Western Australia is without a doubt the biggest state in Australia. Even though people have all this space, however, most of them congregate in the little corner in the south-west. Like most of Australia, it boasts an impressive array of wildlife, giving inhabitants unique opportunities to reconnect with nature. But it’s also filled with all the delights of big city living, and that includes high quality education.
Let’s look at the TAFE opportunities that you’ll find in Western Australia.
Most popular WA TAFE Courses
- Diploma of Counselling
- Certificate III in Education Support (Teacher’s Aide)
- Certificate III in Aged Care
- Certificate IV in Bookkeeping
- Diploma of Share Trading and Investment
- Certificate II in Nail Technology
- Certificate IV in Small Business Management
- Diploma of Events
- Certificate III in Disability
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Changes to TAFE WA
TAFE in Western Australia has experienced some changes over the past couple of years, especially in terms of TAFE institutes in WA. The former providers of the Central Institute of Technology (CIT) and the West Coast Institute of Training merged to form north Metropolitan TAFE, a part of what is now known collectively as TAFE WA. Some of the other former TAFE institutes that are no longer operating under their previous names include:
- Challenger Institute of Technology (Challenger TAFE)
- Great Southern Institute of Technology
- Kimberly Training Institute
- South West Institute of Technology
- Pilbara Institute
- Polytechnic West
These former providers were merged or changed names to TAFE WA. The TAFE WA institutes are North Metropolitan TAFE, South Metropolitan TAFE, Central Regional TAFE, South Regional TAFE and the North Regional TAFE. These schools span the entire of Western Australia, so whether you’re looking for TAFE WA Joondalup, TAFE Fremantle or TAFE Midland, there are options available.
What TAFE study options are available to me in Western Australia?
There are several TAFE institutes in Western Australia (WA), giving students the opportunity to take everything from short courses and apprenticeships to advanced diplomas and even bachelor degrees. The fields of study are almost limitless, varying from blue collar trades like bricklaying to high-flying white collar careers in international financial management.
There are options for school leavers and professionals already immersed in successful careers. Anyone can take a TAFE course in Western Australia; you don’t even need to have completed school. Furthermore, various funding options are available to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial or socio-economic status, can get higher education qualifications.
In recognition of changing lifestyles, higher education has become more flexible than in the past. Now, you can take courses full-time or part-time, online or on-campus. You can even enjoy the benefits of blended learning, which combines the advantages of both online and classroom-based learning. Semester courses and short courses are available, so you can choose the option that best suits your schedule, not to mention your interests.
The WA TAFE courses, at least those from properly registered course providers, are nationally recognised and accredited, so you can be sure of their quality and their credibility.
TAFE Certificate, Diploma, and Advanced Diploma courses are available on a semester basis. Most institutes give students the choice between online and classroom-based semester courses, both of which can be completed full-time or part-time.
The thing to remember about semester courses is that they do not provide the flexibility of rolling courses. This means that you have to make a note of all the important dates – registrations, assignments, tutorials, and exams – so that you don’t miss anything. It’s also important to prepare a study timetable, so that you stay on top of the work requirements.
TAFE short courses are great for those in WA who want to build upon their professional skills, or meet their continuing professional development requirements. Accredited short courses are recognised as prior learning so that they can be incorporated into certificate qualifications.
And then, of course, there are the short courses for those who simply want to learn more – more about their hobbies, more about the world, or more skills. These are the recreational students.
The diversity of short courses available is incredible, from new acrylic painting techniques and ceramic jewellery making to motorcycle maintenance and advanced firefighting.
Online courses are increasingly popular, with the result that even practical courses that have not traditionally been offered online are now offered electronically. This is because online learning has become more interactive with podcasts, video tutorials, online chat rooms, and assorted other facilities that make training and education possible from a distance.
Many online courses from bricks and mortar WA TAFE institutes follow the semester structure of classroom-based courses. There are, however, online-only course providers that are able to provide their students with complete flexibility, which means rolling registrations and entirely self-paced study. These are great if you have the discipline to manage your workload but can prove problematic if you find that time has a nasty habit of slipping away from you.
