Australia: Quality education at your doorstep
Convert knowledge into practical learning at the top Australian institutions
The Australian government invests billions of dollars each year in developing its education system and various research initiatives at universities. Furthermore, all educational institutions must be registered with the Australian Government and meet stringent Australian education registration conditions ensuring that courses are of high standards in both ethics and quality.
Australia is the third most popular study destination in the English-speaking world, with 421,702 international students in Australian institutions across all education sectors: higher education, vocational education and training, English language colleges and schools.
All courses offered to international students must be approved and listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). Qualifications offered to students must fit the Australian Qualifications Framework.
Periodic monitoring of teaching, learning, administration and research of all institutions is conducted by government bodies. Universities are audited every five years by the Australian University Quality Agency. Vocational education and training institutions are audited by the Australian National Training Authority.
Australian institutions develop creative, analytical and lateral thinking skills of students, and encourage individuality. There are in total 43 universities; of these, 40 are Australian universities, two international universities and one private speciality university. These institutions offer Bachelor's degree, and postgraduate qualifications including Master's degree, graduate certificate, postgraduate diploma, MPhil and PhD. Apart from this, Australia has several vocational institutions that offer skill-based courses that are practical and industry-linked. Some of them offer pathway programmes to universities. The government-funded Technical and Further Education institutes (TAFE) offer excellent vocational training. National agencies monitor teaching, learning, administration and research in institutions.
Types of Qualifications
In Australia, most Bachelor's degree programmes are three years in duration while Master's degree courses are one-and-a-half to two years in duration. Students, who need to improve their English proficiency, can enrol in one of the private language centres or take a pre-session course at one of the universities or vocational centres.
The academic year in the Australian system is different from countries in the Northern hemisphere. The academic year commences in February/March and ends in October/November. There are usually two student intakes per year; one at the beginning of the academic year i.e. February and the second in June/July.
Students need to start the application process at least three months in advance. English language courses are offered throughout the year. Students can apply directly to an Australian education institution via an online form or visit an agent that represents several Australian institutions.
To apply for an undergraduate programme, a student would need Grade 10 and 12 transcripts or mark sheets, two recommendation letters, a statement of intent, a CV and an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score to demonstrate English language proficiency. Prospective students should score about six out of nine in IELTS conducted by the British Council or the University of Wollongong in Dubai. Besides IELTS, students who have scored at least 213 out of 300 in TOEFL are also generally accepted for admission in Australian universities. Students failing to meet the English language requirements may have to ?take an English language-bridging course.
Students need to start the application process at least three months in advance of the starting date of the programme. Individual institutions have varying admission criteria based on the programme and level of study. It is best to visit the relevant website for specific deadlines and admission requirements.
Fees, Finances and Scholarships
Tuition fees vary from AU$6,000 to AU$16,000 for a six-month graduate certificate/diploma course to more than AU$37,000 per annum for a medical degree. Foundation or bridging programmes can cost between AU$9,000 to AU$14,000 per annum based on programme location and duration of study.
Most full-time undergraduate and postgraduate programmes cost between AU$15,000 to AU$30,000 annually. Vocational education and training costs vary from AU$4,000 to AU$5,000 for a 20-week certificate course to more than AU$18,000 per year for laboratory or computer intensive advanced courses.
The Australian Government requires that international students and their families pay for health insurance in Australia through the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) Scheme as healthcare costs in Australia can be quite expensive.
While most international students pay full fees, some scholarships are offered by the Australian Government, education institutions and a number of other organisations for academic merit. They cover various educational sectors, including vocational education and training, student exchanges, undergraduate and postgraduate study and research.
The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) administer and manage government scholarships.
Australia offers students ample opportunity to enjoy traditional sports such as cricket, netball, soccer, rugby, as well as adventure activities such as white river rafting, camping in the wilderness, surfing and swimming or scuba diving in the coral reefs. There are also numerous art festivals, music festivals and ample opportunities to learn, visit open air concerts, carnivals, street theatre, etc.
Australian institutions undertake cutting-edge research and have well-equipped libraries, laboratories and infrastructure. Computer labs offer Wi-Fi connectivity and career centres that help students in their quest for jobs.
Note: AU$1 is equivalent to Dh2.61 as on April 6.
Australia offers students ample opportunity to enjoy traditional sports such as cricket, netball, soccer, rugby, as well as adventure activities such as white river rafting, camping in the wilderness, surfing and swimming or scuba diving in the coral reefs.
Australia is the third most popular study destination in the English-speaking world, with 421,702 international students in Australian institutions across all education sectors.
Information on Education in Australia
Successful international applicants may apply for a student visa upon receipt of a letter of offer or an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for a full-time course of study. The local Australian Government office can provide information on applying and the required documents to support the application for a visa.
Programmes available under Australian scholarships are:
Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) - dfat.gov.au/people-to-people/australia-awards/pages/australia-awards-scholarships.aspx
Apart from these scholarships, individual institutions offer various scholarships. All candidates are automatically considered in some institutions but for others, individual applications need to be made.
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