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University Programs

Australia has 75 institutions of higher education, all providing accredited tertiary education awards. Of these 39 are public and 4 are private universities. The other institutions provide highly specialised awards, mostly at postgraduate level.

Unlike, for example, Spain and the United States, where private universities and a small number of the traditional public universities are generally regarded as providing the best type of tuition, Australian universities do not show significant overall differences. In other words, no university in Australia stands out as "the best" in the country. As a general rule, any Australian university compares favourably with those in the UK, the US and other English-speaking study destinations and the awards offered by Australian universities are internationally recognised.

Australian universities are broadly within the British university tradition and their teaching methodology typically involves lectures and tutorials (small group discussions). Students are encouraged to play an active role in the learning process, to evaluate and analyse the information provided by their lecturers, and to ask questions. There is an emphasis on understanding and applying theories and concepts and on developing the ability to critically examine different arguments and viewpoints, rather than on rote learning.

The academic year in Australia runs from late February/early March to mid-December and is divided into two semesters, seperated by a two-week "mid-semester" break in July. Most universities allow you to start a course either in late July or in February/March, although this option is restricted to the most popular programs. There is an increasing trend in Business Schools in the large Universities to offer 4 starting dates, coinciding with their 4 13-week academic terms, especially in the case of postgraduate programs.

In the pages that follow you will find information about a range of aspects of university study in Australia that are of interest to international students.

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