A popular destination with international students – thousands head Down Under each year to study in Australia
Sandy beaches, deep blue ocean, relaxed living, good weather and barbeques in the sun are just a few of the things that we associate with Australia. But did you know that the country has an internationally respected higher education system? It also has the third highest number of international students in the world, behind only the United States and the UK. All these foreign students can’t be wrong so it’s not surprising that Australia is one of the most popular study destinations in the world.
The cost of living is high, so be prepared for the expense. However, Australians love the great outdoors and strolling along the beach or surfing is free. In your study-free hours you can explore a variety of landscapes, from metropolitan cities and coastal idylls to rainforests and the outback. One thing’s for certain, you’ll never be short of places to explore thanks to the country’s 17 world heritage sites.
The country has 43 universities located across state capitals and regional areas, so with some research you’re bound to find the perfect place to settle.
Institutions offer thousands of courses in a range of subjects, from science and humanities to management and engineering. Australia’s education structure is similar to that in the UK and you can study for Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates.
When it comes to university world rankings Australia has an impressive track record. Seven of the country’s institutions feature in the QS World University Rankings 2019 top 100. These include:
- Australian National University
- The University of Melbourne
- The University of Sydney
- University of New South Wales
- The University of Queensland
- Monash University
- University of Western Australia.
The country’s oldest research universities comprise the Group of Eight (Go8) including Australian National University, Monash University and the universities of Adelaide, Melbourne, New South Wales, Queensland, Sydney and Western Australia.
Melbourne is the most popular student city according to QS Best Student Cities 2018. Three other locations, including Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra make up the top 30, with Perth narrowly missing out in 39th place.
Degree courses in Australia
Bachelors programmes typically take three years to complete (four years for an honours degree). They’re generally split into two semesters, although some universities offer three.
An undergraduate degree helps to develop the skills and knowledge you’ll need to work in your chosen field and enables you to pursue postgraduate studies.
Entry onto Australian higher education programmes is competitive and to gain a place on a course you’ll need a high school leaver’s certificate or equivalent. You’ll also need to prove your level of English proficiency if it’s not your first language. Additional entry requirements for some programmes may include the successful completion of work experience, a portfolio or audition.
Australian Masters follow a similar format to those in the UK and usually take one or two years to complete. Qualifications awarded from Australian institutions are globally recognised and well respected by employers, standing you in good stead upon graduation.
Institutions in the country offer a range of taught and research-based Masters in areas such as creative arts, engineering, health, education and sciences to name just a few. Like in the UK, you’ll be able to study a Masters of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MSc). Courses focus on either traditional coursework (taught courses) or independent research (research courses), or a combination of both.
In Australia you’ll also be able to study a ‘Change of direction’ Masters – for students looking to change subject pathways and a ‘Professional development’ Masters – for students looking to further their careers through additional training.
Entry requirements for Masters programmes in Australia vary depending on your university and subject but basic requirements include the successful completion of a Bachelors degree, with most looking for students who hold a minimum of a 2:1 or 2:2 grade.
Other postgraduate qualifications on offer include:
- Graduate certificates
- Graduate Diplomas
- Doctoral degrees.
The Doctoral degree, or PhD, is usually a pure research degree and the highest qualification awarded by Australian universities. They typically take three years to complete and are undertaken on completion of a Masters qualification.
The Doctoral degree is a research programme made up of three components:
- a review of literature, experimentation or other methodical approach to a body of knowledge
- an original research project that contributes to understanding and knowledge in your field
- a thesis that demonstrates a relationship between the research and the field of study.
In terms of assessment you’ll submit a written thesis, but unlike in other countries you won’t need to orally defend your work.
The cost of higher education in Australia is among the most expensive in the world. Fees are set by universities, not the government so the cost of postgraduate study can vary widely. International students will pay considerably more than Australian students and foreign students are also required to pay their tuition fees before they start their course.
