a variety of colleges providing TAFE qualifications in Australia, segregated by states. Also, there are different qualification types to consider in Australia, depending on the job outcome and duration you’re aiming for. Some TAFE courses may provide a foundational run-through of a subject area, whereas others are more focused and may call for work placement.

Here are the places you can take up a TAFE course in Australia: 

  • TAFE NSW (New South Wales)
  • TAFE Queensland
  • TAFE SA (South Australia)
  • TAFE Tasmania
  • TAFE WA (Western Australia)
  • Australian Capital Territory
  • TAFE Victoria
  • Northern Territory

For international students in Australia looking for study opportunities that provide hands-on practice along with a practical learning session, TAFE can be a great start. Please note the laws, structures, and statistics of TAFE courses vary from state to state. 

How to choose a TAFE course provider

To ensure that you’re settling for quality training, you’ll need to do your own research and carefully pick the right course provider. You don’t want to waste your time, money, and effort by going for a gimmicky provider offering fast-paced courses, providing courses of inferior quality, or luring prospective students with free goodies like laptops or ipads.

Therefore in order to choose the right TAFE course provider, you need to steer clear of the following red flags: 

  • Very short duration of the course 
  • Poor training quality; check the review and student testimonials of your course provider 
  • Free stuff or incentives to entice interested students
  • Although there are some providers that offer ‘free TAFE courses’ these courses are just brief and introductory. Many providers try to pull students in by making false free course claims, you must know that these are just an attempt to get the student to sign up for the course. 

In a nutshel

TAFE is a great way to explore your interests and forge a path toward the career of your dreams. But the best way to start strong is by doing your own research so that you make a well-informed decision while selecting your TAFE course provider. With the wide range of courses and levels of qualification available, you’re sure to find a TAFE course that fits your education and career objectives WIth the vast range of courses and levels of study available, you’re bound to find a course that works for you.

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