The education system in Tasmania comprises the education of children from their early years, through kindergarten, primary and high school, and tertiary education in universities and vocational education and training organisations. The system is delivered by the government-run K-12 schooling system, and numerous independent schools and colleges, most of which are controlled or sponsored by religious organisations. Public education in Tasmania is managed primarily by the Tasmanian Department of Education. The Department is responsible for all aspects of education in Tasmania including schooling, adult education, the State Library and TasTAFE, a vocational tertiary institution with many campuses around the state.
Similarly to other states, years 11 and 12 students can obtain the Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) or can complete Vocational Education Training. Yet unlike other states, Tasmania has separate schools, called colleges, for the final two years. Years 7-10 are undertaken at high schools, although district schools and many nongovernment schools combine primary, high school, and college education together, depending on the needs of the school.
Whereas all other Australian states have a two-tiered system for primary and secondary education, in Tasmania a three-tiered system applies covering primary, high school for students from Years 7 to 10, and colleges for students in Years 11 and 12, and in some college, an optional Year 13.
Since Tasmania has only one university, the University of Tasmania (UTAS), there is no state-wide admissions body. Students’ results from the Office of Tasmanian Assessments, Standards and Certification (TASC) are provided directly to the university for calculation of scaling and ATARs. UTAS uses a polytomous Rasch model to scale course results.
Students who qualify for the Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) are automatically awarded an ATAR if they also pass four or more courses at the pre-tertiary level (Level 3 or 4). Unlike in other states and territories, students do not need to pass an English course to quality for a TCE or ATAR, though they must demonstrate an adult level of reading, writing and communication through another subject or through a safety net test. Most students who qualify for an ATAR will have completed an English course anyway, since pre-tertiary English is required for the majority of university entry.
The Tasmania ATAR is calculated from a Tertiary Entrance Score (TES), which is the sum of a student’s scaled results in their five best pre-tertiary subjects. Three of these subjects must come from the student’s final year of study (Year 12 or 13), and students may only count scores from two years of their study, even if they have taken a Year 13. Other subjects, such as selected University Connections Program (UCP) and High Achiever Program (HAP) units, may also contribute to a students ATAR. Since UCP and HAP units are only one semester long, only 8/15 of the scaled score may be counted towards the ATAR. The other 7/15 may come from any other subject but is generally chosen from the alternative semester UCP/HAP unit.
Did you know? Hobart is the second-driest capital city in Australia. It receives about half as much rain per year as Sydney. The Tasmanian devil, which is only found in Tasmania, is the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial. The oldest tertiary institution to be founded in Australia was the theological school Christ College in Bishopsbourne, Tasmania, in 1846. Today Christ College is a residential college of the University of Tasmania, which was founded in 1890, making the university the fourth oldest in the country.
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