Despite the increased cost of study the country remains popular with foreign students.
You can expect to pay anywhere between $20,000 to $37,000 (£10,748 to £19,883) for a Masters degree and $14,000 to $37,000 for a Doctoral degree (£7,523 to £19,883). All costs are per-year in Australian dollars.
These estimates do not include high-value courses such as veterinary science, medicine and the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) where you should expect to pay considerably more.
Funding to study in Australia
Australian institutions are big on internationalisation so as an overseas student you’re guaranteed a warm welcome as well as a helping hand. International scholarships can take the form of grants or bursaries.
Some of the major scholarship programmes available for international students include:
- Australia Awards – bringing together scholarships offered by a number of agencies including the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
- Endeavour Leadership Programme – offers a range of merit-based, government-funded scholarships to study in Australia.
- Research Training Program (RTP) – administered by individual universities on behalf of the Department of Education and Training the RTP awards grants to support domestic and overseas students studying research Masters and research Doctorate degrees.
A number of Australian universities also offer scholarships to international students – for example the Monash University International Scholarships for Excellence and the University of Sydney International Scholarships. To find out what help your institution offers get in touch with the international office.
To help with living expenses you could also consider working while studying. Most student visas allow you to work for up to 40 hours every two weeks during term time and unrestricted hours during holiday periods. To make sure that you don’t fall foul of the law always check that you can work on your visa type before accepting a job offer.
To study in Australia you must obtain a student visa.
All international students need to apply for the Student visa (subclass 500) online, which enables you to study full time in Australia in a recognised education institution. This visa lasts up to five years and costs around $575 Australian dollars (£309).
To secure one you must:
- provide evidence that you’ve been accepted onto a course, be this a copy of your confirmation of enrolment or offer letter
- provide proof of your finances
- possess English language proficiency skills
- have health insurance
- not have a substantial criminal record.
To study a postgraduate degree in Australia you’ll need to apply directly to your chosen institution online. Entry requirements vary between universities so check these details before you begin the application process. Closing dates differ depending on your course and some programmes may accept applications all year round.
To gain a place on a course you must:
- submit an application form to your chosen university
- receive a Letter of Offer
- receive an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE)
- apply for a student visa.
In order for your application to be successful you will need to provide evidence of:
- academic achievements (transcripts, certificates)
- English language proficiency
- funds to support your study
- overseas student health cover.
Programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level are taught in English. In some cases you may need to provide proof of your proficiency in the language through a recognised English language test.
Be aware of the fact that the skill level required by institutions can differ from the level required on your student visa application.
10 reasons why you should consider studying in Australia
Australia is fast becoming a preferred destination in terms of education among Indian students. Currently, this “land of kangaroos” attracts the third largest number of international students in the English-speaking world after the US and the UK. In some countries Australia is the first choice of study destination.
Australia offers an educational experience that makes a real difference. It provides a unique kind of education and a learning style that encourages one to be innovative, creative and think independently. Graduates from Australia are very successful in finding jobs and hold prominent positions worldwide. Additionally, they are readily accepted for postgraduate study at leading international universities.
Australia is a dynamic, vibrant country with energetic, friendly people. Multicultural Australia is English-speaking and a safe and friendly society in which students can learn and travel freely.
Australia also offers excellent value for money and a standard of living that is among the highest in the world. Living expenses and tuition costs in Australia are considerably less expensive than the UK and USA. The other advantages for this country in the Asia Pacific Rim include paid internships while studying.
Let us explore why Australia now has around 38,4000 international students from over 140 countries in disciplines at every level of education, including short-term English language courses, Bachelor and Masters Degrees right through to Doctoral Degrees.
The Australian approach to vocational and technical education is now recognised as among the best and most innovative in the world. It enjoys an international reputation for excellence in all areas of education and training. Australian universities are widely recognised for excellence in many disciplines.
