Study in Australia – Studying at a TAFE versus University

Australian education system provides for three types of institutions – Universities, Vocational Education and Training providers (VET) and TAFE Colleges. Different institutions offer different benefits, follow different teaching approaches, provide different programs to study with a varied degree of specialization. Let us understand in detail the options study abroad aspirants can opt to study in Australia –


  • The university level institutions provide for tertiary education and research opportunities. Research facilities are unique to universities in Australia and are offered by none other institution.
  • The university programs have plethora of variants like theory understanding, practical training, skill development, extra-curricular and research opportunities.
  • They offer undergraduate, graduate and also doctorate level programs under the well-qualified faculty.
  • The professional degrees like Law, doctor, medicine, Chartered Accountancy, etc. can be pursued at university only.
  • The duration of the courses is generally longer from about three to four years or even longer.
  • The university degrees are recognised worldwide and offer work opportunities that last longer.
  • The university programs are less flexible than TAFE programs and do not change according to industry trends.
  • The education expense is quite hefty but is definitely result oriented. The career opportunities are huge and are at highly regarded profiles.
  • On completion of a degree at a university, the salaries are slightly lesser than TAFE graduates in the initial stage but certainly rise and become higher at the later stage. In that way, University programs are more futuristic and well-designed.
  • The average initiating salary of a university graduate is $54,000.
  • Various renowned universities include Southern Cross University, Charles Darwin University, University of Sunshine Coast, etc.

  • The Technical and Further Education institutions provide a varied range of vocational courses that are covered under National Training System. They do not provide research opportunities.
  • TAFE institutions emphasize upon practical training so as to make students commence a promising career in the field of expertise.
  • They provide graduate and vocational courses.
  • These cover vocational courses such as hospitality, tourism, information technology, finance, business, construction and so forth.
  • The duration of the courses is generally shorter ranging from 6 months to about two years.
  • The courses are employment oriented and offer higher salaries at the initial stage.
  • TAFE institutions allow opportunities of credit transfer to universities.
  • TAFE courses are more responsive to changes in industry trends and demand in the market.
  • The educational expense at TAFE institutions is considerably lesser that university degrees.
  • The average initiating salary of a TAFE graduate is $56,000.
  • Various TAFE institutions in Australia include Kangan Institute, Box Hill Institute, TAFE Queensland, etc.
    Having analyzed both categories of institutions, now you can make a thoughtful decision as to what you actually want to do and to what level of specialization. For students planning to study abroad, choice of institution is a huge concern. If you require more information and guidance to study in Australia, seek expert guidance at West Highlander career Consultancy. We are the licensed and most experienced overseas education facilitators for study in Australia.

  • We hold license from Association of Australian Education Representative in India – AAERI
  • Our Director is licensed by Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA), License No. 1280308
  • Migration Institute of Australia MIA No. 5824 & Certified Migration Agent Australia