Australia is the largest island and the smallest continent in the world. It lies between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean. It is about 11,000 kilometers southwest of North America and 3,200 kilometers southeast of mainland Asia.
Australia is blessed with a climate that ranges from temperate to tropic. Situated in the Southern Hemisphere, its summer months are around Jan-Feb and their winter in June-July. The land supports a variety of natural geographical features- sandy beaches, rain forests, deserts, mountains, lakes and rivers. This is turn allows a plethora of flora and fauna to flourish. This large island sustains a wide range of animals – from the humble sheep and cattle to the exotic koalas, wallabies, kangaroos and pandas that are unique to this country.
On occasion though, Australia is known to face natural calamities such as flash floods, earthquakes and very hot, dry spells that could lead to bush fires. It is for this very reason that the Australians are constantly fighting to ensure the environment is well looked after and not abused.
The present population of Australia is approximately 22.7 million. New South Wales is the most populous of the states. As is the case almost everywhere in the world, the urban population far outnumbers the rural numbers.
On an average, the Australians enjoy a very good standard of living further enhanced by a relaxed lifestyle giving equal importance to work and play. There is no dearth of educational and the employment opportunities to the right candidate and this ensures the standard is maintained.
Though the history of Australia as the smallest continent is age old, the advent of the human species to these parts is as recent as 50,000 years ago through migration from unknown parts of Asia.
Over the years since the early 1600, various explorers landed in Australia via the Torres Strait leaving behind their own mark. These include the Dutch, Spanish, French and English. The first settlers and original islanders are now known as the Torres Strait Islanders.
The first Colony was established by the British in 1788 under Capt. Arthur Phillip at Botany Bay. Today it is known as Sydney. By and by, more and more ships docked here carrying various settlers making a fresh start, and as Australia’s natural resources started being tapped, the country grew from strength to strength, into the vibrant community that Australia now represents.
With only the US and UK ahead of it, Australia has the third largest number of international students studying there. For many students from all over the world, Australia is their first choice of English-speaking study destination. This is because Australian qualifications are world recognized and often lead to good job positions. The study costs are also comparable to the US & UK.
The student community of Australia includes more than 5,00,000 internationals from over 150 countries studying in Universities.
Universities of Australia works with the government on their education plan to ensure the standard of teaching and courses in the 39 Australian universities is maintained at a world-class level.
The Terms University and Degree are protected in Australia so that only institutions which meet Australia’s high quality assurance processes can use the titles.
All 39 government funded are listed in the Australian Qualifications Framework. There are also private institutions that offer higher education and many of these are ‘accredited’, i.e. approved by state or territory government to design and provide higher degrees of required standard. Australian universities also have overseas branch campuses, twinning arrangements and exchange programmes for students and staff globally.
Higher or post school education is of two types: University or higher education providers comprise the first kind. The second is the Vocational Education and Training sector which delivers the practical and skill oriented courses most valued or required by the Industry.Australian education is being constantly reviewed the government, industry and professional bodies to ensure that it does not stagnate but is updated to support the changing economy and its new requirements.
The Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) is an independent, not-for-profit national organisation that promotes, audits and reports on quality assurance in Australian higher education.The Australian Qualifications Framework is a unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training.Many universities any now partnering with their equals abroad to either deliver the foreign partners courses in Australia or vice versa. This new global approach keeps students in touch with the world