If you don’t quite meet the requirements for studying at university in Australia just yet, we have good news! Enrolling in a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course can help you on your way to studying an Australian undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
What is VET?
Vocational Education and Training (VET) is a tertiary education option that focuses on real-world skills that prepare people for various jobs, including in trades or crafts.
While university tends to teach a broad range of theories, VET courses focus on specific skills for a particular workplace. This means that there are a range of unique and interesting courses for international students to choose from that will get you work-ready for your future career.
VET qualifications range from certificates to advanced diplomas, and courses can take from six months up to three years.
Can VET courses lead to a university degree?
Yes, VET can be used as a pathway program in Australia which can lead to a university degree.
Pathway programs can help you meet the requirements you need to get you studying your dream university degree.
What is a VET pathway?
Using VET as a pathway to university involves successfully completing non-degree VET courses designed to prepare you for a university degree.
If you do not meet the entry requirements (such as prerequisite study/knowledge, or English language skills) for your desired degree, completing a VET course in the same area of study can help qualify you for entry into that degree.
There are a diverse range of VET qualifications and providers which can help you get into undergraduate degrees in everything from engineering to visual arts.
Is VET for you?
A VET pathway will not only allow you to meet the requirements for your chosen university degree; you will also get a chance to get used to the Australian style of learning and build your confidence before starting university.
There are several benefits to undertaking a university pathway program such as VET, including:
Gaining direct entry into university
You might not have completed the secondary or tertiary studies needed to get into your dream course, or perhaps you didn’t meet some of the entry requirements.
If you’re wondering how to use VET as a pathway to university, many VET providers partner with specific universities and offer the option to study the specific coursework required for certain degrees. This means you can later enrol in your chosen university course.
You might even be able to gain credits towards your future university degree while studying your VET courses.
Improving your English fluency
Similar to gaps in your education, you might need to improve your English language skills before starting university.
VET teachers are often experienced with students who are learning English as their second language and adjust their classes accordingly.
Transferring directly into the second year of your degree
If you choose to take a VET pathway, you won’t necessarily have to study for longer. Many pathway programs offer direct entry into your second year of university so you can complete a degree in the same amount of time.
Before enrolling in anything, you need to find out the specific course you need to study and grades you will need to achieve in order to successfully complete the pathway. Speak to the university you’re interested in and your chosen VET provider to make sure you have all of the correct information.
VET providers must be a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) by the Australian Skills Quality Authority. There are currently around 4,000 RTOs in Australia. In order to teach international students, RTOs must be on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
You can use the Australian Government’s CRICOS register to see what institutions and courses are available to you.
One of the most popular pathways to university are through Technical and Further Education (TAFE) providers. TAFE offers a range of courses and several partnerships with universities. Another benefit of TAFE to university pathways is that many provide dual-offer university pathway courses, which will give you guaranteed entry into your chosen university degree.
Many Australian universities also provide pathways into their degrees with foundation courses. These courses, like other VET to university pathways, usually take one year to complete and can help you develop the skills and education you need to enter a bachelor’s degree. Check out your goal university’s website to find out if they offer a relevant foundation course for you.