For the first time in Australia, the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) will be expanded to a Northern Hemisphere timetable in 2015.
Speaking with Bentleigh Secondary College students following the first of the written VCE exams for 2014, Minister for Education Martin Dixon said the expansion of the VCE will further cement Victoria’s reputation for high quality education.
“The Napthine Government is making it easier for overseas students to sit the VCE as Australia’s first fully international senior secondary qualification,” Mr Dixon said.
“It will also create new flexibility for any Victorian schools that may wish to offer Victorian students an option to begin their VCE studies mid-year,” Mr Dixon said.
From next year the Northern Hemisphere Timetable will run from September 2015 to June 2016 for Unit 1 and 2 VCE subjects. A timetable for Unit 3 and 4 subjects will follow from September 2016 to June 2017, with the first examinations in June 2017.
The first 12 subjects offered on the new timetable will be English and English as an Additional Language, Accounting, Further Mathematics, Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computing, LOTE Chinese First Language, and LOTE Arabic.
There are currently 680 students studying VCE offshore. In total, more than 3,000 students have graduated from overseas VCE programs since delivery began, a large majority of whom having gone on to study at tertiary providers in Victoria and elsewhere in Australia.
Mr Dixon said the international expansion of the VCE will create more opportunities for Victorian schools to develop partnerships with overseas schools.
“We expect continued growth of interest in the VCE as an international senior secondary qualification, particularly in China, Asian and Pacific region nations and the Middle East,” Mr Dixon said.
“This will benefit teachers and students through increased international engagement and provide an additional pathway for overseas students to undertake tertiary study in Victoria.”
Mr Dixon congratulated students who had completed their first exam today
“These students have worked hard to get to this point, and I wish all VCE students success for each of their exams over the next three weeks,” Mr Dixon said.
The VCE will continue to be offered using the existing timetable from February to November.
This year’s VCE exam period runs until 19 November.
The Napthine Government is committed to building a better education system, with a record $9.2 billion for school education in 2014-15, $1 billion more than Labor’s last budget in 2010.
Number of students sitting at least one exam: 82,944
Female students sitting at least one exam: 44,038
Male students sitting at least one exam: 38,906
Subjects with a written exam: 104
Examination centres in Victorian Schools: 505
Largest examination centre: Bendigo Senior Secondary College (1006 students)
Smallest examination centres: Cornish College, Lavers Hill P-12 College and Werrimull P-12 School (four students sitting exams at each centre)
Number of mature-age students: 880
Number of VCE languages being examined: 45
Students sitting at least one written exam in Greater Geelong: 3,664
Students sitting at least on written exam in Greater Bendigo: 1,608
Students sitting at least one written exam in Ballarat: 1,978
The VCE is currently delivered at 15 schools overseas:
Beijing Foreign Language School, China
Ningbo Li Hui Li High School, China
Qingdao No.19 Middle School, China
Chengdu Shude High School, China
Wuhan Foreign Language School, China
Jiangyan No.2 High School, China
Nanjing Foreign Language School, China
Shanghai Pudong Foreign Language School, China
Zhengzhou Foreign Language School, China
Lianyungang Foreign Language School, China
Wenzhou No. 21 Middle School, China
Weihai No.4 Middle School, China
Kunming Middle School, China
Dili International School, Timor Leste
Neil Thomas Christian University, Vanuatu.
In 2013, 339 students graduated from offshore VCE programs. Nearly 90 per cent of these graduates are now enrolled in tertiary programs in Australia (almost two-thirds at providers in Victoria).
In November 2014, 419 students will sit their final VCE examinations at providers overseas.
The General Achievement Test (GAT) is undertaken by Northern Hemisphere students at the same time as Victorian students in June.