The European Education Directory
Home Degree Course Search Education Systems Contact


Structure of Educational System
Pre-higher Education System
Higher Education System
Administrative structure of higher education  
Admissions to Higher Education and Recognition


Types of higher education institutions:


Technical and Further Education (TAFE) College

Private Training Establishment


School leaving and higher education credentials:

Junior Secondary Certificate of Education (First Cycle)

Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Second Cycle)

Certificate I, II, III and IV


Advanced Diploma

Bachelor Degree

Bachelor Honours Degree

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Diploma

Master Degree

Master Honours Degree


Higher Doctorate




Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:

Age of entry: 6

Age of exit: 15

Structure of school system:


Type of school providing this education: Government and Non-Government Primary Schools

Length of program in years: 6

Age level from: 6 to: 12

Junior Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Government or Non-Government Co-Educational Comprehensive/Multi-Purpose High School

Length of program in years: 4

Age level from: 12 to: 16

Certificate/diploma awarded: Junior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 10 Certificate)

Senior Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Government./Non-Government Co-Educational Comprehensive/Multi-Purpose High School/Senior College

Length of program in years: 2

Age level from: 16 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12 Certificate)

School education:

Primary and Secondary education in Australia is delivered through both government and non-government providers. State and Territory governments have major responsibility for government school education and contribute substantially to funds for non-government schools. Most students are enrolled in government schools which operate under the direct responsibility of the State or Territory Education Minister, while the rest choose non-government schooling. The Federal Government's role with respect to schooling includes the provision of significant supplementary financial support to government and non-government school authorities to support agreed priorities and strategies. Schooling is compulsory from age 6 to 15 in all States except Tasmania, where it extends to 16. However, in most States, children start primary school at the age of 5 when they enrol in preparatory or kindergarten year, after which primary education continues for either six or seven years, depending on the State. Secondary education is available for either five or six years, depending on the State and the length of primary education. Students usually commence their secondary schooling when aged 12 or 13, reaching year 12 at 17 or 18.Links between the education and training sectors have been strengthened, partially through the introduction of the Australian Qualifications Framework ( which is a unified system of twelve national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training (Technical And Further Education Colleges and private providers) and the higher education sector (mainly universities). The Framework links together all these qualifications and is a highly visible, quality-assured national system of educational recognition, which promotes lifelong learning and a seamless and diverse education and training system.

Higher education:

The main purposes of Australian higher education are to enable individuals to develop their capabilities for effective participation in the workforce, for constructive contributions to society and for personal growth and fulfilment; to advance knowledge and understanding; aid the application of knowledge and understanding to the benefit of the economy and the society; enable individuals to adapt and learn, consistent with the needs of an adaptable knowledge-based economy at local, regional and national levels; and contribute to a democratic, civilised society. Australian universities are autonomous self-accredited institutions established by Federal, State or Territory legislation. The first universities were established in four of the original colonies - the University of Sydney in 1850; the University of Melbourne in 1853; the University of Adelaide in 1874 and the University of Tasmania in 1890. The University of Queensland and the University of Western Australia were established soon after Federation in 1901, while other universities and colleges were founded between the World Wars and in the 1960s. Australia's first private university was established in 1987.In 1988, the Federal Government introduced sweeping changes that restructured and reformed publicly-funded higher education, harnessing it more closely to the needs of the economy. The previous structure of the higher education system (with a division into two groups, universities and colleges of advanced education was replaced by a single "Unified National System" (UNS).There are currently 39 universities (including two private universities) and 7 other higher education institutions funded by the Commonwealth Government. There is also a wide range of private higher education institutions, including theological colleges and providers with specialist interests in particular artistic and vocational fields. Comprehensive information on the institutions and the courses they offer may be found at and funded universities obtain their income from a number of sources:  government, course fees, industry investment, bequests and commercial activity. The Federal Government introduced the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) in 1989 in order to recover from students some of the cost of higher education studies.  HECS is administered by the Department of Education, Science and Training and the actual amount that a student contributes through HECS represents about 24% of average course costs. The HECS contribution applies to Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens enrolled in a higher education course that has been funded by the Federal Government.(Overseas students other than New Zealanders are charged fees set at a full cost recovery level). Higher education is administered at the Federal level through the Department of Education, Science and Training which has responsibility for higher education policy development and programme administration.

