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Study in Australia

Education System:

When you choose to study in Australia, you can be assured of unparalleled quality of education, internationally-recognised qualification and immense employment prospects. Universities in Australia are renowned for their research and training methodologies, and this makes it a popular destination among Indian students.

The academic excellence, campus life and qualified instructors are other key reasons behind Australian universities being ranked in the QS World Ranking and Times Higher Education Rankings consistently. It has well-structured curriculum that focuses on varied skills such as critical thinking, creativity, communication, literacy, analytical thinking ability, ethical understanding and more.

Plus, Australia offers a variety of courses – you can choose from 22,000 types of courses available in over 1,100 institutions; and hosts the five best student cities in the world including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

The unique factor of the Australian education system is its implementation of Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), the national policy established in 1995 that specifies the standards of qualifications for the tertiary education sector (higher education, vocational education and training) in addition to the school leaving certificate, called the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. With AQF, your degree is recognised and authorised by the government.

Under the AQF, there are 10 levels that interconnects various schools, colleges, universities and educational institutions in one single national system. This allows flexibility, choice and better career planning for students to move from one study level to another as long as their student visa requirements are fulfilled.

Study levels in Australia

The education system in Australia is three-tiered with primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education. Here’s an overview of the different levels and qualifications available as per the AQF.

Levels and qualifications as per Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)

Level 1Certificate I
Level 2Certificate II
Level 3Certificate III
Level 4Certificate IV
Level 5Diploma
Level 6Advanced Diploma, , Associate Degree
Level 7Bachelor Degree
Level 8Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma
Level 9Master’s Degree
Level 10Doctoral Degree

The highest level of education in Australia is the university level. You can choose from 43 universities, 40 out of which are government funded, two are international universities and one is a private university. You may opt for bachelor degrees or postgraduate courses which can comprise certificate, postgraduate diploma, master and doctoral programs.

Students can also enrol for vocational courses that work as a gateway to university education or industry for work. These courses focus on practical skills and industry training and are offered by government-funded institutions (including TAFE - Technical and Further Education) and private establishments.

Higher education

provided at university level, higher education comprises bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. The skills and knowledge acquired at these levels makes a student ready to work in the industry eventually.

Fee structure

The average tuition fees at one of Australia’s tertiary institutions ranges between AUD$20,000 and AUD$30,000 a year.

Financial aid

Indian students can apply to several government, public as well as institution specific scholarships. Application requirements and guidelines are available on the official website of your institution or respective funding organisation. Students are recommended to check the same before applying.

Pedagogy in Australian classrooms

The Australian education emphasises on practical knowledge, hands-on experience and getting you job-ready. Universities in Australia provide a research-based learning approach wherein you’ll be implementing all the concepts and ideas you gather in the classroom.

VET (Vocational and Technical Schools)

Australian education system allows its students to enrol for vocational courses that lets them skip university education and apply directly to jobs. These courses primarily focus on practical learning and industry skills unlike the regular courses that rely heavily on theoretical and in-depth knowledge. A lot of schools provide courses in technical and further education (TAFE) and vocational education and training (VET). Keep in mind that courses mostly provide certifications, diploma or advanced diploma. Some of the popular industries that VET students can look at include manufacturing, hospitality, sports, tourism, business and marketing.

Pathway programs – Your bridge to higher education in Australia

International students may require additional support and assistance to get accustomed to the education system and teaching approach of Australia. Henceforth, a lot of pathway programs to higher education that comprise of foundation courses and English language programs are available.

Academic intakes

Unlike a single intake in the Indian universities, Australian colleges and universities offer two major intakes. Intakes may also be referred to as a semester in some universities. The two intakes available in Australia are:

  • Semester 1: Starts late February/early March to late May/early June
  • Semester 2: Starts late July/early August through to November

Education Cost:

Studying abroad can be an expensive affair but planning your budget smartly can help you get a hold on your finances effectively. Before you depart from India, ensure that you consider expenses like accommodation, food, health coverage and travel along with your tuition fee when calculating the estimated cost of studying in Australia. This will help you plan your budget more effectively.

