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Adult Education in Perth - The Thirst For Knowledge

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by Jacqui O'Leary (subscribe)
Jacqui O
Published July 9th 2012
We live in a time where it is never too late to go back to study and change the course of our future. No matter how old you are, what direction your life has taken up until now, you have every opportunity that 17-year-old school leavers have at their fingertips. You just have to go out into the world and grab it.

If Uni is your chosen pathway, anyone over the age of 20 can qualify to sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) test. There are also courses you can do to prepare yourself for this too if you have not studied in a while. 

No longer is TEE the only way to a successful academic experience. So often children are frightened into sitting TEE exams as they are manipulated into thinking this is their only option. At the age of 15, you are taken aside and forced to decide what it is you want to do with your life, in order to choose your TEE subjects, which will also be pre-requisites to your chosen university degree. Too much pressure is put on children these days and it's no wonder so many rebel and drop out because of stress, exhaustion and such unnecessary burn-out. 

Education is more important than ever.

Sometimes the most beneficial thing for kids to do after graduating year 12 is to take a gap year. Travel the world, earn some money working; expand their minds and gain some valuable life experience. What child really knows what they want to do with their life at 17? I sure didn't. Sometimes study can be the natural next step, but not necessarily the right one.

If no University Course takes your fancy, how about TAFE study? TAFE is a fraction of the price of Uni but funds must be paid upfront. TAFE can be a fair bit more flexible in your life. If studying part-time around work and/or family, classes can be completed at night, or online for your convenience - as can university as well.

Polytechnic West offer a large range of short courses at many different locations. Languages are a big hit, as are computer courses for the young and old alike. Art classes are also run, along with a number of other diverse subjects. The courses can be completed for fun as a hobby or for professional purposes too. Many of Polytechnic's courses run for 6 weeks.

UWA Extension offers some very interesting course options. Whether you would like to write that autobiographical story or resurrect that old art project you were working on or anything in between that is fabulous, exciting and challenging is offered here. Mainly short courses that generally go for 1 or 2 days. This way you can do them on your weekend.

Open Universities are there to work with you, at your pace. Study is available via correspondence and is a fantastic way to fit study into a busy lifestyle. The older we get the harder it is to make the time to do things, especially when the prospect of stopping work to study comes into discussion. Most cannot afford to take time off work, especially single people. Open Universities makes this a possibility.

Universities offer mid-year and start of year intakes and you can enrol full-time or part-time. Whatever suits you most. It is always recommended to make an appointment with prospective students to discuss any questions you may have, or visit the university's website for more information. 

Curtin University's clever 'Bright Minds' light bulb advertisement.

Universities available to us in WA are as follows:

-Murdoch University
-Curtin University of Technology
-Edith Cowan University (ECU)
-University of Western Australia (UWA)
-University of Notre Dame

Murdoch University's 'We're Ready When You Are' encourages education at any time.

TAFE's main institute is Central TAFE, but there is also Challenger TAFE as well. There are a smorgasbord of courses to choose from here that would appeal to most people's future prospects.

TAFE stands for Technical and Further Education and provides an excellent opportunity to further yourself at any time in your life.

There are also a handful of schools that specialise in Mature Age studies and students who never got the opportunity to graduate year 12 can go back to school and complete their studies. Tuart College, North Lake Senior Campus and Canning College are the only institutes that have this option, but you can also complete your studies through TAFE.

Whether you are 20 and contemplating where your life is heading or 50 and deciding on a new path to add excitement, to  follow that dream you never pursued or to not let the choices you made in the past dictate your future - whatever the reason, go and chase that life you have not yet lived and reach your full potential. 

NSW man, Allan Stewart recently graduated university at the age of 97, and insists that study keeps the mind and body young.

Allan Stewart, aged 97
(University of Southern Cross Lismore/HO/AFP)

No more excuses. Your future is waiting for you and it is an exciting one at that.
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Why? Learn at Any Age
Your Comment
Brilliant article ^_^ I'd like to add that, for aged pensioners and disability support pensioners, there is a LOT of support available through Centrelink and all of our universities to enable you to study. I had to drop out of Yr. 12 because of a couple of chronic illnesses (they always bring friends, don't they? Lol). I'm 23 now and have been on the DSP for the last two years or so, working on getting my health to a decent level and now that I'm finally healthy enough to be able to go to university, I'm amazed at the broad range of support I can access in terms of in-class support, flexibility, financial assistance, etc. Everyone I've contacted at ECU, where I plan to study, has been more than supportive -- they really WANT to help me do this =] Getting a degree is the first step towards getting off the disability pension and taking control of my life, but it's also going to enrich my life for the duration of my studies. It'll get me out into the world and connecting with other people. When you're unemployed and chronically ill, that's a big deal! =D Education isn't everything, but it is an invaluable tool for improving our lives!

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