Government and non-government education in Australia
Education in Australia can be classified according to sources of funding and administrative structures. There are two broad categories of school in Australia: Government schools (also known as public or state schools) and non-government schools, which can be further subdivided into Catholic schools and independent schools.
Primary and secondary
There are 10,584 registered schools operating in Australia in 2019 of which 7092 were government schools. As of 2019, government schools have 65.4% of all students. Of the non-government schools, nearly two-thirds were Catholic. The major part of government run schools' costs are met by the relevant state or territory government. The Australian Government provides the majority of public funding for non-government schools, which is supplemented by states and territories.
Non-government schools, both religious or secular typically charge compulsory tuition and other fees. Government schools provide education without compulsory tuition fees, although many government schools ask for payment of 'voluntary' fees to defray particular expenses.
Regardless of whether a school is government or non-government, it is regulated by the same curriculum standards framework. The framework is administered by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.
Government schools can be divided into two categories: open and selective schools. Of the 7092 government schools, only 25 are fully selective, while others offer selective programs within open schools, such as the Gifted and Talented Education program in Western Australia.
Non-government schools can be divided into two groups. Religion-based schools are operated by the Anglican, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic denominations as well as a number of other church or parachurch organisations. By far the most numerous are Catholic schools, which are run by state-level Catholic Education offices, with the national issues managed by the National Catholic Education Commission. Some Catholic schools are run independently by congregations or orders. The rest are known as independent schools, which are largely Protestant grammar schools.
Non-government school fees can vary from under $100 per month to $2000 and upwards, depending on the student's year level and the school's size. Non-government school uniforms tend to be more expensive than those for government schools, and more strictly enforced.
The most expensive independent non-government schools (such as the APS Schools, the AGSV Schools in Melbourne, the GPS Schools, QGSSSA Schools in Brisbane and the AAGPS Schools in Sydney) charge fees up to $41,000 per year and are therefore able to afford facilities that government schools and church-run Catholic schools cannot.
Both Government and non-government universities can be found in Australia. As of 2019 there are 43 universities operating in Australia; there are 39 government, two Catholic and one non-profit private universities. Admissions by Australian citizens to public and Catholic universities in Australia are based on the prospective student's academic achievement. Admission to the other non-government university, Bond University, is dependent on a student's ability to pay tuition fees as well as academic achievement.
Domestic students are not usually subject to upfront fees at a public university if enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP). As well as receiving government subsidies to the cost of tertiary education, students in CSPs have the option of deferring the whole of their financial contributions to their enrollment cost, via the Commonwealth Supported Students scheme. Students may also enrol in a non-Commonwealth Supported Place, known as a FULL-FEE place, and must pay all upfront fees, which are typically greater than a standard Commonwealth Supported Students debt. The national government provides at least partial funding for all universities in Australia.
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