The Northern Territory’s education sector is internationally regarded for the depth and diversity of its research, teaching and training activity. International education is one of the Territory’s largest exports.
Education programs with China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Timor-Leste and other Asian nations draw hundreds of students to both secondary and tertiary study in the NT every year. Students receive globally recognised Australian qualifications at the secondary and higher education levels.
The NT’s university, Charles Darwin University (CDU), is ranked in the top 2% of universities in the world by Times Higher Education and in the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. It delivers more than 75 nationally recognised and accredited programs to international students and is also a world-leading online education provider—some 75% of the university’s higher education students study online.
Its main campus is in Darwin, with other campuses in the Territory, Sydney and Melbourne. CDU is also a world-leading online education provider—some 75% of the university’s higher education students study online.
In the last decade, CDU’s international student intake has doubled, prompting links in research and education throughout Asia to develop. An example is CDU’s hosting of a Confucius Institute, a worldwide educational institute that strengthens education cooperation between China and Australia.
The NT is particularly renowned for its education and research expertise in tropical health, engineering and disaster management. CDU is the only Australian university whose engineering programs are accredited by the Europe-based EUR-ACE, an accreditation framework that identifies high-quality engineering degree programs.
The Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL) at CDU consolidates CDU’s environmental and natural resource management research. Its 50 scientists host and train some 75 PhD students—about a third from overseas.
One of RIEL’s research hubs is TRaCK—Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge. TRaCK has drawn together 80 of Australia's leading social, cultural, environmental and economic researchers, who focus on the tropical north of Australia. TRaCK aims to provide the science and knowledge that governments, communities and industries need for the sustainable use and management of Australia's tropical rivers and estuaries.
The Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education was established as an educational institution to provide tertiary education to Indigenous Australians through education and training programs. The Institute also plays a strong role in the area of Indigenous creative arts, Indigenous language maintenance and linguistics and in informing future Indigenous education. The Institute is home to the CALL collection, a digital collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language materials. The Institute and CDU have also established The Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Education which is focussed on delivering higher education, undergraduate and post graduate course work programs for Indigenous Australians.
The NT’s National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) in Darwin responds to incidents that pose significant health threats both onshore in Australia and offshore in the Asia Pacific region. A significant disaster medical research program supports its operations, and some 1200 education places were offered in 2015 across a range of nationally and internationally recognised courses. The NCCTRC is a key partner in the development of the World Health Organisation’s standards and classification guideline for foreign medical teams.
The NT Department of Education operates an early learning programme for children up to five years of age, Families as First Teachers Programme. The programme operates in 30 remote Aboriginal schools as well as two schools in Darwin. It is delivered by a local Aboriginal family liaison officer and a qualified teacher. The programme plays an important role in promoting the position of working women in remote communities, encouraging job sharing to allow mothers with family and cultural commitments to work part-time.
The NT also has a fast-growing reputation in oil and gas education and training through the North Australian Centre for Oil and Gas (NACOG) at CDU. The centre is located close to Timor-Leste and South-East Asia, and students can access a wealth of understanding about NT conditions and their potential impact on resources.