Higher education in Australia enjoys a high international reputation. Australian universities are part of a clearly recognized international community of scholarship, with academic staff recruited internationally, and students also increasingly coming from overseas as well as from across Australia. At the same time there are increasing numbers of Australian students and staff on study and work exchanges overseas.
Australia has for many years welcomed overseas students into Australian universities. Many leaders of business, government, the military and even the nobility from many countries, especially in the Asian region, have studied and obtained their qualifications in Australian universities.
Australia is now a world leader in the provision of education to overseas students, who study at all levels within Australian universities and in all disciplines. At the end of 2011, 426,748 students were enrolled in Australian institutions, 47.7 percent of these were in the higher education sector.
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Institutions are free to determine the academic requirements for entry to their courses. These requirements depend on:
- The level and content of the study the student has completed in Australia or their home country;
- The level and academic standards of the institution at which they completed their study.
In general, however, the following criteria apply for undergraduate and postgraduate courses:
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Undergraduate degrees require an Australian Senior School Certificate of Education (Year 12) or the overseas equivalent of this. Some degrees may also have certain pre-requisite subjects and grades.
For international students who have attended an Australian High School, entry to higher education institutions is normally based on completion of Year 12 and determined by the student’s tertiary entrance score or rank.
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Entry to postgraduate courses requires completion to a satisfactory standard of a Bachelor degree. Prospective students may also need to demonstrate research ability or relevant work experience.
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University courses in Australia are comparable to those in other English speaking countries. For example, the cost of a Bachelor of Arts may be:
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In the Australian education system, some degrees are slightly shorter than in other countries. For example, some Bachelor degrees take three years in Australia but four years in the USA.