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:

Decree: Higher Education Funding Act Year: 1988

Concerns: Regulates Federal Government provision of funding to universities

Decree: University Establishment Acts

Concerns: State or Territory legislation to establish universities and regulate their name

Academic year:

Classes from: Mar to: Nov

Long vacation from: 1 Dec to: 28 Feb

Languages of instruction: English

Stages of studies:

Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level:

Vocational education and training (VET) is the term used in Australia to describe the sector which prepares Australians of all ages for employment and to improve the knowledge and skills of those already in the workforce.  Since the late 1990s VET has been available in all three sectors of the education system—school, postsecondary and higher education—but the most important of these is at the postsecondary level.  VET is competency-based and is a flexible system that can be undertaken through multiple pathways, allowing people to move between different levels of education -including school, postsecondary and higher education and the workplace. It is provided as institution-based training or workplace-based training or a combination of both, and results in qualifications which are nationally recognised. Programmes and assessment can be undertaken full-time in preparation for employment, part-time, or in conjunction with employment. Entry is based on the skills required to undertake the programme or assessment. VET includes para-professional and professional level education across a wide spectrum of occupations, a broad range of employment-specific skills, and craft or trade training associated with the traditional apprenticeships.The postsecondary vocational education and training sector is diverse and includes government-funded Technical and Further Education (TAFE) colleges and other Government providers (public registered training organisations), private registered training organisations, and community-based registered training organisations.  These training organisations provide a wide range of vocational training for trade, technical, professional and para-professional occupations as well as a range of adult education, leisure and general enrichment programmes. In general terms the programmes offered lead to Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Advanced Diplomas, Diplomas, and Certificates I-IV. Statements of Attainment, Certificates of Proficiency and Certificates of Competency may also be issued. Responsibility for Vocational Education and Training (VET) rests with the Australian States and Territories.  They have responsibility for the administration and delivery of vocational education and training within their jurisdictions, and have legislative responsibility for issuing qualifications. The States and Territories allocate public funding to the public TAFE colleges and registered community-based and private providers of VET. They are also responsible for the administration of TAFE colleges.  As a national system, VET is also supported by the Federal Government and major industry bodies. The Ministerial Council (MINCO) of Federal, State and Territory Ministers responsible for VET makes decisions on national objectives and priorities, and strategic policy and planning (including funding).  The Federal Government, through the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), promotes national consistency and coherence in the provision of VET and provides advice on national VET issues. The Australian National Training Authority (ANTA), which commenced operations in 1994, is a statutory authority established by agreement of the Federal, State and Territory Governments to develop a national system of Vocational Education and Training. ANTA works with governments, industry training advisory bodies, and public and private VET providers to ensure the national Vocational Education and Training system is responsive to industry and national needs. It provides support for MINCO and is responsible for the development of and advice on national policy, goals and objectives.ANTA is responsible for preparing the national strategy for Vocational Education and Training, providing advice on the distribution of Federal funding to the States and Territories, overseeing the continuing development, management and promotion of the National Training Framework, conducting policy reviews, evaluations and research on national priorities, and administering programmes requiring national delivery. ANTA administers Federal Government funding to the States and Territories for VET and negotiates annual VET plans with each State and Territory Training Authority for endorsement by MINCO. ANTA is overseen by an industry-based board which is appointed by MINCO.  Industry Training Advisory Bodies (ITABs) provide links between industry and VET.  They provide governments with advice from industry and develop industry training plans. They develop and maintain Training Packages to meet the needs of industry. There are some 23 national ITABs recognised by ANTA as well as six industry-representative recognised bodies, and about 130 State and Territory ITABs. The ANTA website ( includes the National Training Information Service (NTIS), a database of VET accredited courses, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), competency standards, Training Packages, and information on the VET system.


University level studies:

University level first stage: Undergraduate Studies:

Access to undergraduate education is through the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. The main stage of university education  leads to the Bachelor's Degree. Undergraduate studies last between three years (Arts, Science, Commerce), four years (Education, Engineering), five years (Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Architecture) and six years (Medicine and Surgery) full-time. Arts and Science faculties usually offer either a Bachelor Degree (Pass) obtained in three years or a Bachelor's Degree (Honours) obtained in four years; candidates for the latter undertake extra work in their speciality. An Honours Degree is normally required for access to higher degrees.

