Technical and Further Education

In Australia, Technical and Further Education or TAFE institutions are those which offer a wide range of tertiary education and training, generally in vocational fields (such as hospitality, tourism, construction, woodwork, secretarial skills, community work), often at a level of difficulty below that of a corresponding or related higher education course. The trend is changing however so that Universities and TAFEs offer a variety of overlapping courses.

Individual TAFE institutions (usually with many campuses) are known as either colleges or institutes, depending on the state or territory. TAFEs in Australia are owned, operated and financed by the various State and Territory Governments. This is in contrast to the higher education sector, which is mainly funded by the Federal Government, and whose universities are owned by the state governments. Some universities such as Charles Darwin University and RMIT University, offer TAFE courses. These are funded by the local state and territory governments. Some High Schools also offer TAFE courses, although the curriculum and certification is the domain of other institutions.


Qualifications awarded by TAFEs

Many Australians perceive all three year or longer courses as "university courses" and shorter ones as "TAFE courses" regardless of where they are delivered. This is because before the 1990s, such courses were delivered by such organisations (as the popular definition of "university" included " Colleges of Advanced Education" and the like). However since then, the roles of TAFEs, public universities and private sector institutions are merging.

In addition, some TAFEs (primarily in Victoria and the ACT) now award their own higher education degrees. This practice is somewhat controversial. Most TAFE study can count towards attaining a degree of some sort, but allowing TAFEs to fully complete higher education courses and then issue degrees in their own name is very new and further removes the line between what makes a tertiary instition a university or a TAFE.

TAFEs in some states can also teach senior high school qualifications, like the VCE.

Private technical education institutions may deliver TAFE-like short courses, but never use the term "TAFE" to describe themselves.

TAFEs by state

In most cases, TAFE campuses are grouped into TAFE institutions like Australian university campuses are grouped into universities - along geographic lines. Most TAFEs are given a locally recognised region of the country where they exclusivly operate. Like universities, these TAFEs cover a wide range of subjects.

For instance, the Illawarra Institute of Technology covers the south-eastern portion of the State of New South Wales with campuses in Wollongong, Dapto, Shellharbour, Bomaderry, Queanbeyan and Moruya, among many others.

A few TAFEs specialise on a single area. These are usually found near the middle of the capital cities, and service the whole state or territory.

New South Wales

There are eleven TAFE Institutes in New South Wales which include:


In Victoria these include:


In Queensland these include:

South Australia

In South Australia, TAFE SA includes:

Western Australia

In Western Australia these include:


In Tasmania these include:

Australian Capital Territory

In the Australian Capital Territory these include:

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory these include:

See also

State and Territory TAFE websites

Victorian TAFE Courses  (


Career guidance

Australian Government myfuture portal: career guide ( Registration required


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