Facts About Australia

  • Australia has a well developed education system with participation rates and secondary school completion rates among the highest in the world.
  • Like many countries, Australia's education system is broadly divided into three broad areas: primary school, secondary and tertiary education school.
  • Tertiary education in Australia is different to many other countries in that it is divided into two sectors; Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education.
  • Australia's higher education sector is world class and all Australia's universities have highly active and comprehensive international programs.
  • Universities in Australia have been welcoming international students for more than a century.
  • Australia is a world leader in the provision of education to international students. More than 400,000 students from around 200 countries receive an Australian education each year.
  • All Australian university degrees are nominally of equal quality.
  • Australia's education system provides for flexible access to higher education.
  • Another option for international students wishing to attend an Australian university is through a Foundation Studies program. These programs are designed specifically for overseas students.
  • There are 39 Australian universities, and many other recognized higher education institutions, located in capital cities and many regional centers.
  • Australian courses are of very high quality and recognized worldwide by employers and other institutions.
  • The academic year in Australia comprises two semesters; the first begins in February and the second begins in July.
  • By completing the relevant course in Australia student can find the other progressive routes like work permit for making his career fruitful.
  • As an international student on a student visa, student must study with an institution and in a course that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)

Location and Geography


Australia is an island continent of approximately 7.7 million square kilometers, making it the sixth-largest country in the world. Located between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean, it is the oldest, lowest (apart from Antarctica), and driest continent.

Because of its unique and varied geography, it is an archaeologist’s delight, with landforms dating back millions of years. Australia is mostly flat, but has some notable mountains and long beaches. Canberra is the capital.

History and Population

Aboriginal peoples settled Australia about 60,000 years ago – there were many distinct languages and dialects, and customs varied greatly from region to region. British settlement began in 1788, and for a time Australia was actually used as a penal colony (the first fleet of convicts arrived January 26, 1788, and the country still marks this occasion on that date with a holiday called Australia Day). The penal era ended in 1868. The settlement developed into six self-governing colonies which federated in 1901 to form Australia, a nation founded on ideals of egalitarianism, human rights, harmony, and democracy. Since the 1950s, large numbers of displaced people have immigrated to Australia, and this has had a profound effect on its society and culture.

The population is more than 21 million, and is highly urbanized. Just over 60% of Australians live in the main cities and almost 80% within 100 kimometres of a major city. Nearly one in four Australians were born overseas. Australia is predominantly a Christian country, with English the official language. It is a member of the British Commonwealth.

Society and Culture

Australian society is safe, friendly, sophisticated, and harmonious. Many ethnic groups are represented in Australia, making it one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. The country’s proximity to the Asia-Pacific region also influences its culture, economy, and lifestyle. The government of Australia describes the values underpinning the Australian way of life as:

  • Respect for equal worth, dignity and freedom of the individual
  • Freedom of speech and association, religion, and a secular government
  • Support for parliamentary democracy and the rule of law
  • Equality under the law
  • Equality of men and women
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Peacefulness
  • A spirit of egalitarianism that embraces tolerance, mutual respect, and compassion for those in need.

There are many ways to take part in Australian culture, from enjoying the vibrant dining out scene to barbequing on a beach, and from taking in a world-class theatre event to throwing on a backpack and doing a scenic hike. Surfing and other water activities are also highlights of Australia. It’s been said that Australia is an easy place to be a tourist even on a limited budget.

Cost of Living

Living conditions in Australia are generally quite good. Australia consistently ranks in the top five or ten in the world when it comes to quality of life indexes (e.g., The Economist’s) or human development indexes (e.g., The United Nations’). Housing and accommodation is of good quality, public transport is available, food and water are high quality, and many public amenities are accessible. Students can experience a wide range of leisure and sporting activities, and can expect low crime rates and a safe environment.

Tuition fees range from $A5,500 to $30,000 per year. The average fee is approximately $9,000 per year. Health coverage is $380 per year. Accommodation costs $70–400 per week. Other costs are variable but similar to the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

Education System

Education in Australia is the duty of the state governments. Education is divided into three tiers: primary, secondary, and post-secondary/tertiary. Up to the age of around 15 or 16, education is compulsory; this age is determined by each state. The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), a unified system of national qualifications of schools, vocational training and education, regulates post-compulsory education and the higher education sector.

Primary school and secondary school take up to 12 years, with years 1–6/7 for primary schooling and years 7/8–12 for secondary. While school education is compulsory up to age 15 or 16 (year 9 or 10), most students continue and finish in year 12 so they can study for the government-endorsed Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. This certificate is recognized for entry into all Australian universities, vocational education and training institutions, and many international universities.

Post-secondary education comprises two sectors: vocational/technical education and higher education. Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector must meet the nationally agreed standards of the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF). In 2007, nearly 108,000 international students were enrolled in VET courses in Australia.

Information Specific to International Students

Australia ranked third in top study abroad destinations with a total market value of over 5 billion AUD (3.47 billion USD) generated by international students in 2018.[1] In 2018, 869,709 international students were enrolled in educational programs in Australia, which was about 8.8% higher than the amount in 2017 (799,371). They come to gain a high-quality education, possibly immigrate, or to experience a different life. Each year, many new international students will enroll in Australian courses and add to the already significant international student body around the country.

Australia has the highest ratio of international students per capita in the world by a large margin. In 2019, international students represented an average 26.7% of the student body population in Australian universities. International education therefore represents one of the country’s largest exports and has a pronounced influence on the country’s demographics, with a significant proportion of international students remaining in Australia after graduation on various skill and employment visas.

According to data released by the Departure of Education and Training of the Australian Government, China is the most significant source of international students to Australia. India had the second largest proportion of the enrollments, followed by Brazil, Nepal and Malaysia.

Registered Institutions

Australia List of CRICOS Registered Institutions