STUDY ABROAD – AUSTRALIA
Australia is a land of opportunities with an expanding economy, rapid infrastructure development and dynamic multicultural society with 25% of its population born overseas. It is an English speaking country with no local dialect. In the past decade Australian education has gained international recognition and acclaim and today boosts of providing world class courses in science, engineering, hospitality, health sciences, business and agriculture. Australian National University, University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, Monash University, University of New South Wales, RMIT, are some of the top class Australian educational establishments.
Australia boosts of government universities/colleges, public funded and private funded universities. Vocational colleges and training schools find a well-coveted place in education system accounting for 51% student intake as against 47% for university education.
The educational institutions offer certificate level, diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate and research level courses with unique pathways linking diploma to degree programs.
The Australian Government does not offer any rankings for universities. However, it is mandatory for each educational establishment to strictly adhere to the quality assurance measures.
Australia has a flexible education system offering tailor made programs for most student profiles. The large number of foundation courses, bridging and pathway programs provide students with an easy gateway to university education.
For admissions to Bachelor’s program the student needs to complete 12 years of education with a sound academic record and obtain requisite scores in IELTS (International English Language System). However, if you fail to meet the selection criteria for a particular course, most universities offer a foundation course, which prepares you for the undergraduate program, and also reserves a provisional place in your proposed program of study.
Australia, unlike USA, accepts 3 years bachelor’s degree for admission to most of its masters programs. Completion of undergraduate degree in allied field, interest and aptitude for the subject, work experience (if applicable), and fulfillment of English language requirement are some of the admission requirements. The universities also offer Bridging courses for students who are not directly eligible for masters program.
Admissions to MBA program requires the candidate to have at least 2-3 years of managerial experience, consistently good secondary and post secondary academic performance and valid GMAT score.
English Language requirement:
Most courses require the students to obtain 6.0 bands in IELTS. However, some may require a higher score of 6.5 or 7.0 bands. Moreover, if a student fails to get the required IELTS score he can take up an ELICOS program.
Majority of the Australian Universities commence their intakes in February and mid year intakes in July. Nonetheless, some private and public funded universities work on a trimester basis with intakes in January, May and September. The students need to fill up the application form (paper-based or online) of the concerned university and course, send the relevant documents including marks sheets, degree certificates, experience letters and reference letters. The admission process takes around 4-6 months. Once a student receives his admission letter he proceeds to pay the first semester tuition fees to obtain the Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE).
Tuition & Living Costs:
Education in Australia is comparatively less expensive than USA and UK. University fees for undergraduate program ranges from 10000 –20000 AUD a year, for masters and doctoral programs from 12000 – 25000 AUD p.a. and graduate diplomas from 9000-15000 AUS a year. Living costs are variable and depend much on the city of residence. 9000-12000 AUD p.a. can be taken as a rough range for living expenses. In addition, all international students are required to pay for the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of their study period in Australia
Australia offers very little by way of scholarships or education grants. Besides most of the grants are confined to postgraduate studies and the competition for the award is intense. Hence majority of the international students are full fee paying students.
The students are allowed to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during semester and full time during vacation periods. The earnings enable the student to pay for a part of their costs.
Student Visa for Australia takes around 1-2 months if applying online and 3-4 months if applying in person. It’s a drop box visa and as a rule does not involve appearing for an interview at the Australian High Commission office. The student after receiving the Confirmation of Enrolment proceeds to apply for his visa. The student has to fill the application forms 157a, Student Information Sheet, Additional information sheet, prepare a student financial statement, attach all his financial documents, academic certificates, test score report, experience certificates, Statement of Purpose and extra documents. The student has to submit all these documents along with the visa fees for Pre Visa Assessment (PVA). In case of Online application the PVA is done by Australian High Commission authorized agent and the payment of Visa fees is done through credit card and in case of applying in person PVA is done by Australian High Commission. Once the PVA has been completed satisfactorily the student is required to go for medical examination by a panel doctor who sends the sealed reports directly to the Australian High Commission. After receipt of medical reports starts the process of visa file review, which takes around 1 month, and if the approval is given the student needs to send his passport for stamping of visa.
On successful completion of two years of full time studies, the student is allowed to stay and work full time in Australia for a period of two years. The period is called temporary residency (TR). During TR the student has to make sure that he works in the same or allied subject field in which he has graduated. After TR, depending on his academic records, IELTS scores, and work profile if he gathers required 120 points for skilled migration, he becomes eligible for permanent residency (PR).