Institutions deliver practical and career-orientated training so graduates can be confident they have the skills demanded by employers. It has played an important role in Australia’s economic performance, by greatly increasing the skill of workers and contributing to improved productivity.
Australia has a reputation for adopting new technologies at a faster rate than in most other countries and enters the new millennium with one of the highest rates of internet access in the world. Facilities for teaching, training and research are world-class in terms of state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms, outstanding libraries and modern technology.
3. Qualification recognition
Australian qualifications are recognised by employers and leading educational institutions in many countries around the world. Moreover, most courses and training undertaken by international students in Australia are covered by Australian Qualification Framework (AQF). It is a system of learning which is authorised by the Australian government.
4. Quality assurances
Australia’s national quality assurance system is unique both in its structure and its rigour. International students, and even their parents, enjoy an unparalleled level of service and financial protection. The country is committed to providing quality education to students — be it national or international.
The Australian Quality Training Framework has been set up by the government to strengthen the quality assurance processes in education. Australia provides the world’s most rigourous protection for international students through ESOS.
5. Multicultural society
Australia is a safe, multicultural, friendly and harmonious society. Australians value the wealth of cultural diversity and social sophistication that international students bring to the campuses and communities.
Great care is taken in looking after international students and helping them to adjust to the Australian way of life. Australia has a low crime rate and strict gun control laws providing a safe environment.
One’s study plans are also not likely to be upset by political turmoil. People from about 200 countries have migrated to Australia, making Australia one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. The multicultural nature of Australian society means international students are readily accepted by other students, and teachers are experienced in teaching classes to students from many countries.
6. Visa red-tapism
Most of us are familiar with the high-handedness of the American and the British visa officials. On any given day, a genuine visa application may get turned down for reasons best known to them. This is gradually going in favour of new academic destinations.
Students are more or less frustrated about the lengthy and costly visa application procedure for the US and UK. The Guardian has recently published a report saying UK visas should address the problems encountered by one-third of students in obtaining visas — 18 per cent found it a lengthy and difficult process even though their first application was eventually successful, 8 per cent were initially refused but received a visa on a second application and 5 per cent received one after appealing their initial refusal.
7. Cost of living
In Australia, a student gets value for money in terms of cost of living. The conversion factor is cheaper compared to the UK or US.
8. Job opportunities
While the UK closes doors for doctors and the US focuses more on IT professionals, international students have started to hit upon Australia which offers more job facilities in multiple disciplines. Be it in agriculture or aeronautics, accounts or actuaries, Australia offer work permits to international students like none other.
9. Possibility of more scholarships
Australia being comparatively new in terms of attracting foreign students offers more scholarship opportunities compared to the United States or the UK. It, however, needs to be kept in mind that Australia is a less populated yet vast country which can fit in employment opportunities at a rate faster than any other part of the world.
10. More research opportunities
Australia offers research opportunities to eligible professionals willing to enhance their career. The biggest advantage is Australia offers country-based research that is spread all over the continent. Selection for these highly regarded research opportunities are based on merit and is highly competitive, and a proven track record of academic excellence is a pre-requisite.
Despite a decrease in the number and proportion of student traffic, the British and the American officials seem reluctant to take a note of it although university officials project the dip in revenue. Slowly the wheel is turning full circle. Many a change will define the future of academic destinations for international students — the pattern right now strongly directs towards the continent of Australia.
With nicknames like ‘the Land of Oz’, ‘the Land of Plenty’ and ‘Lucky Country’ (the last one supposedly meant to be ironic when it was coined many, many years ago), it comes as no surprise that Australia is thriving and draws people from the world over. As the country grew, so did its education system, drawing people from all over the globe. Now, one of the hottest education destinations, we take a broad look at the country’s appeal to students to help you figure out if this is the right country for your higher studies.
