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Introduction to study

The transition to tertiary studies (VET or Higher Education) will be quite challenging for some people. You may amongst other things: encounter new ways of learning, feel the personal impact of distance from family and friends, need to negotiate a new geographical setting, confront new social challenges and have lots of new concepts to understand.

Do not feel concerned or embarrassed. This is what lots of people feel when they embark on a program of study for the first time. If at any time you have concerns ask for help. Speak to your lecturer or visit one of the counselling staff. We are here to help and we want to see you succeed.


The following is a staircase to study, that can help you to understand the way that the VET (Vocational Education Training) and Higher Education systems work. You should not see this as a ‘ladder of success’,  it is only intended to give you an idea of the steps you might take to feel confident in enrolling in the course of your choice.
Academic Staircase
When you begin studying vocational education and training or higher education courses, you are taking your first step on the ‘academic staircase’. The courses at the bottom of the staircase are the easiest. They help you get ready to take the next step. The courses gradually become more difficult as you go up the ‘staircase’.  Usually you cannot go to the next step until you have passed the academic step below it.

Each award represents something like an initiation. As you go through each ‘academic initiation’, you will be expected to further examine what you are studying. In the workplace you are sometimes rewarded with more responsible jobs that have higher pay.