University level second stage: Postgraduate Studies:

A graduate with a Bachelor's Degree can proceed to a one- to two-year postgraduate course leading to a Postgraduate Diploma in a particular subject. A student who has qualified for a Bachelor's Degree (Honours) at a sufficiently high level may proceed to study for the Master's Degree which constitutes the second stage of higher education. This Degree may be obtained after one year (Pass Degree) or two years (Honours Degree) of full-time study. It may be awarded either for full research-based activity or for courses of study combining research, project and course-work in varying proportions. In Medicine and Engineering, a period of practical training is usually required before the student qualifies for the Master's Degree. Alternatively, a student who has qualified for a Bachelor's Degree (Honours) at a sufficiently high level may proceed to study for a Doctorate (usually PhD: Doctor of Philosophy). The PhD is undertaken by thesis after research and normally requires a minimum of three years of full-time study.

University level third stage: Higher Doctorate:

Many faculties award a Higher Doctorate in Science (DSsc) or Humanities (DLitt) upon submission of published work representing a substantial contribution to knowledge in a particular field.


Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

There are no national requirements for the teaching profession in Australia. States and Territories have responsibility for those universities within their jurisdictions that offer teacher education, although the Federal Government is the main source of funding for those institutions. The responsibility for school systems and the employment of teachers lies with both government and non-government education authorities in each State and Territory.  Each of the States and Territories has specific requirements for employment as a teacher in primary and secondary schools under their jurisdiction.Programmes for preparatory or pre-primary teachers are often referred to as early childhood education/teaching programmes.  They provide education in the care and teaching of children from birth to 8 years of age, or from age 3 to 8 years. They usually cover child care education, preschool teacher education, preparatory/pre-primary teacher education and education for the early years of primary school. Programmes may be at the undergraduate or postgraduate level. The most common awards are a Bachelor of  Education (Early Childhood Education) or a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, both of which require 4 years of full-time study. Alternatively, students who have already completed a 3-year Bachelor degree in a discipline other than education may complete a 1- or 2-year Graduate Diploma of Education (Early Childhood Education).Primary teacher education programmes provide education to teach children from ages 5 to 12 in years 1 to 6 or 7 or primary school. The programmes generally offer a balance of professional and curriculum studies to foster the intellectual, physical and social development of children. Students follow a four-year course leading to a Bachelor of Education (Primary). Alternatively, students who have already completed a Bachelor degree in a field other than education may complete a one- or two-year Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary) or a two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Education (Primary). These programmes provide a combination of professional studies in education and methodology and supervised teaching practice in primary curriculum subjects. There are also a number of four-year combined degrees such as the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Primary) and Bachelor of Applied Science/Bachelor of Education (Primary) which combine primary education studies with studies in a discipline related to teaching. There are also some programmes which prepare teachers to teach at both primary and secondary school - for example, the Bachelor of Education (Upper Primary/Lower Secondary) and Bachelor of Education (Primary and Secondary).

Training of secondary school teachers

Secondary teacher education programmes provide education to teach pupils of around 12 to 18 in Years 6 or 7 to Year 12 of secondary school. Students follow programmes that provide a balance of integrated professional studies and curriculum studies in one or two disciplines in key learning areas appropriate for both the lower and upper years of secondary schooling. Programmes may be at the undergraduate or graduate levels. The most common undergraduate award is the Bachelor of Education (Secondary) which requires four years of full-time study. Students who have already completed a Bachelor degree in a relevant curriculum area may complete a two-year full-time Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary) or a two-year full-time Bachelor of Education (Secondary). These programmes provide a combination of professional studies in education and methodology and supervised teaching practice in subjects appropriate to the first degree. There are also a number of combined degrees such as the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education which combine secondary teaching education studies with study in a discipline relevant to secondary school.Teachers of Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses in schools are expected to be competent to conduct education and training programmes and to assess skills based on the industry-endorsed competency standards in the Training Packages developed by Australian industry bodies and endorsed under the National Training Framework (NTF). Teachers usually have qualifications and substantial employment experience in a specialised field covered by the NTF and hold the minimum of an Australian Quality Framework Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training. Educational authorities also require teaching qualifications up to Bachelor degree level. The establishment of Vocational Education and Training in schools is relatively recent and only a few courses are currently available.


