Studying in Australia
Study in Australia is always preferred because most International students find the Australian teaching style to be quite different to what they are used to. Australia is the favourite destination to study abroad because in the Australian education system, focus is on practical learning that encourages creative, independent thought and debate. Teachers aim to provide you with a thorough understanding of a topic rather than just teaching you the right words to remember for exams. You are expected to develop your own thoughts and share them with your fellow students during classes, and this class participation is an assessable part of your grade. You do not just clear your exams and get good grades, but you actually learn while studying in Australia.
Lectures and tutorials
Classes at university will be a mixture of lectures and tutorials. A lecture might be attended by up to 200 students from different courses within your discipline. A tutorial is much smaller, with only about 30 students in attendance. You will discuss the information provided in your lecture with other students and your teacher during the tutorial. It is important, then, that you attend all of your lectures in order to understand and contribute to your tutorial discussions. This is the advantage you get while you’re studying in Australia.
At a VET institute lectures and tutorials are generally combined. That is, the presentation of information and its discussion will occur at the same time. VET class sizes are generally smaller that classes at university.
Your final grade for a unit will be based on your performance in assignments (written or practical, depending on your course), exams, class participation (that is, how much you speak up and contribute to discussions in classes), attendance and group exercises.
Depending on your course, you may be continually assessed throughout the semester, rather than in just the last few weeks or on the final exam. The advantage of this method is that your entire grade does not rely on one single piece of assessment. If you don’t perform too well in an exam, you will have the opportunity to lift your grade through other pieces of assessment.
The system of assessment is different between education providers, but generally the following will apply.
Plagiarism is when you take someone else’s work and submit it for assessment as your own. This can include copying blocks of text from reference books into your own assignment and neglecting to ‘reference’ or ‘credit’ the original source. Plagiarism is a very serious offence in Australia and there are harsh penalties for the practice that may include an automatic fail of your unit. This may put your student visa in jeopardy.
If you wish to use someone else’s work, you must reference it and explain how it relates to and supports your own work and the argument you are trying to make.
Australia is committed to provide quality education and training to International students, however, you may still encounter problems with your course or institution. The Australian Government has enacted a number of laws to ensure you are protected at these times, and it is important for you to understand your rights.
The laws protecting international students are grouped together under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) legislative framework. Under this framework, all Australian institutions that accept international students on a student visa are legally required to provide quality courses and meet the national standards for student services and institution facilities.
Some of the main requirements include the following:
The ESOS legislation provides consumer protection if a student or institution defaults on the course the student is enrolled in. This protection includes either a refund of course money to the student, or if a refund is not possible, placement of into an alternative course through a Tuition Assurance Scheme, for example.
Institutions must ensure that the marketing materials (such as brochures and handbooks) they provide to international students are accurate and not misleading for the students who want to study in Australia.
Before offering a Confirmation of Enrolment, the institution must provide course-related information, such as:
- The course content and duration
- The qualification it leads to
- Teaching and assessment methods
- English language requirements
- Previous work experience or educational qualifications required for admittance
- Requirements for course completion
- Course-related fees
- The facilities and learning resources related to the delivery of the course
- Student support services (see below)
Student Support Services
Institutions must support international students in adjusting to studying in Australia, achieving their learning goals and achieving the learning outcomes of their course. This includes providing information on arrival on:
- Academic progress
- Further study
If you have any concerns about your course or institution you should first try to discuss them with your education provider. The International Office at your institution can advise you on the best way to handle your concerns.
The ESOS framework, however, also provides the opportunity for independent, prompt and inexpensive resolution processes for both parties. These procedures must also ensure that you may be represented by a nominee of your choice.
You can find more information on your rights under this framework at www.studyinaustralia.gov.au.