The Commonwealth of Australia consists of eight states and territories—the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia.
There are three levels of Australian government: Australian (federal); state and territory; and local. Education and training is the responsibility of the Australian and state and territory governments.
School education has a similar structure across Australia with minor variations between states
School education is 13 years and divided into:
• primary school which is seven or eight years—Foundation Year to Year 6 or 7
• secondary school which is three or four years—Years 7-10 or 8-10
• senior secondary school is two years—Years 11 and 12.
Post-secondary education is known as tertiary education. Tertiary education includes higher education and vocational education and training (VET).
The school year is from February to December. Most states and territories have four terms per school year. Tasmania has a three-term school year.
In VET, the academic year is late January to mid-December. In some states and territories, the academic year is divided into two semesters. Others use a three-term or trimester system.
In higher education, the academic year is from February to November. Most institutions use the semester system, where one semester is 16 weeks long, including a mid-semester break and exam period. Some institutions have a trimester system or summer and winter sessions which are in addition to the two semesters. Some institutions run courses year-round.
Australia at a glance
Capital: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Major Cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide
Currency: Australian Dollar
Drives on the: Left
Calling Code: +61