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5 Things You Should Know: Higher Education in Australia

Higher Education in Australia

There is nothing like Australia! We Indians have already accepted this tagline of the Australian Tourism Board when it comes to cricket and scenic beauty. Australia shares our love and devotion towards the game of cricket and almost every cricket fan in India cheers for the Australian team when it is not playing against India.

On the other hand, you can find several Indians at any given time of a year relaxing on Bondi Beach or admiring the Opera House in Sydney. But, this is not all, higher education in Australia has also become the most preferred destination among us Indians. Australia has succeeded in earning the trust of students from all around the world and has become the third most preferred education destination for international students. 

In the last decade, there has been a steady rise in the number of students enrolling in higher education in Australia. Recently, in September 2014, around 50,000 Indian students enrolled in Australian universities. This is a considerably huge number and it is expected to increase by many folds in the coming years.

According to the research by some international agencies, the number of Indian students going to Australia is predicted to grow 25 to 30% every year. There are many reasons contributing to the rise of Australia as a study destination like its educational excellence, easy immigration laws, Job certainty, etc. Another factor that makes higher education in Australia most preferrable is the similarity in education systems; both India and Australia follow the British education system.

So, if you are planning to pursue your higher education in Australia, then here are 5 things you should know:

1. Types of Universities

The Universities in Australia are largely grouped in 3 broad categories. There are 37 public universities, 3 private universities and 2 foreign universities. The public universities of Australia are categorized in the following groups based on their merits, majors and various other important factors:

  • Group of Eight (Go8): The Go8 are the oldest and the most prestigious colleges in Australia. These colleges are renowned for the high quality of education and research policies. Go8 includes Universities of Queensland, New South Wales, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide & Western Australia, Australian National University and Monash University.
  • Australian Technology Network (ATN) Universities: ATN is a coalition 5 leading technology universities in Australia. These universities are celebrated for their education framework that incorporates flexibility and innovation to yield practical results. ATN includes Curtin University of Technology, RMIT University, University of South Australia, Queensland University of Technology, University of Technology Sydney.
  • Innovative Research Universities (IRU): IRU is a group of research-based institutes and includes Charles Darwin University, Griffith University, Flinders University, James Cook University, etc.

2. Credit System

Higher education in Australia is also known for its simplistic system. It follows a grading system that is similar to USA credit system. In the Australian education system, the student has to complete the required credit points to graduate. The required credits vary from one course to another. For example, for some graduate courses a total of 48 credit points are required. Hence the student can chose 8 subjects that hold 6 credit points each.

The number of maximum subjects a student can pursue every year varies according to the university. Some universities allow the student to finish the course earlier than the actual duration of the course, while the rest of the universities limit the number of credits you can earn in a semester.

3. Fee Structure

Australia as an education destination is comparatively affordable due to its lower cost of living and lower tuition fees. The tuition fees in Australia are generally lower than those of America and the UK. However, Australian Universities do not include the cost of certain basic amenities like a meal plan, gymnasium and activity fee which are generally included in the tuition fees in the USA and UK.

On top of it, it is compulsory for an international student to get an Overseas Student Health Cover, which can be very expensive. The following is the average fees for education in Australia. Please note that the figures are average and the fees can differ vastly depending on the course you pursue. 

  • Bachelor’s degree – AU$15,000 (INR 6,91,345) to AU$33,000 (INR 15,20,959);
  • Master’s degree – AU$20,000 (INR 9,21,793) to $37,000 (INR 17,05,317);
  • Doctoral degree – AU$14,000 (INR 6,45,255) to $37,000 (INR 17,05,317).

4. On-Campus Jobs

Australian Universities allow the students to work alongside their education to cover their expenses. The student is allowed to work on campus as well as off-campus. The jobs and payments vary according to the nature of the job as well as the students’ expertise. Almost all Australian universities reserve certain on-campus jobs for international students. International students are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week when the session is going on. However, there is no such restriction during the vacation and the student may choose to work fulltime. 

5. Accommodation

Australia offers a plethora of options to international students when it comes to accommodation. The cost of living in Australia is comparatively lower than other international study destinations and a student can even manage to get high-quality accommodation easily. Almost all the universities in Australia have an on-campus housing facility where the priority is given to the first-year students. The students can also rent an apartment with fellow classmates nearby the university. However, this option is best for second-year students.


Australia is a great place for international students because of its cultural diversity and laidback nature. People are generally good in nature and it’s considered safe for international students. The country offers a good living standard and a great platform to shape your dreams. So, if you want to reach your dreams and are looking for place from where you can make leap of faith towards success, who can teach how to jump better than the Kangaroos!

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