Information: Studying in Australia

If you are interested or looking for an opportunity to study in Australia this is some of the information you should read to get yourself ready for a new journey through Australia’s education.

Australia is one of the best places in the world to live while you learn. The standard of living is amongst the highest in the world, yet costs remain competitive. On your breaks from study, you will have a wide choice of activities to enrich your experience – from cultural festivals, concerts and museums, to major sporting events.

Australian education has a strong international reputation for excellence. Whether you study at a university, school, vocational or English language institute, you will receive a quality education that will form a strong foundation for your future success.

The benefits of living and learning in Australia are both personal and academic. Your years in Australia will give you the best platform to succeed in your career, and prepare you for the challenges of the work place. It won’t just be your mind that develops – your time in the classroom will change you as a person.

Australia. Where the living is good and the learning is world-class.
In Australia, you have the freedom to choose a path that suits your particular goals. There are thousands of courses on offer and whichever course you choose, you’ll experience a unique kind of education. Studying in Australia promotes innovative, creative and independent thinking. You’ll learn to work as part of a team, to communicate effectively with others, and to develop the practical skills and intellectual abilities you need for global success.

Australia is a technologically advanced society and you will study in an institution with great facilities. Australian classrooms are equipped with the latest technology and many institutions offer subjects online. Laptops are allowed in many lecture halls and classrooms.
As a popular English-speaking study destination, Australia has a long tradition of providing quality education and training from overseas. In 2008, more than 500,000 students from more than 200 countries chose to study with an Australian institution. Upon graduation, their qualifications will make them highly sought after by Australian and international employers.

It is also one of the best places to live. Australia is a young, vibrant, exciting country, where you’ll enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. Living costs and student fees are affordable and you can offset your living costs with part-time work while you study.

From major cities to regional towns, you will find enthusiasm for art and food blended with a love of sports and the outdoors. The opportunities to get involved in daily life are endless: whether you are a sports enthusiast or an art lover, the great outdoors or cosy cafes, you’ll find many ways to join in and have fun.

If you desire top quality education and good quality of life, Australia’s the place to be. Find out more at

Gain an international qualification
An education in Australia is a truly international experience. Our universities are linked to institutions in more than 100 countries. After graduating in Australia, you will be able to work in companies around the world. An Australian university will provide you with a sound understanding of your chosen field, along with academic skills that can be applied to other areas. You won’t just be learning about health, science, engineering, or the arts. You’ll also be learning to think creatively and independently.

The Australian higher education sector comprises 39 universities, plus a small number of specialist tertiary institutions. Additionally, some 100 institutions are accredited by state and territory governments to deliver specific courses, usually in association with a university. Australian universities and higher education institutions offer programs leading to Bachelor Degrees and beyond, in a diverse range of fields, from Architecture to Zoology.

Education quality is assured by an independent body called the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA). AUQA audits the activities of Australian universities in the country as well as offshore on a five-year cycle, ensuring institutions deliver what they promise.

Research and Innovation
Australian scientists and researchers have been responsible for major breakthroughs and technological advances around the world. Our best-known achievers have won international awards, including eight Nobel prizes. Research is conducted in every major discipline, by individuals and through collaborative efforts.

Australian universities play an important role within the global research community. Through their collaborations with public sector research agencies, industry and local communities across Australia and overseas institutions, Australian universities make an important contribution to our understanding of the world.

University campuses are spread across diverse locations throughout Australia, including all major capital cities. Rural and regional campuses are often located near research communities and have strengths in areas such as agriculture, veterinary science, environmental studies and water resource management.

Vocational Education and Training. A place where work and study meet.
Australia’s vocational education and training institutions offer the opportunity to hone your skills in real and simulated work environments. The practical expertise that you gain in the workplace will give you a genuine advantage over other graduates.

Programs are provided by public Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Institutes, private colleges and a number of schools and universities. Industry and Government work together to develop training outcomes, which are then implemented according to nationally endorsed training packages.

This allows you to apply knowledge learnt inside the classroom, outside in the real world. You learn by doing, rather than just reading from textbooks. Your initial qualification can be built on to achieve higher qualifications, provide the basis to begin or change a career, or assist with further study at university.

You can also use this training as a pathway to other avenues of higher education. Depending on your qualification, universities may provide you with credit towards a Degree. This gives you the practical skills as well as the theory from a university Degree. You’ll leave Australia with two qualifications that are recognised around the world – a major advantage over other graduates.

Australian Schools. Great places to grow up.
Australian schools encourage students to develop communication skills, self-discipline, problem solving abilities and respect for themselves, others and society. All schools take their responsibilities to students very seriously. Pupils are provided with support, supervision and regular encouragement.

Australian schools are places of personal, intellectual, and emotional growth. Teachers give students regular feedback about their studies and in-class behaviour. Parents have open access to information regarding their child’s progress and well being.

After finishing the final year of schooling, a student can enrol at universities or training institutions around the country. If, after enrolling in higher education, a student wants to change career paths, she can usually do so without completing another preparatory course. Australian secondary education provides students with the broad knowledge base they need to study any subject.

Schooling in Australia starts with a kindergarten or preparatory year followed by 12 years of primary and secondary school. Australia offers government and non-government schools. Some schools are co-educational, teaching boys and girls; others teach girls only or boys only.

One country. One qualification system.
Whether you are starting a new career or furthering an existing one, the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) makes planning your path to success easy.