Most courses in Australia are designed to be shorter but are packed with an educational punch, so to speak. Students learn plenty from their programs, which delve intensively into the coursework. As a result of these shortened programs, Australian universities tend to be a lot cheaper than those offered by their counterparts in other popular education destinations. Living expenses in Australia are also far more reasonable when compared to the UK or US.
QUALITY OF EDUCATION
In addition to being highly intensive in terms of knowledge imparted to the students, Australian universities also incorporate the latest innovations, technological advances and current trends in the industry to ensure that their programs meet the highest education standards. The emphasis is on making education practical to meet the demands of the industry.
VARIETY IN EDUCATION
Australian universities offer a range of degrees and courses, and students have plenty of options to choose from in terms of courses in their chosen field as well as universities offering their field. Vocational programs are also increasingly popular as students can gain from the career-centric and valuable skills that most employers look for. Vocational courses are available at RTOs (registered training organizations), TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutes and private colleges and also at regular universities. These courses can teach students basic life skills, literacy and numeracy training, vocational skills for specific occupations, explore areas with a practical focus and offer semi-professional vocational training. One of the highlights of the Australian education system is that students can easily switch between qualification levels and between universities.
Degrees from Australian universities are recognized and highly valued by companies and other educational institutes across the world. As a result of this, Australia is an exceedingly popular destination for international students and currently has around 2.5 million international students.
The Australian Quality Assurance Framework set up by the Australian government has been specially designed to ensure that all Australian universities meet the highest standards of education with a particular focus on structure and rigor. The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework ensures that the security of international students is the highest priority. As a result, international students and their parents are guaranteed financial protection and a range of useful services.
Australia is a great place for students interested in research. There are plenty of research opportunities available to eligible professionals and students alike. However, remember that these opportunities are highly competitive and awarded based on merit.
A majority of Australian universities have an international student support unit. This team helps international students by answering their questions and directing them to whichever service they require. Another popular service offered by Australian universities is the student hotline. Many universities also provide orientation and student preparation programs. Counseling services, individual tutoring and workshops to teach international students English and other necessary skills are also available. Several universities also seek to encourage international students by forming student groups and assigning mentors to them. Quite often, family members, who accompany students to Australia, are also provided with some form of support.
SIMPLE VISA FORMALITIES
The heavy emphasis on ensuring that Australia remains an attractive destination for international students has led to the government simplifying the visa process. The time taken to process visas has significantly been reduced, as have the number of documents required for proof of identification.
One of the best advantages of studying in Australia is the ability to work while studying, thereby reducing the burden on students wishing to save on living expenses. Students are allowed to work for 20 hours each week. This is also beneficial to gain work experience in the student’s chosen field of interest.
Australia has several jobs on offer in an array of disciplines, which significantly contributes to its appeal. While the US focuses on luring IT professionals and the UK no longer interested in doctors, Australia is a welcomes doctors and other healthcare professionals. Other thriving fields in Australia include agriculture, aeronautics, data analysis, cyber security, digital marketing, commercial analysis, software development, business development, architecture, event management, change analysis, civil design, social work, education, construction and property law, facilities management, customer engagement, and human resources.
DIVERSITY IN CULTURE AND SOCIETY
Among the most culturally diverse cultures in the world, Australia is home to people from around 200 countries. The country has a reputation for being safe, friendly, quite laid-back and peaceful. International students are readily accepted by their fellow students and professors.
LAND OF BEAUTY
Australia is a wonderful blend of sandy beaches, inspiring landmarks, breathtaking rainforests, world heritage sites, and deserts. As a student, your holidays should be happily occupied visiting the many beautiful places in this remarkable country, whether it be the Opera House in Sydney, Fraser Island, Bondi Beach, Uluru Rock or the Great Barrier Reef.
GROUP OF 8
This collective of research-intensive universities is Australia’s version of the Ivy League, but these universities are much larger and more inclusive, accepting a large number of students. The faculty at these universities are at the cutting edge of their respective fields, and most of these universities have state-of-the-art laboratories that bring out the best in students.
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