Non-traditional studies:

Distance higher education

Distance education has been a feature of higher education in Australia for at least 80 years.  The geographic size of Australia and the relatively few large population centres in early years meant that for many distance education provided the only opportunity they had to gain a university degree.  Traditionally, distance education was text-based, but Australia has been an early adopter of new education technologies and while text is still important, universities use a range of delivery modes, including on-line courses, email, telephone, video-conferencing, web TV, radio and television.  Many courses are multi-modal in terms of delivery and with increasing numbers of metropolitan students, the term flexible delivery is more commonly used than distance education.In 2000, there were a total of 95,360 students studying at Australian universities through distance education arrangements, and of these 85,284 resided in Australia.  Distance education students represent just under 14% of the total university enrolment in Australia. With the growth of on-line services, on-campus and distance education students can enrol in courses, receive lectures and tutorial materials, gain access to libraries and other university services and submit assignments on-line. Students studying via distance education at Australian universities receive the same degrees as their on-campus counterparts and degrees obtained following study in this mode receive the same level of recognition by employers and from other universities as the basis of admission to further study.Open Learning Australia (OLA) is an alternative way of providing higher education and vocational education and training courses. It is owned and operated by a consortium of universities and acts as a broker between students and provider institutions in Australia. It arranges bridging units, vocational education and training/TAFE units, undergraduate units and postgraduate units leading to formal qualifications in the Australian Qualifications Framework. Units are delivered in a variety of methods including print-based subject materials, on-line services, video cassettes, CD-ROMs and television and radio programmes.




Administration & co-ordination:

Responsible authorities:

Department of Education, Science and Training

Head: Brendan Nelson, Minister

Administrative officer: Peter Shergold, Secretary

GPO Box 9880
14-16 Mort Street
ACT 2601

Tel: +61(2) 6240-8111

Fax: +61(2) 6240-9783



Role of governing body: The Department is the main source of funding for publicly funded Australian Universities. It is also responsible for the Federal Government's higher education policy development and programme administration. It has divisions responsible for schools, higher education, vocational education and training, science and matters relating to the international perspective on education, science and training.


Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (AVCC)

Head: Deryck Schreuder, President

Administrative officer: John Mullarvey, Chief Executive Officer

International relations: Bob Goddard, Director, International Relations

GPO Box 1142
ACT 2601

Tel: +61(2) 6285-8200

Fax: +61(2) 6285-8211




Role of governing body: Body representing higher education Institutions nationally and internationally. AVCC seeks to advance higher education through voluntary, cooperative and coordinated action.


Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA)

Head: David Woodhouse, Executive Director

Administrative officer: Judy Duffy, Academic Audit Officer

Level 10, 123 Lonsdale Street
VIC 3000

Tel: +61(3) 9639-1100

Fax: +61(3) 9639-7377




IDP Education Australia

Head: Lindy Hyam, Chief Executive

Administrative officer: Neil Owens, Company Secretary

GPO Box 2006
ACT 2601

Tel: +61(2) 6285-8222

Fax: +61(2) 6285-3036




Role of governing body: Promote the Australian higher education sector to overseas students; manage offshore projects/activities; through a subsidiary company, manage and conduct IELTS testing




Admission to non university higher education studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Second Cycle)

Minimum score/requirement: According to course and institution, student's age, whether student has disabilities or special needs

For entry to: For Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses

Admission to university-level studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Second Cycle)

Minimum score/requirement: Varies according to course and institution, student's age, whether student has disabilities or special needs

For entry to: All institutions/programmes.

Alternatives to credentials: Entry may be based on prior experience or other learning.

Numerus clausus/restrictions: Entry to a higher education course is normally determined by the student’s tertiary entrance score, rank or index (referred to here as the tertiary entrance score) which is calculated on the basis of results in the senior secondary school certificate. Tertiary admissions centres in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia coordinate admissions for those States.   The New South Wales tertiary admission centre also coordinates admissions to institutions in the Australian Capital Territory, while the University of Tasmania and the Northern Territory University coordinate their own admissions. Links to each of the tertiary admissions centres can be found on the website

Other admission requirements: Other criteria such as a portfolio, interview, audition or questionnaire may also be taken into account in conjunction with the tertiary entrance score for certain courses. There are also alternative schemes for mature age students, students with disabilities, students with special needs, and so on.   Some universities that offer programmes by distance education have flexible admission policies.   Admission to the open learning programmes of Open Learning Australia ( does not require any educational pre-requisites.

Foreign students admission

Definition of foreign student:  "Person who enters Australia on a student visa and attends a course on a fee paying basis".