1. Tuition fee is your prime expenditure

Your expenditure on tuition fee depends on the type of qualification and the university or school you opt for. For instance, veterinary and medical degrees cost substantially more than other degrees. The average tuition fees at one of Australia’s tertiary institutions ranges between AUD 20,000 and AUD 30,000 a year.

S.noStudy ProgramAverage Fees in AUD*
1.School$7,800 to $30,000 annually
2.English language studies$300/week (varies as per course length)
3.Vocational Education and Training (Certificates I to IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma)$4000 - $22,000 annually
4.Undergraduate Bachelor Degree$15,000 - $33,000 annually
5.Postgraduate Master’s Degree$20,000 - $37,000 annually
6.Doctoral Degree$14,000 - $37,000 annually

Most commonly, courses in humanities, education and arts are a little cheaper, while subjects such as medicine and engineering are likely to be more expensive. If you wish to study at a postgraduate level, the tuition fee is typically higher and the costs vary depending on the program.

2. Where will you live? Calculate accommodation costs

Most universities in Australia offer on-campus residence facilities to international students. You can also opt for an off-campus accommodation wherein you can share apartments with other students from India or stay with a local Australian family. The rent is usually paid every two weeks in advance. Remember, the rentals vary from city to city.

3. Cost of your student visa

In order to study in Australia, the first step is to secure a valid student visa that comes with its own costs (approx. AUD 592).

4. Living expenses in Australia

You need to keep a little money aside for your grocery shopping, social activities and emergency situations. When living in a foreign country as a student, it is better to keep a track of your expenditures so that you do not over spend. Considering various expenses and living costs, a single international student budget in Australia comes to be approx. AUD 200-400 per week (indicative). You should also consider these common expenses when creating your budget:

  • Communication expenses: As a student from India, you’d be frequently calling your friends and family back home. Therefore, always keep a section of your budget for phone bills and data expenses. An approximate cost on phone can be anywhere around AUD 150 per 3 months. Local calls from a home phone can be around 30-40 cents and are not timed. Look for cost-effective calling plans and student discounts in order to stay connected with your loved ones within your monthly budget.
  • Groceries: Keep aside at least AUD180 per two weeks if you’ll be staying in a private accommodation. This will be less if your package includes food.
  • Books and supplies: Purchasing textbooks can get a little expensive. For instance, books for engineering courses, law, and medicine can get pricey. You can manage this in your budget by opting for second hand books, buying digital versions or even securing a library membership.
  • Personal expenses: Your daily expenses will include laundry, toiletries, clothing, dining out, etc. This depends entirely on the kind of lifestyle you choose for yourself.

5. Keep safe. Consider health support and insurance

It is mandatory for all students travelling to Australia from India to get a medical insurance before the commencement of their program. The average cost for medical insurance ranges around AUD 500 a year (indicative). Extensive health and support services are readily available for all Indian students in Australia.

6. Transportation. Know how much it will cost to move around

Unless your institution provides with a shuttle service to-and-fro from your lodging, you’ll have to rely on the available public transport.

For short distances

You can make use of regional trains, buses, and trams. A short ride on a bus or train can cost you around AUD 3. You can get a weekly pass upwards of AUD 20 or a monthly pass for AUD 80. Student discounts are easily available in all states and territories apart from Victoria.

For long distances

For travelling between different cities, you can avail any of the following options:

  • Long-distance bus
  • Rail
  • Air

7. Don’t ignore your taxes

Indian students in Australia cannot work without acquiring their Tax File Number (TFN). With this, you are allowed to work 20 hours per week during academic sessions and full-time during vacations. If you choose to work along with your studies, your earned income will be taxable.

Remember, the exchange rate variations may also affect your budgeting. We suggest you also look for a part time job while you are studying in Australia or seek scholarship in the universities you apply to. This can help lower your cost of studying abroad to a great extent.

Partner Institutions

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Melbourne University
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Monash University
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University of Sydney
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UNSW( University of New South Wales)
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University of Queensland
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University of Western Australia
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ANU (Australian National University)
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Adelaide University