Western Australia TAFE Institutes
There are now five TAFE institutes in Western Australia. Some institutes and campuses specialise in certain study areas, while others provide the full spectrum of courses. Online and on-campus courses are usually available.
North Metropolitan TAFE
Central TAFE Campus, Perth, Western Australia.
North Metropolitan TAFE is comprised of the former West Coast institute Central Institute of Technology and Polytechnic West. This TAFE region offers courses in almost every field imaginable, including business, legal, Health, education, community service, science sustainability, and tourism.
Your options include short courses for professional or recreational purposes, apprenticeships and traineeships, VET for Schools, intellectual and learning disability programs, and courses for international students. Some of its TAFE Certificate IV, Diploma, and Advanced Diploma courses provide pathways to university degrees.
South Metropolitan TAFE
South Metropolitan TAFE offers a range of classroom-based and online TAFE courses, short courses, and apprenticeships and traineeships from several campuses training centres south of Perth, WA. All TAFE institutes focus on providing relevant, current, and practical qualifications in line with industry demands, but South Metropolitan TAFE seems to go all out with high-tech industry training centres and ‘live works’ venues where students apply their learning and training to real-life work situations. Previous to the changes to TAFE in WA, the southern metro area including Fremantle has access to TAFE through Challenger TAFE, however, this is just known as South Regional TAFE now.
Central Regional TAFE
Central Regional TAFE offers a wide range of online, classroom, and industry-based courses from courses in the heart of Western Australia. With hundreds of qualifications available across an expansive list of subjects, there’s definitely something for everyone in this well- regarded TAFE provider.
North Regional TAFE
North regional TAFE offers courses for budding academics in the northern most part of Western Australia. Locations including Kimberley, Broome, Derby, Halls Creek, Kununurra and Fitzroy Crossing. North Regional area of WA was previously served by the Kimberly Training institute and the Pilbara Institute.
South Regional TAFE
The Southern region of Western Australia is provided quality TAFE courses through the South Regional TAFE Institutes. The courses are nationally accredited and form part of the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF). Many of the TAFE Certificate IV and Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses provide pathways to university degrees. The southern part of the state was provided with TAFE courses through the South West Institute of Technology.
Western Australia for Students
Western Australia is enormous, stretching the entire length of the Western section of Australia. Most of the state’s population lives in the south-west, in or around Perth, which has a Mediterranean climate.
The cost of living in the state is affordable. Even Perth is not as expensive as some other capital cities in Australia. Bear in mind that as a student you will be on a tight budget, so you may have to do some comparison shopping and bargain hunting to make your allowance stretch that little bit further.
Public transport across the entire state, even in remote regional towns, is considered highly reliable. Options include trains, busses and, in Perth, ferries. One of the reasons Western Australia is so student-friendly is its 40% discount for students on all public transport. Cycling is also a very popular option in Perth, as the city has many on-road and off-road cycling paths.
Accommodation options are varied. Students can choose from homestays to shared or private apartments. You’ll have to consider your budget carefully before choosing your accommodation. You may not like the idea of sharing your space with too many other people, but your budget may say otherwise.
There are plenty of affordable things for students to see and do. The beach is always an option. It costs nothing to sit on the sand and swim in the sea, and it costs next to nothing to get a surf board and learn to surf. Then there are all of the other watersports available. There are several festivals that cater to many different tastes, such as the Fremantle Street Arts Festival, the Perth International Comedy Festival, and the Perth Fashion Festival. Eating out is a blast as the multicultural nature of the state means that you can travel the world gastronomically-speaking; choose from Indonesian to Mexican food and everything in between. If you like nature you can always explore the Valley of the Giants which is famous for its enormous Karri and Tingle trees, or swim in Ningaloo Reef, or just pop into Perth Zoo. Western Australia is full of indigenous fauna and flora, so you’re never short of options.
Ready to start a certificate or diploma TAFE course? Take a look at the TAFE courses in Western Australia now.