The English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) sector is an important one within the Australian Education system.
English language training commonly takes place in dedicated colleges or centres. These centres are completely focused on the needs of international students, so they have highly developed support services for such students.
English language training is also very often the first type of course an international student may undertake in Australia. So, ELICOS colleges have well-developed reception, orientation and accommodation placement processes to reflect this fact.
Types of ELICOS centre
There are about 300 accredited ELICOS centres across Australia. There are many types of centres and they can be:
- located in all of Australia’s major cities as well as in a range of regional locations,
- private or government operated,
- independent or attached to a high school, TAFE college or university,
- small boutique colleges or large international providers.
Australia offers a wide range of ELICOS courses designed to meet the varying needs of students with different reasons for learning English. Full-time ELICOS courses tend to have these features:
- Their duration generally ranges from four to 48 weeks,
- They are taught at all levels of proficiency from beginners to advanced.
- They comprise of at least 20 hours of study each week.
- They usually have flexible commencement dates, so students can enrol at any time during the year.
Often ELICOS courses are taken in sequence with formal courses of study in other sectors. They are packaged together with one or more courses. Sometimes these further courses are offered at the same institution.
Quality Assurance of ELICOS
Australia ensures that international students receive the high quality of English language instruction. Australia is the only country in the world to have mandatory national standards specific to English language training and international students. The quality of courses and institutions providing English training are supported by two recognised industry associations English Australia (EA) and National ELT Accreditation Scheme Limited (NEAS).