Admission requirements: In general, applicants must be eligible for entry to a tertiary institution of good standing in their home country.

Entry regulations: Students require confirmation of enrolment, a student visa and sufficient funds to support themselves.

Health requirements: Students must undergo a medical examination as part of their visa application and must have Overseas Students Health Cover for the period covered by their visa.

Language requirements: Students should have a good command of the English language and may be required to pass an English test. Full-time courses are offered by accredited English language institutions in all Australian States and in the Australian Capital Territory.

Application procedures:

Apply to individual institution for entry to: All institutions.

Recognition of studies & qualifications:

Studies pursued in home country (System of recognition/accreditation): Australian universities are self-accrediting bodies. However, the higher education sector also includes non-university institutions – while some of these are self-accrediting, most of them are not.  Programmes and degrees offered by non-university institutions often have an applied focus and are most commonly in fields such as art, business, drama, hospitality, music, religion and theology, and teacher education.  Higher education programmes and awards offered by non-self-accrediting institutions are accredited by the relevant State or Territory higher education accreditation authority.The accrediting authorities are listed in the Register of Authorities Empowered by Government to Accredit Post-Compulsory Education and Training Courses and may be found on the Australian Qualifications Framework website at addition, professional bodies and associations play a significant role as external arbiters in the quality assurance framework through their accreditation of professional courses in areas such as nursing and medicine, law, accounting, engineering and architecture. These bodies and associations also have an on-going role in monitoring the quality of such courses. The Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) was established by the Commonwealth and State and Territory Ministers responsible for higher education on 7 April 2000 as an independent national quality assurance agency to monitor, audit and report on quality assurance in Australian higher education. The AUQA will conduct quality assurance audits of self-accrediting institutions (mainly universities) and State/Territory accreditation authorities on a five-yearly basis. The audits will be undertaken by panels of expert people with substantial senior academic and administrative experience in higher education. The outcomes of the audits will be made public. The first full audits are scheduled to take place in 2002.More than 150,000 students from overseas attend education institutions in Australia each year.  The Federal Government recognises the value of its international education industry and seeks to protect and enhance its reputation and integrity, while also offering  protection to overseas students studying in Australia.  The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 requires that providers of education and training to overseas students be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). The ESOS Act and its National Code provide nationally consistent standards for registration and the subsequent conduct of CRICOS-registered providers. It requires that providers: meet quality assurance standards; comply with tuition and financial assurance requirements; and encourage overseas students recruited to study in Australia to comply with the conditions of their visas, and report those who do not.Breaches of the Act and the Code can lead to the imposition of sanctions, including their suspension or cancellation from CRICOS.  Further information and the full text of the ESOS Act 2000 can be found at the following website:

Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):

National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR)

Head: Margaret Pearce, Director

Administrative officer: Heather Gregory, Assistant Director

International relations: Adam Carlon, International Policy Officer

GPO Box 1407
ACT 2601

Tel: +61(2) 6240-7662  +61(2) 6240-7013

Fax: +61(2) 6240-7636




Deals with credential recognition for entry to: University and Profession

Services provided & students dealt with: NOOSR publishes its assessment guidelines for mainstream postsecondary qualifications in some 90 countries; provides a written assessment service for individuals on a fee-for-service basis; and offers informal advice by telephone, e-mail and fax to institutions seeking information about foreign qualifications and education systems


Other information sources on recognition of foreign studies: Individual institutions determine the acceptability of foreign qualifications and studies for the purpose of admission or advanced standing (credit). In general,  NOOSR's assessment guidelines and advice inform university decisions where relevant. ( NOOSR does not assess academic secondary qualifications).

Special provisions for recognition:

For access to non-university post-secondary studies: Applicants for the recognition of studies and credentials obtained abroad can be directed in the first instance to NOOSR. The same provisions apply for Australian nationals and permanent residents as for foreigners, but a higher assessment fee applies to foreigners.

Multilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign studies

Name of agreement: Convention on the recognition of qualifications concerning higher education in the European region. Lisbon Convention

Year of signature: 2000

Name of agreement: Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific

Year of signature: 1985

Name of agreement: Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Europe

Year of signature: 1986

Bilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign credentials

Name of agreement: Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (a Non-Treaty Instrument)

Year of signature: 1996

Country/state involved: New Zealand

References to further information on foreign student admissions and recognition of studies

Title: Directory of Postgraduate Courses (Annual)

Publisher: Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee

Title: The Directory of Higher Education Courses (Annual)

Author: Catherine Etteridge (ed.)

