About the Higher Education System
Australia has an excellent higher education system including some of the world’s best universities. There are twenty one universities in the Times Higher Education Top 400 ranking of international universities. There are also a number of very well respected teaching universities that focus on preparing graduates for professions such as nursing or teaching.
Vocational training is offered by TAFEs, colleges of Tertiary And Further Education.
There are a number of private universities and colleges in Australia.
Entry requirements vary from course to course. You will usually need to achieve specific grades in your A levels, IB or other qualifications. Australian universities will make you a conditional offer based on your expected results if you don’t already have them. However, because term starts in February in most cases it is possible to apply after you have received your results.
A levels should be sufficient for most subjects at Australian universities. However, in the case of medicine and dentistry there may be additional entrance exams.
If you wish you can apply through UK-based agents. However, it is relatively simple to apply directly to the university you wish to attend. Usually the deadline for applications is five months before your studies commence. As most degrees start in February you could apply directly after receiving your A level results.
You should receive a decision on your application in between three to six weeks.
This process is different if you are applying as an Australian national and here you will need to pay attention to national application processes.
How much does it cost?
Tuition fees in Australia vary not just from university to university but also from course to course. Generally speaking, arts and humanities degrees are significantly cheaper than sciences, with medicine costing even more.
Tuition fees are usually in the range of AU$15,000-20,000 for Bachelor of Arts degrees. Medicine typically costs around AU$45,000 per annum.
Private universities are priced at roughly the same level as public universities although it is often possible to complete a degree at a private university in two years rather than three.
There is no financial support available to British students in Australia at undergraduate level. At postgraduate level it may be possible to access a Career Development Loan.
Students with an Australian passport are able to access the HEC scheme (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) that provides loans for tuition fees. There is no nationwide maintenance loan system available in Australia; most students work part-time alongside their studies in order to keep their level of student debt down. Australian passport holders are also eligible for domestic tuition fees which are significantly lower at public universities.
How do I get a visa?
You are required to hold a student visa for the duration of your studies. You can find out more information from the Australian High Commission: www.uk.embassy.gov.au
Can I work there as a student?
Your student visa allows you to work up to 20 hours a week during term time and full time during holidays. It is relatively easy for UK students to stay in Australia for a while upon graduation but there is no automatic right to extended residency.
Which are the best universities?
- University of Melbourne
- Australian National University
- University of Sydney
- University of Queensland
- Monash University
Universities in Australia