The AQF links 15 school, vocational and university education qualifications into one national system. It allows for choice and flexibility in career planning. All qualifications in the AQF help you prepare for both further study and life in the workforce.

If you’re studying an AQF qualification, you can be sure that your institution is Government-authorised and nationally-accredited, and that your Degree or other AQF qualifications will be genuine.

The AQF makes it easy for overseas governments to recognise your qualification. When international employers see it, they will know what it stands for: a world-class education in a modern, democratic, and technologically advanced society.

The following diagram illustrates the structure of the AQF and pathways available. Find out more at or

Average Tuition Fees
The costs of studying in Australia compare favourably with those of other countries that provide education and training services to international students. Australia offers advantages for international students in both tuition and living costs.

* Lab Based Course    – A$13,000 – A$40,000 per year
* Non Lab Based Course    – A$8,500 – A$25,000 per year
* TAFE            – A$5,500 – A$18,000 per year
* Foundation        – A$7,000 – A$13,000 per course
* Secondary School    – A$9,000 – A$14,000 (not inclusive of boarding)
* English Language Training – A$2,500 – A$3,000 per 10 week course

Australian Academic Year
The academic year varies from institution to institution and from sector to sector. Some institutions may have one or several intakes per year, while others (particularly ELICOS and VET institutions) may have multiple/various entry.

University courses begin early in March and finish late in November. The year is divided into two semesters. Some universities run summer schools from December to February.

The standard academic year in Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes is from February to December. The duration of TAFE programs ranges from short courses to full-time courses lasting three years. Many courses have a mid year intake.

The secondary college and school academic year is divided into four terms and runs from late January/early February until December.

Cost of Living
As a guide, a single student will need between A$9,000 to A$12,000 per year (or A$1,000 per month) for living expenses. This includes rent, food, local transport, telephone, gas/electricity, school stationery, a small clothing allowance and limited entertainment. The amount quoted is an average and does not include air fares and course/tuition fees. Bear in mind that living costs will be more in larger cities such as Melbourne and Sydney than in non-metropolitan areas. The amount of money required will also be affected by your lifestyle, interests and the type of accommodation chosen.

If you are taking your family, then allow an extra A$3,000 for your spouse and A$1,700 per year for each child. You may have to pay full fees for dependents attending school in Australia, which may vary from A$8,000 to A$12,000 per year.

Where you live and how comfortably you are accommodated will affect your stay in Australia and your studies. Careful selection of your accommodation will ease the pressure of a new and somewhat strange environment. The accommodation options are many and varied:

* University Apartments – these are generally reserved for postgraduate students, visiting faculty and married students. They are usually self-contained and fully furnished.
* Homestay or Farmstay – an organised housing service which involves the student living with an Australian family. Rooms may be single or shared and the price will range accordingly. This style of accommodation is popular with younger students who are attending school, those studying short-term English courses and in other private colleges. Farmstay offers the same services in a rural setting.
* Full Board and Meals – similar to Homestay, this is a less formal arrangement organised through many university housing offices. Students will negotiate their accommodation with the family or tenant with whom they are staying.
* University Residential Colleges – are usually on-campus and provide accommodation with meals. They are slightly more expensive than university Halls of Residence. Sporting and social facilities, tutoring, libraries and (generally) computer access are also provided.

International students are permitted to work on a casual basis (up to 20 hours per week during course time and full-time during vacation periods) provided this does not interfere with the study program. Since April 2008, work rights have been included as part of the student visas granted by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). Casual work should NOT be used as a means for financing studies in Australia. Not only are jobs difficult to find, there may be times when your study commitments mean you cannot afford the time to work.

Overseas Student Health Cover
International students are required to organise Overseas Student Health Cover (OHSC) for the duration of the student visa.

OHSC pays 85% of the scheduled Government fee for medical services that do not take place in a hospital and 100% of the scheduled fee for treatment in a shared ward in any public hospital. It also pays 100% of the charge for emergency ambulance transport, for the provision of acute medical attention, which is required immediately, is of an unforseen nature and is provided by a registered medical or paramedical practitioner.

Most universities and colleges have medical clinics on campus. You should check with your institution to see what health care services and advice it provides.

The Endeavour Awards is an initiative of the Australian Government to promote sustainable development and excellence in education in the Asia-Pacific region. The range of awards available will provide educational, research and professional development opportunities to support growth in the region and to build enduring links at the individual, institutional and country levels. Over five years, beginning in 2006, the number of awards available will double to 19,000. The initiative continues the spirit of the Colombo Plan which greatly enhanced common purpose and mutual understanding in the Asia-Pacific region. Malaysians are eligible to apply under the Endeavour Awards, which focuses on strengthening education linkages, skills and knowledge throughout the region and showcases Australia’s excellence in education, science and training.

For more information, please visit

Alumni Relations
Australian alumni relations date back to the early days of Colombo Plan, where many Malaysian students studied in Australia from the 1950s to the 1980s. To date, some 250,000 Malaysians have graduated from Australian institutions and the education relationship between Australia and Malaysia is a healthy and fruitful one.

The Malaysian Australian Alumni Council (MAAC) plays an important role as the national organisation for Malaysian alumni associations of Australian institutions. MAAC maintains a listing of all registered alumni associations in Malaysia. Graduates should take the opportunity to participate in alumni activities of upon their return to Malaysia.

For More Information Contact:
AEI Malaysia
Australian High Commission
6 Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603-2146 5647
Fax: 603-2145 7807