Technical and further education

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Technical and further education or simply TAFE (/ˈtf/), is the common name in English-speaking countries in Oceania for vocational education, as a subset of tertiary education. TAFE institutions provide a wide range of predominantly vocational courses.

Individual TAFE institutions (usually with numerous campuses) are known as either colleges or institutes, depending on the country, state or territory.

In Australia, where the term TAFE originated, institutions usually host qualifying courses, under the National Training System/Australian Qualifications Framework/Australian Quality Training Framework. Fields covered include business, finance, hospitality, tourism, construction, engineering, visual arts, information technology and community work. TAFE colleges are owned, operated and financed by the various state/territory governments.

Qualifications awarded by TAFE colleges[edit]

TAFE colleges award Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications accredited in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector that align to Certificate I, Certificate II, Certificate III, Certificate IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma qualifications.[1] In many instances, TAFE study at a Diploma or above level can be used as partial credit towards bachelor's degree-level university programs.[citation needed]

From 2002 the TAFE education sector has been able to offer bachelor's degrees and post-graduate diploma courses to fill niche areas, particularly vocationally focused areas of study based on industry needs. As at June 2009 10 TAFE colleges (mainly in New South Wales,[2] Victoria, but also Western Australia, ACT, and Queensland) now confer their own degree-level awards and post graduate diplomas, though initially not beyond the level of bachelor's degree. However Melbourne Polytechnic has been accredited in 2015 to offer two master's degree courses.[3] Similarly, some universities (e.g., Charles Darwin University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) offer vocational education courses (traditionally the domain of TAFE); these are funded by the local state and territory governments. Some high schools also deliver courses developed and accredited by TAFEs.[4][5]

Students who enrol in these undergraduate degree courses at TAFE are required to pay full fees and are not entitled to Commonwealth Government supported student fee loans, known as HECS loans, but may access a FEE-HELP loan scheme.[6] While Universities have the ability and power to design and offer their own degree courses, each TAFE degree course must be assessed and approved by the Higher Education Accreditation Committee (HEAC).[4]

TAFEs in some states can also teach senior high school qualifications, like the Victorian Certificate of Education, Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning, and the Higher School Certificate. Some universities, e.g. Charles Darwin University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, offer TAFE courses; these are funded by the local state and territory governments. Some high schools also deliver courses developed and accredited by TAFEs.

Some private institutions also offer courses from TAFEs, however they more commonly offer other vocational education and training courses. Many Australians refer to all sub-degree courses as "TAFE" courses, no matter what institution creates or delivers the course. Before the 1990s, the TAFEs had a near monopoly in the sector. TAFE courses provide students an opportunity for certificate, diploma, and advanced diploma qualifications in a wide range of areas.

TAFE colleges by state/territory[edit]

In most cases, TAFE campuses are grouped into TAFE institutions or institutes along geographic lines. Most TAFEs are given a locally recognised region of the country where they exclusively operate covering a wide range of subjects.

A few TAFEs specialise in a single area of study. These are usually found near the middle of the capital cities, and they service the whole state or territory. For example, the Trade and Technician Skills Institute in Brisbane, from 1 July 2006, has specialised in automotive, building and construction, manufacturing and engineering, and electrical/electronic studies for students throughout Queensland and the William Angliss Institute of TAFE in Melbourne has specialised in food, hospitality and tourism courses for Victoria.

Australian Capital Territory[edit]

In the Australian Capital Territory, these include:

New South Wales[edit]

There were ten TAFE NSW Institutes in NSW, which have since been joined into a state-wide service. OTEN or TAFE Digital is TAFE's online offering.

Northern Territory[edit]

In the Northern Territory, these include:


In Queensland, TAFE Queensland includes:

As of May 2014, the TAFE institutes have amalgamated into six regions of the central TAFE Queensland (parent body). The regions of TAFE Queensland are:[7]

  • Brisbane (formerly Brisbane North Institute of TAFE, Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE and Southbank Institute of Technology)
  • Gold Coast (formerly Gold Coast Institute of TAFE)
  • East Coast (formerly Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE and Wide Bay Institute of TAFE)
  • South West (formerly Bremer Institute of TAFE and Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE)
  • North (formerly Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE, Mount Isa Institute of TAFE and Tropical North Queensland TAFE)
  • SkillsTech (formerly SkillsTech Australia)

And as of the 1 July 2014, Central Queensland TAFE (branded as CQ TAFE) was merged into Central Queensland University (branded as CQUniversity) to create Queensland's first dual sector university.

South Australia[edit]

In South Australia:


In Tasmania, there are two government TAFE organisations:


In Victoria these include:

Western Australia[edit]

North Metropolitan TAFE Perth campus.

In Western Australia, this includes:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About the AQF Register". Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  2. ^ "TAFE NSW Higher Education".
  3. ^ Melbourne Polytechnic Annual Report pp22
  4. ^ a b TAFE gears up to offer degrees By Rebecca Scott, The Age 24 July 2002. Accessed 3 August 2008
  5. ^ Leesa Wheelahan, Gavin Moodie, Stephen Billett and Ann Kelly, Higher education in TAFE, Research report published by National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), 3 September 2009. Accessed 24 September 2009
  6. ^ See Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations, Full Fees and FEE-HELP Archived 2 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine, website. Accessed 19 September 2011
  7. ^ "TAFE Queensland". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Campus Locations". Archived from the original on 5 January 2006. Retrieved 20 November 2005.
  9. ^ "Drysdale". Archived from the original on 24 October 2005. Retrieved 20 November 2005.
  10. ^ "North Metropolitan TAFE -". Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  11. ^ "South Metropolitan TAFE - More courses, more qualifications, more places to learn". Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  12. ^ "Central Regional TAFE -". Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  13. ^ "South Regional TAFE -". Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  14. ^ "North Regional TAFE -". Retrieved 14 December 2016.

External links[edit]

State and territory TAFE websites[edit]

Victorian Association of TAFE Libraries[edit]

Vocational education and training (VET)[edit]

TAFE union sites[edit]

TAFE course comparison sites