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Education, Universities and Colleges

ACU National, Australian Maritime College, National Institute of Dramatic, Bond University, Trobe University

In 1999 Australia had 42 public higher education institutions, together with two private institutions—the multicampus Australian Catholic University (known collectively as ACU National) and Bond University in Queensland—and a large number of public and private colleges offering advanced education in specific subject areas. Their combined annual enrollment in 1997 was 1,041,648.

Among the leading universities are the Australian National University (founded in 1946), in the Australian Capital Territory; Macquarie University (1964), the University of New South Wales (1948), and the University of Sydney (1850), in New South Wales; the University of Queensland (1910); the University of Adelaide (1874), in South Australia; the University of Tasmania (1890); La Trobe University (1964), the University of Melbourne (1853), and Monash University (1958), in Victoria; and the University of Western Australia (1911). In addition, the commonwealth government maintains a number of specialized learning institutions, notably the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, the Australian Maritime College, and the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

The commonwealth government provides about 45 percent of the general funding for public institutions of higher education. It also assists with competitive research grants. Australian citizens studying at the country’s universities are obliged to pay a higher education contribution tax. This tax, which can be paid over time with interest, provided about 20 percent of universities’ operating revenue in 1999. Students from overseas pay sizable fees.

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