Education System in Australia
Education in Australia is managed by the second tier of government and compulsory through to age 15 to 17 depending on the state or territory. It is provided through a variety of government and private schools some with religious affiliations. All are required to adhere to government curricula. The process begins with non-compulsory kindergartens where children often have their first experience of socializing with strangers. Primary school begins at age 6 or 7 and continues for 6 grades.
There is no distinctive middle-school phase and post-primary pupils go on directly to high school. Here they follow a common curriculum with an academic bias. After reaching the prescribed age they may remain on to complete their university preparation, switch across into the TAFE system, or enter society.
Every state or territory administers its own permutation of vocational education & training, and technical & further education. The former provides hands-on job skills while the latter manages vocational tertiary education.
Tertiary education takes place at university or technical college of which there are many - some religious, some private and some centrally controlled. There are many foreign tertiary students in Australia (particularly from Asia) as this is a conduit to a successful migration. This inflow of foreign funds balances the cost of the Australian system to some extent.
The oldest tertiary institution in Australia is the University of Sydney established in 1850 and with a total student population in excess of 50,000.