Study Destination

Australia as a higher education destination - hot or not?

Collegepond Counsellors (Jimeet Sanghavi)

Australia has the third highest number of international students in the world after United Kingdom and United States. It also has seven of the top 100 universities in the world. Lakhs of students, especially Indians migrate to Australia for better education and career prospects. Of late, many respected institutions with cutting edge curriculum and high quality teachers have lured Asian students to pursue courses from hundreds of colleges and universities, selecting programs ranging from short-term English language instruction to in-depth doctorate level work.

What’s best about studying in Australia is that students are spoilt for choices vis-à-vis location, size and courses offered. It’s not just the quality of educational institutes that are awesome; students can avail affordable education with competitive tuition prices and numerous financial aid possibilities. That’s not it, studying in Australia guarantees learning experience in the classrooms, exposure to the market and plentiful career opportunities.

The top universities in Australia are The Australian National University, The University of New South Wales, The University of Melbourne, The University of Western Sydney, and Monash University. The area of New South Wales on the east coast of Australia is the centre of all its renowned academic institutes. Most of the best colleges in the country are situated in cities like Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth.

Accounting, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Health Care, Information Technology, and Hotel Management are the popular courses Indian students pursue in Australia. Top jobs in Australia are education, medical services, hospitality industry, computer system design and accounting.

Most Australian universities accept the Indian graduation system of three years for entry into most postgraduate courses. An Indian bachelor degree like B.A., B.Com. or B.Sc. (ordinary) is equivalent to a Australian Bachelor (ordinary) Degree.

However, some courses and universities may require a qualification equivalent to Australian Bachelor (Honours) Degree, which requires either an Indian honours graduation degree like B.A. (H), B.Com. (H) etc. or 16 years of formal education, which would mean another year after graduation or a four year degree course like B.E., B.Tech and other such courses.

For each course, Indian students will need to meet a minimum English language requirement. Along with that a minimum academic record of 65% and above in class XII will be required. The average GMAT accepted across universities is 620. Average GRE score is 145 for Verbal, 160 for Quantitative and 4.0 for Writing.

Admissions Process

Start early for applying to Australian universities. The universities start the admission process one year before the commencement of the course and so it is always better to get the admission (conditional or un-conditional) as early as possible. Send enquiries at least 12 months before the proposed date of admission.

Australia generally has two intakes i.e. February and July, with few universities offering multiple intakes in September & November. You should start your admission process around six months before the application deadline. Typically most universities have three deadlines, during one intake. You should be done with your language and aptitude tests by three months before the deadline. The last three months should be dedicated to filling out the application form properly.

It is essential to ensure that the “ application process” along with appearing for interviews and visa application procedure should be complete by Nov-Dec for the February intake.

Visa and Work Permit

There are many types of student visas available for Australia –

  • Higher Education Sector visa (subclass 573)

This visa allows you to stay in Australia to study a full-time higher education course. You might be able to get this visa if you are enrolled as a student in a registered course for a bachelor degree, a graduate certificate/diploma, a masters degree or a higher education diploma/advanced diploma.

  • Postgraduate Research Sector visa (subclass 574)

You are eligible to get this visa if you are enrolled as a student in a registered course for the award of either a masters degree by research or a doctoral degree. You can work unlimited hours when your Masters by research or Doctorate degree (subclass574) course has commenced.

  • Vocational Education and Training Sector visa (subclass 572)

This visa allows you to stay in Australia to study a full-time vocational education and training course.

As an international student, you must complete your course within the minimum course duration listed on your CoE. You must leave Australia after completion of your studies. If you wish to stay in Australia for your graduation ceremony, you may need to apply for a visitor class visa.

Student visa holders are allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during their study in Australia. Graduates who have completed a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree may be eligible to apply for a two year post-study work visa. Graduates who have completed a Master’s by research degree or a Doctorate may be eligible to apply for a three or four year post-study work visa respectively. Other graduates may be eligible to apply for an 18 month subclass 485 visa through the graduate work stream.


The tuition fee varies according to different universities, courses and the city. The tuition expenses in Australia might be up to $15,000 to $33,000 per year for an undergraduate course. And if you are thinking of applying to a postgraduate course, the cost would be $20,000 to $37,000 per year approximately.

Accommodation and living expenses would be about $20,000 per year depending on your lifestyle and the city you are situated in.

Average starting salary for freshers is approximately AU$50,000 which goes up to about AU $ 70,000 after 4 years of work experience.

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