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A Guide to Post Secondary Australian Education System for International Students

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  • read time3 min Read
  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Dec 16,2023 03:47 PM IST

Australia’s education system ranks among the world’s finest, attracting millions of international students annually. Renowned for their high standards and expert educators- it is essential for aspiring students to stay updated. This blog is a guide for students aspiring to study in Australia, how the education system works and much more.

australia education system.webpAustralia is ranked third globally as a leading education destination, home to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra, the some of the top student cities in the world. Australia boasts world class academic offerings along with promising post-graduation work opportunities. With numerous compelling reasons to choose Australia as your study abroad destination, gaining insight into the Australian education system is essential for making an informed decision. 

Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) 

The Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) is a national system for classifying qualifications across all education and training sectors in Australia. The level of education in Australia is like a ladder that goes from basic education (Level 1) to the highest doctoral degree (Level 10). 

AQF provides a common reference point for comparing qualifications and understanding the skills required for each level.

Australian education system.webp

Higher Education in Australia

When it comes to higher education in Australia  students usually take one of the two paths:

1. University Education with focus on academic knowledge and research.
2. Vocational Education and Training (VET), which takes a more hands on and skill oriented route. 

University Education 

Australia hosts some of world’s leading universities and is a sought after destination for international students looking to study abroad. Apart from being an ideal study destination Australia is also an economic country with an affordable cost of living, easy post-graduation work opportunities and globally recognised degrees. 

Aspiring students can pursue a range of degrees with a vast selection of programs in the Australian universities

• Diploma 
• Bachelor’s Degree 
• Master’s Degree 
• Doctorate 

Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Australia 

VET programs are a diverse range of educational training courses. Vocational Education and Training programs are all about honing practical skills that are directly applicable in the workplace. Whether one is interested in business, marketing, IT, engineering or art and media, VET has a program for every student. 

VET programs last anywhere between 6 months to 2 years and are more cost effective as compared to full time university courses. VET is like a stepping stone for the students after the completion of which, they can either directly join the workforce and start their careers or pursue their education further in Universities. 

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

ASQA is the national vocational training and education regulator, that keeps a close eye on all the VET programs and providers to ensure the students are receiving expert training guidance, whether they are in a government run Technical and Further Education (TAFE)  institution, or a privately owned Registered Training Organisation (RTO).



Starts late January to early February Starts late February to early March
Takes a minimum of 3-4 years full time to complete Can take anywhere between 6 months to 2 years 
The fees are on a higher end Cost effective 

How does the Australian education system differ from other countries?

The Australian education system is better than other countries as it is well designed and properly structured compared to other countries, providing students a clear understanding and opportunity of a successful future. 

The Australian education system owes its unique structure and popularity to the Australian Qualification Framework (AFQ). Adopted in 1995 AFQ is a policy implemented by the Australian government that specifies the standards of qualifications for education in the country dividing their education into levels of 10. The level of education in Australia goes from primary education (Level 1) to the highest doctoral degree (Level 10). AFQ regulated degrees are recognised and authorised by the Australian government and accepted worldwide. 

Australian education System in comparison to Indian Education system 

Both the Indian and Australian education system prepare students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workforce. Though both systems share many commonalities, it is crucial for international students aspiring to pursue their degree in Australia to have a clear understanding of all the differences to better prepare themselves and make informed decisions about their education abroad.

AspectAustralian Education SystemIndian Education System
Academic Focus   Competency basedContent based 
Academic Intake2 intakes primary: February/March Secondary : July/AugustMost Indian institutes only have one annual intake starting June/July. 
CurriculumFreedom customise course options, choose elective subjects and transfer credits Mostly fixed curriculum with limited elective and credit transfer options 
Evaluation MethodsDiverse assessment methods, throughout the semester. Final exams often carry significant weightage over practical assessment. 

Academic intakes in Australia

Universities in Australia offer various intakes throughout the year, catering to the diverse needs and varying preferences of the incoming international students, giving them the flexibility to access programs as per their availability and academic call. 

There majorly two academic intakes in Australia, but some universities also offer three annual intakes each with their own unique benefits. 

academic intakes in australia.webp


The Australian education system is well designed, helping students navigate their way to success with ease. Students can expect quality education and faculty. Programs like Vocational Education and Training, teaching real word skills that prepare students to delve directly in the work field. With countless part time opportunities and easy post-graduation work permits, Australia stands out as the absolute study abroad destination. Explore the endless opportunities of success with Canam study abroad experts. Connect with our overseas consultants for a smooth admission guidance. 


The university fees in Australia like any other country depending on various factors, such as the university to the program chosen and geographic location among others. The average tuition fee in Australia for a bachelor’s degree ranges from AUD 10,000 to AUD 50,000 approximately whereas a master’s degree starts approximately from AUD 15,000 and can go as high as AUD 75,000 annually. 
Australian Universities provide a range of scholarships for international students, from various merit based grants to institutional/course specific scholarships. Apart from the university scholarships students can also apply several government and private scholarships. Connect with Canam to know more about the grants, scholarships and bursaries available for international students in Australian universities. 
Australia allows their international students with a valid student visa (subclass 500) to work part time for 20 hours a week during their semester, however there is no time limit to working for the international students during vacations. 
Yes, all VET providers such as government funded Training and Further Education (TAFE) and private Registered Training Organisations (RTO) are open to international students, provided they meet the institute’s requirements along with a valid student visa and an overseas student health cover (OSHC). 
Students aspiring to pursue their undergraduate in Australia need to score 5.5 in each of the four IELTS bands with an overall minimum score of 6.0. If the student is not able to clear their English proficiency test, they can also enrol for a pathway program in Australia designed to help international students meet the academic and English language proficiency requirements. 

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