University Articles


What is Technical and Further Education in Australia?

Date: Mar 14, 2016

Author:  Elizabeth K


For most Aussies, TAFE is shorthand for all non-degree studies. But what is TAFE and how can studying at a TAFE institution help you find a career. Let's take a closer look at TAFE studies in Australia and the opportunities they offer to domestic and international students.

What is TAFE?

TAFE, or technical and further education studies, are vocational or certification programs provided by the National Training System of Australia (VET). The programs operate under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and include everything from engineering and construction to hospitality, winemaking, and the arts. Unlike the Australian university system, which is federally funded, TAFE institutes and colleges are generally funded and run by the governments of individual Australian states or territories. The TAFE system is designed to offer certificate and diploma qualifications but has also begun awarding bachelor's degrees and post-graduate diplomas in some fields. The TAFE system also works as an entry point for students wishing to earn credit towards a university-awarded bachelor's degree, and in some instances students can transfer relevant TAFE credits to full degree programs. TAFE institutions are geographically organized and often concentrate on one specific field or a series of related subjects.


Why should you choose TAFE?

TAFE programs are well-respected and trusted in Australia and around the world, and there are many benefits to choosing a TAFE program. These include small class sizes, comprehensive study support and guidance, a variety of course options, and direct links with universities and degree programs. Because TAFE programs offer both further education for professionals and full certification programs for beginning students, they are an excellent choice regardless of where you are in your career trajectory. Many programs are flexible and allow professionals to enhance their career opportunities through further qualifications or skill-development, but TAFE programs are also a great place to start your studies. TAFE programs usually have transfer agreements with universities that allow students to progress to full degree courses at universities. In most cases, TAFE programs include hands-on experience and certification in your chosen field, which means that you'll enter a degree-course with relevant skills and training.

And while professional development and transfer agreements are an important part 
of the TAFE system, its link with industry and business sectors is even more vital. In many instances, TAFE programs come from the direct initiative of a specific industry, and TAFE institutions work with industry sectors to develop programs and course content that are current and industry-specific. This means that students in TAFE programs learn relevant and specialized skills that transfer directly to the job market. TAFE programs have their fingers on the pulse of emerging industries and business fields, so students who choose TAFE programs make a smart and secure investment in their futures.


Where should you study?

Programs operate under regional TAFE providers, and institutes are spread throughout the states and territories of Australia, giving students many options. Here are a few fantastic TAFE institutes to consider:


TAFE Illawarra

TAFE Illawarra is a trusted, government-owned training provider. It’s the region's leading TAFE NSW Institute, boasting 14 campuses across southern NSW from the beach, to mountain towns and winter snowfields. TAFE Illawarra’s main city, Wollongong, has been voted as Australia’s Top Small City for Students by the website Student Cities. Students will enjoy learning from expert educators who are focused on helping individuals reach their potential in a supportive environment. Here's what you'll find at TAFE Illawarra:

· a relaxed, welcoming regional community culture

· a wide range of courses, from Certificates through to Degrees

· internationally-recognised qualifications

· hands-on, industry-relevant training

· state-of-the-art learning facilities

· strong connections with employers and industry

· support services to help you reach your study goals

· highly-qualified, world-class educators


North Coast TAFE

North Coast TAFE (NCT) is part of one of Australia's largest training providers, TAFE New South Wales. NCT has great resources for students and grants both certificate and degree programs. Here's what NCT has on offer:

· a friendly, community-oriented campus in beautiful New South Wales

· business and community partnerships for real-world experience

· state-of-the-art facilities and modern resources

· professional guidance and instruction

· simulation and hands-on training

· online courses

· on-the-job training


NMIT and Melbourne Polytechnic

North Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) has been in operation since 1912 and offers training and vocational courses, as well as full-degrees in specialist fields. NMIT aims to provide students with industry-relevant skills and information to maximize career and employment potential. The institute has campuses and facilities throughout the Melbourne metropolitan area and the state of Victoria. The benefits of studying at NMIT include:

· industry-developed courses and training

· a variety of courses, certification, degrees, and location

· flexible enrollment

· credit-transfer programs

·  international recognition

·  opportunities for funding and work-study grants

·  English-language training



Top 10 Universities for Engineering & Technology 2015/16

Date: Mar 30, 2016

Author: oiio

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 

It should come as no surprise that the highest ranked institution in our overall rankings for the past four years in a row is also ranked at the head of the world’s top engineering schools. MIT has helped to advance the digital age, having developed the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies. It has recently been conducting important research in climate change and electromagnetics.  

2. Stanford University Stanford University

Stanford University is well known for its entrepreneurial spirit, and has also garnered a strong reputation among the world’s top engineering schools, thanks to innovative research in the fields of engineering and technology. In the 1940s and 50s, Dean of Engineering Frederick Terman encouraged graduates and faculty members to set up their own companies, which led to him becoming known as the “Father of Silicon Valley”.

3. University of Cambridge 

The University of Cambridge is ranked joint 3rd in the world this year along with Stanford. It has a research partnership with MIT known as the Cambridge–MIT Institute, which has led to notable studies such as the “silent aircraft initiative”. Meanwhile the internationally recognized “Cambridge Phenomenon” refers to the outburst of technology, life sciences and service companies in and around Cambridge since 1960. 

