Alternatives to university


What if my child doesn’t want a university education?

Not all school leavers go on to higher education courses. Entry to apprenticeships, traineeships, certificates and most diplomas in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector does not require an ATAR. VET courses are offered at both TAFE institutes and private colleges in a multitude of fields, from aged care to business studies. These courses take into account the highest level of secondary school completed, the range of studies previously completed and a student’s interests and career aspirations. Some VET courses are in high demand, so your child needs to be prepared for quotas and various methods of screening and selection.

As well as preparing students for a wide range of occupations, many of these courses provide pathways to higher-level studies, allowing students who missed out on getting into higher education or who decide to enter higher education later in life to work their way up the qualifications ladder. Often students can carry some credit from one level to the next. Many of the diplomas offered by TAFE institutes and private colleges count for credit towards a higher education degree.

What if my child doesn’t do ‘well enough’ in Year 12?

Achievement in the senior secondary qualification isn’t necessarily a marker of future achievement. Many people get into university or VET institutions later in life, including about half of all those admitted to undergraduate courses. Most institutions recognise this and have mature age entry schemes to encourage people to return to study. In fact, many people study more successfully when they are older because they can draw on their life and work experience. Regardless of results, it is possible to build a successful and structured career path through the world of work.

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