In a country renowned for its multicultural population, Wollongong stands out as particularly diverse. People from all over the world come for its burgeoning industry and quality education. In fact, it’s estimated that Wollongong is home to over 5000 international students. One of the biggest attractions for students to Wollongong is TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute.
Let’s see what the Illawarra Institute has to offer students.
Popular TAFE Courses in Illawarra
- Diploma of Counselling
- Certificate in MYOB 19
- 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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What TAFE Study Options are Available to me in Wollongong?
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to TAFE in Wollongong. It starts with pre-employment and pre-apprenticeship courses and then moves onto to apprenticeships and traineeships. There are flexible learning options, including blended online and on-campus courses, reduced attendance courses, fast track training courses, and purely online courses, as well as customisable business training options.
TVET (TAFE courses in school) options are available.
In terms of university education, TAFE NSW Illawarra has partnered with the University of Wollongong to provide joint courses, such as Bachelor of Commerce (Event Management)/Diploma of Event Management, and Bachelor of Commerce (Tourism Management)/Advanced Diploma of Tourism. Associate degrees are also available and you can choose to enter the Graduate Management Program, which is part of a joint initiative with Charles Sturt University.
Most of Illawarra’s courses (Statements of Attainment, Certificates I-IV, Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas, and Graduate Certificates and Diplomas) are offered on a semester basis. Because semester courses follow strict deadlines, you will have to take note of important dates, such as the dates for Expression of Interest Courses (one period per semester), enrolments (one period per semester), start dates, holiday dates, and exam periods (one per semester).
Semester courses available fall within the following study areas:
- Automotive, Transport & Maritime
- Beauty & Hairdressing
- Building & Construction
- Business & Administration
- Communication & Media
- Electrotechnology, Engineering, Manufacturing & Mining
- Environmental, Horticultural, Rural & Animal Studies
- Events, Tourism & Travel
- Hospitality & Cookery
- Human Services (Community & Health)
- Information Communication and Technology (ICT) & Library Services
- Media, Design, Arts, Fashion & Music
- Pathways to Work or Study
Different types of short courses are available. Statements of Attendance are for specialist courses designed for specific skills. Statements of Attainment serve as introductory courses to a specific field. They can also be used for continuing professional development and can be used as credits for TAFE certificate courses.
A sample of short courses available includes:
- Advanced Medical Terminology
- Automotive Studies
- Bar Service Skills
- Beauty – Eyelash and Eyebrow Treatments
- Small Business Financial Management Skill Set
- Computing for Beginners
- Elementary English Language Studies
- First Aid for Asthma
- Hot Stone Massage Therapy
- Basic Web Development Specialist Skill Set
- MYOB Payroll
- Photography Beginners
- Small Business Legal and Planning Skills
- Visual Art Essentials – Drawing
Illawara Institute of TAFE offers several flexible study options, including blended learning (courses with online and on-campus requirements) and purely online learning. The number of online-only courses is still fairly limited; however, as technology advances, making the online learning environment more interactive and comprehensive, that number is growing all the time. Illawarra uses Moodle’s learning platform to support its flexible courses.
A sample of online courses includes:
- Certificate III in Children’s Services
- Certificate III in Carpentry Stage 1
- Certificate III in Companion Animal Services
- Certificate IV in Music
- Certificate IV in Hairdressing
- Certificate IV in Business Administration
- Diploma of Human Resource Management
- Diploma in Library, Information and Cultural Services
- Diploma of Website Development
- Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine
Wollongong TAFE Institutions
TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute
Two of Illawarra’s 14 campuses are located in Wollongong.
- Wollongong Campus is TAFE NSW Illawarra’s main campus and offers students the full spectrum of courses that are available. It has two training restaurants, TwentyTwenty Restaurant and Café V, where students taking hospitality and cookery courses can practice their skills. It also has a variety of facilities that students will find helpful, such as an Aboriginal education and training unit, child care, and the Union Recreation Centre where students can exercise their minds and brains with various cultural and sports clubs.
- Wollongong West Campus specialises in TAFE courses related to IT, hair and beauty, arts and media, meat and allied trades, and fashion technology. Student facilities on campus include an Aboriginal education and training unit, child care, counselling unit, tutorial support, and an adult study centre.
Illawarra Institute also offers four specialist areas of training.
1) GreenSkills Training Australia, which helps businesses lessen their environmental footprints while reaping financial and competitive benefits. Training programs include General Environmental Awareness, Electricity and Water Efficiency, Environmental Auditing (based on ISO 14000 Series), Environmental Management System Implementation ISO 14001, and Carbon Accounting – The Essentials.
2) Hazardous Areas Training, which helps you gain qualifications in Electrical Equipment for Hazardous Areas (EEHA). Training programs at Wollongong Campus include: Installation Maintenance, Inspection, Attend to Breakdown and Testing of Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Areas; Overhaul and Repair Explosion-Protected Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Areas; Electrical Hazardous Areas Refresher; and Electrical Hazard Areas Awareness.
3) TAFE RMS (Roads and Maritime Services) AIS (Authorised Inspection Scheme) Training, which allows you inspect light, heavy, and gas vehicles in New South Wales to a minimum safety requirement.
4) TAFE BlueScope Steel Training, which is specifically for BlueScope Steel employees and contractors, and which is designed to improve Occupational Health and Safety standards.
Wollongong for Students
Wollongong is located in one of the most striking areas of Australia. It lies between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Tasmanian Sea, so there are pristine beaches to the front and mountains behind. It’s a nature lover’s paradise. The mild climate adds to the ideal. It doesn’t, as a rule, get too hot or too cold, although there are always occasional exceptions.
Wollongong has an excellent public transport system thanks to Gong Shuttle buses, which are free and have routes all over the city. If you don’t feel like catching the bus, you can always cycle to your destination, as Wollongong is the kind of town where nothing is really all that far from anything else.
The cost of living is reasonable, especially when compared to the major cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Accommodation rates are also reasonable, which is great for students on a budget.
Another great thing about Wollongong for students is that it has plenty of cheap – and free – things to do. It has 17 fabulous beaches, for example, with the two most popular being North Wollongong Beach and South Wollongong Beach. Both offer great swimming and picnic facilities.
Futureworld: National Centre for Appropriate Technology is a great place to learn more about the environment, the technology being used to save it, and the ways in which regular folk can make a difference and live more eco-friendly lives. Entrance is only AU$10, but AU$25 will get you a yearly membership which means entry to the centre is free.
Find some inner peace at Nan Tien Temple, the biggest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. It offers a guided temple tour, meditation classes, retreats, and self-development programs. You can also enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal in the dining hall.
Other things to do include strolling in the Wollongong Botanic Garden, getting your science fix at the Science Centre and Planetarium, taking in a show at Wollongong Workshop Theatre, shopping at Crown Street Mall and the Friday Wollongong Produce and Creative Traders Markets, and, of course, hiking in the mountains.
Illawarra Institute of TAFE provides financial assistance to students through various government funding programs. Take a look at our Guide to TAFE Courses in New South Wales to see what funding options are available.