4. National University of Singapore (NUS) NUS

Climbing 10 places to rank 12th in the overall world rankings this year, the National University of Singapore (NUS) has firmly established itself as a world-leading university, with its largest faculty being engineering. NUS has more than 3,000 research staff and 21 university-level research institutes and centers in various fields. Its entrepreneurship division, NanoSpark, works with faculty members and investors to increase entrepreneurship at NUS and in Singapore more widely.

5. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) 

Switzerland’s leading university, ETH Zurich is now ranked within the top 10 universities in the world overall, climbing three places this year to reach 9th. The university was founded in 1854 by the Swiss Federal Government, with its goals being to educate engineers and scientists, serve as a national center of excellence in science and technology, and provide a hub for interaction between the scientific community and industry. 

6. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) NTU

The second Singaporean university among our list of top engineering schools, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has grown from the merger of two universities in 1991 to become a fully intensive comprehensive and research-focused institution. The College of Engineering is NTU's largest faculty, and is claimed to be the world’s largest engineering college, with a student population of more than 10,000 undergraduates and 3,500 graduates in its six schools focused on technology and innovation.

7. Imperial College London 

Another university well known for its technological innovation and research is Imperial College London, the highest ranking university in London in the field of engineering and technology. Imperial College London’s research strategy includes a range of networking events and workshops, with the aim of applying its engineering research to pressing public issues such as climate change. 

8. University of California, Berkeley (UCB) UC Berkeley

Ranked 26th in the overall world rankings this year, the University of California, Berkeley’s highly respected engineering faculty claims many groundbreaking researchers among its alumni. For instance, it was host to the engineers who initiated the microelectronics that created Silicon Valley, and those who helped build iconic structures such as Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. Today, UCB engineers in every field continue to develop technological innovations worldwide. 

9. University of Oxford 

It may be the oldest university in the English-speaking world, but the University of Oxford is far from backwards-looking. It has invested heavily in new facilities in recent years, aiming to maintain its strong reputation as a world leader in research. The university’s ‘Knowledge Exchange’ community is focused on the shared purpose of advancing the impact of research on the world. Oxford ranks 6th in the overall world rankings this year.

10. Harvard University Harvard University

Ranked an impressive 2nd in the world overall this year, Harvard University is currently in the process of expanding its campus to Allston, with the aim of increasing the scope and strength of its science and technology programs as well as its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). Faculty members at SEAS have won numerous awards, including the MacArthur Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Nobel Prize, and more.


How to Find Internship Opportunities While Studying in the US

Date: Mar 30, 2016

Author: oiio

If you want to reach your highest potential while you study in the US, you should consider undertaking practical training related to your specific field of study. This is the best way to gain knowledge and skills that will promote your future career development and to build a network of people that can help you expand your horizons.

International students who are studying in the US on an F-1 visa are faced to some work limitations, but there are many internship opportunities for you that you should not miss.

Understanding visa regulations

If you wish to undertake an internship while you study in the US, you must first understand the opportunities you have based on your type of visa. Assuming you are already studying at a US university, that means that you have an F1-student visa, which typically allows you to take part in an unpaid internship or an internship on your campus.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot become an intern at an off-campus organization. But while working on campus is very accessible and doesn’t require additional paperwork, working outside the campus of your university can be a more complicated process.

Many international students want to kick-start their career while they are still studying, so universities developed two programs especially created for students who wish to gain experience in their field of study: Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT). To check if you are eligible, discuss these with your designated school official (DSO).

CPT internship opportunities

While participation in these programs is not free of limitations for international students, they still offer amazing opportunities for gaining experience in your chosen field and developing your career. In order to be eligible for a CPT internship, you must have completed your first year at university and the internship must be related to your field of study. Some CPT internship opportunities are paid and some not.

OPT internship opportunities

This type of internship can be undertaken while you are still studying or after graduation, and can be up to 12 months. Because this program allows international students to search for a job in the US after completing their studies, it is best to take advantage of this opportunity after you graduate. An OPT internship doesn’t need to be directly related to your degree, but the process is a little bit more complicated than in the case of the CPT program, so you will need to talk with your DSO about getting approval.

Career development programs at US universities

Now that you know the conditions and regulations, you can start searching for your dream internship. The smartest way of doing that is by finding out if your university offers career programs for students. Most US universities offer guidance for students who wish to undertake an internship and can walk you through the possibilities out there.

For instance, Oklahoma City University has a partnership with The Washington Center and is able to offer its students opportunities for full-time internships in the nation’s capital. The internship is tailored to the interest of the student and provides many benefits, including academic credit, lectures by national and international leaders, embassy visits, and workshops.

If you’re studying social sciences, you may benefit from an internship program such as those tailored by the University of Idaho for psychology or communication students. These programs are basically structured experiences that are offered each semester, to help students discover more about their field of employment.

Another example is provided by Southern New Hampshire University, which has developed partnerships with numerous employers, designed to help students find internships and full-time jobs in their field of study. Participants are paid between $8-15 per hour depending on the industry and job description, as well as their own skills and experience. You can choose to work on a semester basis or during summer break. You will benefit from career guidance before choosing your internship, and will then be put in touch with your desired employer for an interview. 

Now that you have all the information you need, you’re ready to start an extraordinary career!


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