Download our guides Your Next Career Accommodation Money and banking Cost of living Visas Employment Health and safety Language Life in Australia Studying Getting around Travel Advertise

A Quick Guide to the Aussie Education System

australian education system

If you’re thinking of moving to Australia to study, it’s vital that you first understand how the Australian education system works. Here are the most important things international students need to know about studying in Australia.

Australian Qualifications Framework 

One important way in which the Australian education system differs from other countries is the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

This national system allows students to move between different levels of study, while guaranteeing that the educational institution is government-authorised and the degree is genuine. 

The AQF allows students to move between institutions in Australia (even international students, so long as they meet the requirements of their visa). This even includes study at some international institutions thanks to the formal agreements that AQF has with educational bodies in different countries. 

Types of study in Australia

The Australian education system is uniform across the states and territories of Australia, and is split into three different levels: 

Primary education – The Australian primary school period runs for 7-8 years, from kindergarten to either year 6 or 7. 

Secondary education – The secondary schooling system in Australia typically runs from years 7 or 8 through to year 10. After completing year 10, Australian students enter the ‘senior secondary school’ period, which lasts for two years, from year 11 to 12. 

Tertiary education – The tertiary education system in Australia encompasses forms of higher education, including universities and vocational education and training (VET). 

Quality of education in Australia

Australia’s education system, particularly on the tertiary level, has a fantastic (and continually growing) global reputation. This year, 12 Australian universities featured in the top 200 and seven Australian universities featured in the top 100 globally

If you’re a future international student, Australia has the quality of higher education to match your aspirations! 

Comparing Australian education to other countries 

Australia consistently ranks alongside the US and the UK in terms of quality of education. However, it is important for future international students to keep in mind that there are some differences between how the Australian school and university systems teach in comparison to other countries. 

The Australian university system uses a mix of tutorials and lectures, a system that combines elements of both the UK and US tertiary education systems. In addition to quality education, students often choose to study in Australia because of its relaxed, beach lifestyle; attractive cities such as Melbourne and Sydney are constantly ranked among the world’s most liveable cities. 

For more information on the comparisons between the education systems in Australia, the US and the UK, check out our article here

Cost of education in Australia

The cost of education in Australia will vary depending on several factors. The cost of university courses varies between different universities and states, so it is always important to closely research the costs of education at the university to which you’re applying. In 2018, the average tuition fee was around AU$30,840 per year for international undergraduates and around AU$31,596 per year for international postgraduates. 

In addition to course costs, it’s also important to take into account the cost of living while studying in Australia. This will depend upon your choice of international student accommodation, your state of choice, and where your accommodation is located in your state. 

Qualifications recognised in Australia

Admission to Australian universities is determined by individual institutions, so it is the university itself that will determine which qualifications it recognises.

If your qualification needs to be translated into English, the institution will make you aware of this during your application process.