Publisher: New Hobsons Press

Title: The Good Universities Guide (Annual)

Author: Dean Ashenden and Sandra Milligan

Publisher: Ashenden Milligan Pty Ltd



National student associations and unions

National Union of Students (NUS)

Suite 64, Trades Hall, 54 Victoria Street, Carlton South
Victoria 3053

Tel: +61(3) 9650-8908



Health/social provisions

Social security for foreign students: Yes

Cost/fee (per year): 295 (Australian Dollar)

Foreign student social security provisions: Overseas students are required by the Australian Government to take out a health insurance to cover the duration of their visa. Health insurance available from Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) covers basic medical & hospital care will cost $295 per year for a single person and $590 for a family.

Special student travel fares:

By road: Yes

By rail: Yes

By air: Yes

Available to foreign students: Yes

Student expenses and financial aid

Student costs:

Average living costs: 12716 (Australian Dollar)

Foreign students tuition fees: Minimum: 12500 (Australian Dollar)

Maximum: 30000 (Australian Dollar)

Bodies providing information on student financial aid:

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

PO Box 887
62 Northbourne Avenue
ACT 2600

Tel: +61(2) 6206-4000

Fax: +61(2) 6206-4800




Deals with: Grants

Category of students: Australian Development Scholarships helps students from developing countries.

Australian-American Educational Foundation (AAEF)

PO Box 1559, Canberra, 1st floor Garden Wing, University House, Balmain Crescent
ACT 2601

Tel: +61(2) 6247-9331  +61(2) 6247-9332

Fax: +61(2) 6247-6554




Deals with: Grants

Category of students: United States and Australian citizens for lecturing and research.

Publications on student services and financial aid:

Title: Awards for Postgraduate Study at Commonwealth Universities

Publisher: Association of Commonwealth Universities, London

Title: Financial Aid for first Degree Study at Commonwealth Universities

Publisher: Association of Commonwealth Universities, London

Title: Study Abroad 2000-2001


Year of publication: 1999

Title: The 2001 Good Universities Guide to Australian Universities

Author: Dean Ashenden, Sandra Milligan and Tania Clarke

Publisher: Ashenden Milligan Pty Ltd

Year of publication: 2000



Principal national bodies responsible for dealing with international cooperation and exchanges in higher education:

Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee (AVCC)

GPO Box 1142
ACT 2601

Tel: +61(2) 6285-8200

Fax: +61(2) 6285-8211




Participation of country in multilateral or bilateral higher education programmes

Name of exchange programme: Australia-Britain Society, Sydney (tel: +61(2) 9261-0546)

Name of exchange programme: Australia-China International Exchange Centre, Sydney (tel: +61(2) 9281-9098)

Name of exchange programme: Australian-American Educational Foundation, Canberra (tel: +61(2) 6247-9331, +61(2) 6247-9332)



Usual grading system in secondary school

Full Description: The Senior School Certificates (e.g. the Higher School Certificate in New South Wales and the Victorian Certificate of Education in Victoria) are issued on successful completion of courses/programmes of study in both Years 11and 12 or in Year 12 only. Each State and Territory has its own grading system.

Highest on scale: A

Lowest on scale: E

Main grading system used by higher education institutions

Full Description: In 1988, the Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee (AVCC) reviewed Grades of pass for undergraduate degree subjects. Generally High Distinction (HD), Distinction (D), Credit (C), Pass (P) and Fail (F).

Highest on scale: High Distinction (HD) 80-100%

Pass/fail level: Pass (P) 50-60%

Lowest on scale: Fail (F) Below 50%

Other main grading systems

Most postgraduate awards which are issued on the basis of the completion of a thesis are unclassified.



Individual Australian higher education institutions offer a wide range of support services to help students enter and complete their studies. These include learning support services (e.g. study skills), survival services (counselling, disabilities, loans, health and student employment), advisory services (careers, equity, student union welfare, accommodation, HECS offices and international student programmes) and recreational services (fitness centre and campus sporting facilities).


Data for academic year: 2001-2002

Source: Department of Education, Science and Training, Canberra, 2002

Copyright © IAU, World Higher Education Database (WHED)