Technical and further education

"TAFE" redirects here. For the Indian manufacturing company, see TAFE Tractors.

In Australia, technical and further education or TAFE (/ˈtf/) institutions provide a wide range of predominantly vocational tertiary education courses, mostly 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.

Individual TAFE institutions (usually with numerous campuses) are known as either colleges or institutes, depending on the state or territory. TAFE colleges are owned, operated and financed by the various state and territory governments. This is in contrast to the university sector, whose funding is predominantly the domain of the federal government and whose universities are predominantly owned by the state governments.

Similar institutions

In NZ the equivalent of a TAFE is a Polytech.

Qualifications awarded by TAFE colleges

T.A.F.E 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 can be used as partial credit towards bachelor's degree-level university programs.

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 VCE, 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

In most cases, TAFE campuses are grouped into TAFE institutions 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 service the whole state or territory. For example, the Trade and Technician Skills Institute in Brisbane, (from 1 July 2006), specialises in automotive, building and construction, manufacturing and engineering, and electrical/electronic studies for students throughout Queensland. Or the William Angliss Institute of TAFE in Melbourne which specialises in food, hospitality and tourism courses for Victoria.

Australian Capital Territory

In the Australian Capital Territory these include:

New South Wales

There are ten TAFE NSW Institutes in NSW which include:

Northern Territory

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]

South Australia

In South Australia:


In Tasmania, there are two government TAFE organisations:


In Victoria these include:

Western Australia

North Metropolitan TAFE Perth campus.

In Western Australia, this includes:

See also


  1. "About the AQF Register". Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  2. "TAFE NSW Higher Education",, TAFE NSW Higher Education Website
  3. Melbourne Polytechnic Annual Report pp22
  4. 1 2 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, website. Accessed 19 September 2011
  7. "TAFE Queensland". Retrieved 2014-04-26.

External links

State and territory TAFE websites

Victorian Association of TAFE Libraries

Vocational education and training (VET)

Career guidance

TAFE union sites

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