While Australia may not be the first location that comes to mind when you think of education and study, it really has the third greatest number of international students of any country in the world, trailing only the United States and the United Kingdom.
While some will select Australia for its sun-kissed beaches, mild weather, and outdoor lifestyle, the majority will study there because of the high quality of education available.
The Education System in Australia
Australia’s educational system is well acclaimed, and it is based on the British system with appropriate local adaptations. It all starts with pre-school instruction, which can begin as early as three years old but is not required.
Formal obligatory schooling begins at the age of five or six – the age range varies by state – and continues through primary and secondary school until the age of sixteen. Those who choose to continue their education and apply to universities or vocational schools must attend senior secondary school for an extra two years.
Although Australia has a large number of public and private schools (60/40 split), all education providers must be licensed by the government and must follow a national curriculum designed to provide all students with a strong foundation in literacy, numeracy, communication, and information technology.
Students study for their Senior Secondary Certificate of Education at senior secondary school (Years 11 to 12), which is a requirement for admission to most Australian universities, as well as vocational training and educational establishments. Many overseas colleges accept the Certificate as a prerequisite for admission.
The Best Universities to study in Australia
According to the newest edition of the QS World University Rankings, Australia has 43 universities, 15 of which are placed in the top 250 globally. Seven of these, in turn, are among the top 100 in the globe. The following are listed in descending order:
The Australian National University
ANU (Australian National University) was founded in 1946 and is recognized as one of the world’s best research universities, with two Nobel laureates and 49 Rhodes scholars among its graduates and present faculty.
- Melbourne University
It is Australia’s second-oldest university, having been established in 1853. The University of Melbourne has produced four Australian prime ministers and five governors-general. The university has produced the most Nobel laureates of any Australian university, at nine.
- The University of Sydney
With 5 Nobel laureates among its graduates and professors and 110 Rhodes scholars, US (Institution of Sydney) is Australia’s oldest university, having been founded in 1850. It has also seen seven future Prime Ministers, two Governor-Generals of Australia, and nine state governors pass through its doors.
- University of New South Wales (UNSW)
UNSW (University of New South Wales) is a founding member of the Group of Eight, a coalition of leading research-intensive Australian universities that includes former Australian prime ministers, state and federal ministers, past and present Australian international cricketers, and two kings among its alumni.
- Queensland University
Two Nobel laureates, actor and Triple Crown of Acting winner Geoffrey Rush, and previous Chief Justices of Australia are among the famous graduates and staff of the University of Queensland, which was founded in 1909.
- Monash University
Monash University has over 100 research centres and 17 co-operative research centres; among its scientific accomplishments include the world’s first IVF pregnancy, the creation of Relenza, an anti-influenza medicine, and the first seatbelt laws. Monash University educated 10% of Australia’s top 50 CEOs during their undergraduate years.
- Western Australian University
One Australian Prime Minister, five High Court Justices, numerous federal cabinet ministers, and seven of Western Australia’s eight most recent premiers are all UWA graduates. Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, both members of the UWA faculty, were awarded Nobel Prizes for their work at the university.
Education in Australia vs. Other Countries
Students can study for Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorates under Australia’s education system, which is similar to that of New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
There are more similarities than differences in the United States. However, when it comes to student achievements, Australian schools outperform their American counterparts in every category – a distinction attributed to a superior caliber of teaching and subject content.
Another distinction is the academic year, which begins in September in the Northern Hemisphere but in February in Australia and New Zealand.
Thousands of courses are available at Australian universities, ranging from the humanities to science, law to management, engineering to medicine.
Different types of degrees
There are three different sorts of degree programs to choose from:
In Australia, a Bachelor’s degree normally takes three years to complete, or four years if studying for an honours degree. In contrast to the United Kingdom, the year is traditionally divided into two terms rather than three.
A high school diploma or equivalent is the minimal qualification for entrance to a degree program; proof of English language fluency may also be required. A portfolio, audition, or successful completion of a work experience may be required for some practical or vocational courses.
Master of Science Degrees
A Master’s Degree is usually completed in one or two years. University requirements vary, but most demand completion of a Bachelor’s Degree with a grade of 2.2 or above as a prerequisite.
Doctorates degree (PhDs)
A PhD usually takes three years to complete and is usually only pursued after a Master’s degree has been obtained. A written thesis is necessary, as it is in most other nations, however unlike other jurisdictions, there is no requirement that the work be verbally defended.
In Australia, all undergraduate and postgraduate courses are taught in English. Those whose first language is not English may be required to establish their language skills before being enrolled on a course by taking a recognized language exam.
Visas for Students to study in Australia
To study in Australia, an overseas student must first get a Student Visa. These are available online (https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder/study) and can be obtained for up to five years. They are presently available for AUS $575 (US $405).
Applicants must demonstrate the following in order to acquire a visa:
- Evidence of acceptance into a course at a recognized Australian university;
- Verification of their financial viability;
- Evidence that they possess the necessary English language skills; and
- Coverage under health insurance.
Anyone with a significant criminal background will not be granted a visa.
When it comes to higher education, Australia is one of the most costly countries in the world, especially for overseas students (anybody who is not from Australia or New Zealand is classified as an international student).
Individual colleges determine their own fees, which might vary significantly.
Those pursuing a Master’s degree can expect to pay anywhere from AUS $20,000 (US $14,100) to AUS $37,000 (US $26,200) each year; those pursuing a Doctorate can expect to pay anywhere from AUS $14,000 (US $10,000) to AUS $37,000 (US $26,200) per year.
Medicine, veterinary science, and MBAs, for example, are far more expensive.
Students who wants to study in Australia may choose to consider part-time job while in Australia to assist defray the expense of their education. During vacation periods, most student visas allow students to work for as many hours as they want, and during term time, they can work up to 40 hours every two weeks.
The limits on student work have recently been tightened, so anyone interested in applying for jobs should check their visa type first.
Scholarships for international students
International students can apply for a variety of scholarship programs, which can come in the form of bursaries or scholarships. Among the most well-known are:
Australia’s Best Awards
These are a collection of over 3,000 scholarships granted by a number of governmental and quasi-governmental entities to students from underdeveloped nations.
Endeavour Leadership Development Program
This program, announced as part of the Australian government’s 2018-2019 budget, brings together a number of government scholarships under one roof.
Program for Research Training (RTP)
This program awards funds to both domestic and international students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in research.
Individual colleges also have their own scholarship programs and endowments, which can be contacted on an individual basis.
The Procedure for Applying
International students must apply directly to their preferred university via the internet. There is no standard application process; it varies each institution, so check with your preferred university first. Similarly, application deadlines differ every course, so double-check before applying.
The following procedures should be followed:
- Choose the university you want to go and which course you want to take.
- Submit an online application to the institute (ensuring that you adhere to any requirements they may have);
- Receive their Letter of Offer and formally accept it;
- Obtain an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment from the university (eCoE).
- Fill out an application for a student visa (but only when all the above stages have been completed).
A student must supply the following information to support their application:
- Proof of their academic credentials (certificates, transcripts, letters from professors or teachers);
- Verification of English language proficiency in writing;
- Evidence that they have enough money to support themselves while studying in Australia; and
- Medical insurance for international students.
To aid international students who seek to apply to study in the United States. Many universities in Australia have accredited agents in the home countries of many potential students. By law, each Australian university’s website must include contact information for these agents.