According to Education and Training International (Government of Western Australia), TAFE courses are more popular than university degrees. The reasons for this are obvious, but let’s state them anyway:
- TAFE courses are flexible: you can study full-time, part-time, in classrooms or online.
- TAFE courses are affordable.
- TAFE courses tend to be more practical rather than theory orientated, which gives them immediate value in the workplace.
- Finally, you don’t have to give up a four-year chunk of your life to progress through the various levels of TAFE. You can complete short courses or semester courses as you please. Again, this relates to TAFE’s flexibility.
Another great thing about TAFE courses is that they can be used as a springboard to a number of universities in Australia. In fact, many people use TAFE as an alternative pathway to university, largely because it’s so convenient and affordable.
Universities Partners with TAFE Institutions
Many Australian universities have forged partnerships with TAFE institutes to provide pathways from TAFE courses to university degrees.
Charles Sturt University
One of the biggest advocates of TAFE to university pathways is Charles Sturt University (CSU). Charles Sturt University has campuses all around NSW, including Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Dubbo and Port Macquarie, so it’s already accessible to a wide range of students, but its partnerships with TAFE institutes throughout the region really show its dedication to higher education.
For starters, CSU has a TAFE to University Scholarship program, which consists of 32 cash scholarships worth AU$2500. They are available to students from the university’s TAFE partners in New South Wales, Victoria and ACT.
There are two pathways to CSU from TAFE programs:
Articulated programs, which are consecutive – you study TAFE and then once you have your diploma or advanced diploma you move to university. View TAFE Courses in NSW.
Integrated programs, which are concurrent – you study both options at the same time.
Charles Sturt University guarantees students who have completed TAFE diplomas or advanced diplomas a place in its undergraduate or bachelor degree courses.
Deakin University is another of Australia’s higher education providers that recognises the importance of TAFE. In fact, there are many pathways to Deakin University and not just TAFE. As such, the university has a Credit for Prior Learning Database, where you can see if your experience or current level of education earns you any credits or shortens the time required to complete your degree.
Deakin University’s TAFE partners include:
- Box Hill Institute in Melbourne
- Gordon Institute of TAFE in Geelong
- South West Institute of TAFE in Warrnambool
Griffith University offers dual qualifications with its TAFE partners, which include:
- Brisbane North Institute of TAFE
- Gold Coast Institute of TAFE
- Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE
- TAFE North Coast Institute
The term dual qualification is a bit of a misnomer really because you have to complete your TAFE course before you can move to Griffith University.
La Trobe University
La Trobe University recognises several TAFE qualifications, which result in “Advanced Standing” when it comes to its degree courses. La Trobe University’s TAFE partners include:
- Australian Defence Forces
- Bendigo TAFE
- Chisholm Institute of TAFE
- Holmesglen Institute
- Kangan Batman Institute of TAFE
- North Melbourne Institute of TAFE
- Riverina Institute of TAFE
Generally Accepted TAFE Pathways to Uni
Once again we turn to Education and Training International, which has a neat diagram outlining how the pathways between TAFE courses and university degrees work.
For example, a completed TAFE diploma will get you into the first year of a bachelor degree. A successfully completed advanced diploma will get you into the second year of a bachelor degree.
Remember, however, that getting into university is always competitive and if the university of your choice is flooded with TAFE applications, your achievements will need to stand out. That doesn’t just mean good marks, but worthwhile work experience and practical skills, too.