University Education in Australia

Going to Uni – An Australian Government website aimed at providing all the information required for students going to University in Australia – www.goingtouni.gov.au

Domestic Students in University

There are two types of higher education providers places offered to domestic students:

Commonwealth supported (previously known as a HECS place)

You only make a contribution towards the cost of your education (known as the student contribution) while the Australian Government contributes the majority of the cost.

Fee-paying (non-Commonwealth supported).

If you are not Commonwealth supported, you will pay tuition fees which are not subsidised by the Australian Government.

Comparative educational outcomes: UK/Australia

The Australian senior secondary program is often less specialised than a UK A-level program, and individual subjects may differ in content or depth.

The National Academic Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC) advises that the senior secondary certificates of the Australian states and territories are generally considered to satisfy entrance requirements of British universities if a tertiary entrance score/rating at a specified level has been achieved.

It is a matter for individual UK universities to determine whether the Australian program meets the institutions specific prerequisite subject requirements.

Australian universities regard UK A levels as a Year 12 qualification for admission purposes.

International Students in University
  • All holders of temporary visas will be classed as International students, and pay FULL fees, with no government support, or loans.
  • Some student in most States, but not ACT or NSW, may find this unusual as they may have been used to normal schooling being covered in the same way as Permanent Residents.

However, for some reason, all States other than ACT and NSW allow some temporary Visa holders to access compulsory schooling without charges, other than the same fees that a Citizen or Resident would pay.
This changes after the COMPULSORY phase of education ends, and all students on temporary visas are then treated as International students.

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Study Costs

Eligible students have access to deferred payment arrangements through the Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP).

The HELP scheme consists of three loans:

  • HECS-HELP (To end January 2016)
  • OS-HELP (only available to undergraduates).
Australian citizens
  • Receive a Commonwealth contribution towards costs
  • Receive a Government loan toward the remaining costs
  • Receive a 20% HECS-HELP discount for:
  • – full up-front payments, or
  • – partial up-front payments of $500 or more.

from 1 January 2016, the Australian Government will remove the upfront HECS-HELP discount for eligible students that pay their student contributions upfront and the voluntary HELP repayment bonus of five per cent.

Other Permanent Visa holders
  • Receive a Commonwealth contribution towards costs
  • No loans – full up-front payment only.
Non-Permanent Visa Holders
  • International Student Prices apply, with no Commonwealth contribution.

With a “HECS-HELP” loan, the Australian Government pays the loan amount directly to your higher education provider on your behalf.
The HECS-HELP debt is then recorded for you with the Tax Office against your Tax File Number, and is repaid by you through your future earnings.

Full details at:

Examples of Normal Annual Fees

2011 Student contribution range (per EFTSL) after Commonwealth contribution:

  • Band 3: Up to $9,080 : Law, dentistry, medicine, veterinary science, accounting, administration, economics, commerce.
  • Band 2: Up to $7,756 : Computing, built environment, health (allied health and other health), engineering, surveying, agriculture.
  • Band 1: Up to $5,442 : Humanities, behavioural science (including clinical psychology), social studies, foreign languages, visual and performing arts, education, nursing.
  • National priorities: Up to $4,355 : Mathematics, statistics and science.

These figures can be double checked at:

2009 Student contribution range, after Commonwealth contribution:

  • Band 3: up to $8,677 : Law, dentistry, medicine, veterinary science, accounting, administration, economics, commerce
  • Band 2: up to $7,412 : Computing, built environment, health, engineering, surveying, agriculture.
  • Band 1: up to $5,201 : Humanities, behavioural science, social studies, foreign languages, visual and performing arts
  • National priorities: up to $4,162 : Education, nursing, Mathematics, statistics and science
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