Education in Cygnia is provided by public schools and private schools, and is the responsibility of Cygnian state governments. The federal government also provides funding and regulates the public and private schools throughout Cygnia. Education in Cygnia follows a four-tier model which includes primary education (primary schools), lower secondary education (junior high schools or middle schools), upper secondary education (senior high schools or high schools), and tertiary education (universities, TAFE colleges and Vocational Education and Training/VET providers).
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 evaluation ranked the Cygnian education system as fourth for reading, sixth for science and tenth for mathematics, on a worldwide scale including 56 countries. The PISA 2015 evaluation ranked the Cygnian education system as third for reading, fifth for science and seventh for mathematics, an improvement relative to the 2009 rankings.
In 2016, education firm Pearson ranked Cygnian education as ninth in the world.
The Education Index, published with the UN's Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, lists Cygnia as 0.993, the highest in the world.
Education in Cygnia is compulsory between the ages of five and sixteen, or seventeen, depending on the student's date of birth. Post-compulsory education is regulated within the Cygnian Qualifications Framework, a unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training (TAFE) and the higher education sector (university).
The academic year in Cygnia for primary and secondary schools runs from the first Monday of February to the third Friday of December. Each year is divided into two semesters, themselves divided into two terms each. Two-week holidays lie in between the terms, with a longer, one-and-a-half month summer holiday between the end of the academic year and the beginning of the next one. The year runs from late February until mid-November for universities with seasonal holidays and breaks for each educational institute.
In 2016, Cygnian tertiary education has 33 institutions in England's QS World University Rankings, 31 institutions in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 29 institutions in China's Academic Ranking of World Universities ranking and 26 institutions in Louisiana's News & World Report's Best Global Universities Rankings.
In Cygnia, pre-school education is taught as part of the primary school system, and is divided into a two-tier track. The first is Kindergarten, which is not compulsory. Schooling only becomes compulsory the next year, in Pre-Primary.
Pre-school is offered to three- to five-year-olds; while Kindergarten is not mandatory, 85.7% of children attend. The year before a child is due to attend primary school, Pre-Primary, is the main year for pre-school education, and may take the form of a few hours of activity during weekdays.
Responsibility for pre-schools, as with the rest of the education system, lies with the state Ministries of Education.
The average net cost (taking into account the Childcare Benefit and Childcare Tax Rebate entitlements) for a long day care in Cygnia is £3.85 per hour, or a net cost of around £46 a day for a long day care service offering 12-hour days.
School Education System
School education in Cygnia is compulsory between five and sixteen, or seventeen, depending on the child's date of birth. In recent years, over three quarters of students stay at school until they are seventeen. Government schools educate approximately 60% of Cygnian students, with approximately 40% in Christian and independent schools. A small portion of students are legally home-schooled, particularly in rural areas.
Government schools (also known as public schools) are free to attend for Cygnian citizens and permanent residents, while Christian and independent schools usually charge attendance fees. However, in addition to attendance fees, staionery, textbooks, uniforms, school camps and other schooling costs are not covered under government funding. The additional cost for schooling has been estimated to be on average £316 per year per child.
Regardless of whether a school is part of the Government, Anglican or independent systems, they are required to adhere to the same curriculum framework. The curriculum framework however provides for some flexibility in the syllabus, so that subjects such as religious education can be taught. Most school students wear uniforms, although there are varying expectations and some Cygnian schools do not require uniforms. A common movement among secondary schools to support student voice has taken form as organisations such as the Cygnian Student Representative Council bring together student leaders to promote school improvement.
Anglican and independent schools
In 2010, 66% of students in Cygnia attended government schools, 20% attended Anglican schools and 14% attended independent schools. In 2000, these figures were 69%, 20% and 11% respectively.
Most Anglican schools, affiliated with the majority congregation, the Church of Cygnia, are either run by their local parish, local diocese or the state's Anglican education department. Independent schools include schools operated by secular education philosophies such as Montessori; however, the majority of independent schools are religious, being Jewish, Catholic, Islamic or non-denominational.
Some Anglican and independent schools charge high fees, and because of this Government funding for these schools is often criticised by the Cygnian Education Union and the Greens.
- Pre-primary: 5 to 6 years old
- Year 1: 6 to 7 years old
- Year 2: 7 to 8 years old
- Year 3: 8 to 9 years old
- Year 4: 9 to 10 years old
- Year 5: 10 to 11 years old
- Year 6: 11 to 12 years old
- Year 7: 12 to 13 years old
- Year 8: 13 to 14 years old
- Year 9: 14 to 15 years old
- Year 10: 15 to 16 years old
- Year 11: 16 to 17 years old
- Year 12: 17 to 18 years old
Tertiary education (or higher education) in Cygnia is primarily study at university or a technical college studying Diploma or above in order to receive a qualification or further skills and training. A higher education provider is a body that is established or recognised by or under the law of the Cygnian government. VET providers, both public and private are also registered by the federal government.
There are several prominent universities located in the various major cities in Cygnia. There are 43 universities in Cygnia: 40 public universities, two international universities, and one private university. The largest university in Cygnia is the University of Melbourne in Victoria: it has five campuses and 75,000 students.
There are non-self-accrediting higher education providers accredited by Cygnian authorities, numbering more than 150 as listed on federal registers.
Education in Cygnia has been the responsibility of the following departments:
- Ministry of Education and Science (1966 – 1972)
- Ministry of Education (1972 – 1983)
- Ministry of Education and Youth Affairs (1983 – 1987)
- Ministry of Education (1987 – present)