Australia

General Information

Australia is located in the Pacific Ocean south of the Indonesian archipelago. Fight from Kuala Lumpur to its largest city Sydney takes eight hours and its west coast largest city Perth takes 5.5 hours. Having a land area of about 7,690,000 square kilometres, Australia is the largest island nation in the world. The huge landmass has a sparse population of only 23 million comprising 92 percent Europeans, seven percent Asians and one percent Aborigines and they all speak English. Its northern region has hot and wet tropical climate which has a rainy season from April to November; the southern region has subtropical climate with distinct four seasons; while the interior has desert climate. Its currency is Australian dollar (AUD) and the approximate exchange rate is 1 AUD = 3.06 MYR (15 April 2014).

Higher Education

Higher education in Australia is well established. The country has 39 universities of which 37 are state funded. They offer diploma, bachelor, master and doctorate courses. For a country with a population similar to Malaysia's, it has a much higher proportion of about 2,500 university graduates per 100,000 population.
The Australian government has established Technical and Further Education (TAFE) schools throughout the country to offer comprehensive vocational tertiary education. Unlike university's courses, TAFE courses emphasise practical skill training instead of theoretical contents. TAFE diploma holders can proceed to bachelor degree studies.
Many English language schools in Australia offer the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) for international students to improve their English proficiency to continue on to academic courses. The Australian government regulates ELICOS to ensure international students receive a high quality of instruction.

University Studies

Australian bachelor degree programmes have durations of three to four years. Students with high grades can apply for another year of honours degree studies before proceeding to postgraduate studies. Australian tertiary institutions generally practise two-semester system. First semester is from February to June while second semester is from July to November. There is a short break between semesters and a two-month summer vocation at year end. New students are admitted mainly in February although progressively more and more new students are admitted in July.

Entry Requirements

Bachelor Programmes

Basic entry requirement of bachelor degree programmes is acceptable grade of A-Levels, STPM, UEC, pre-university or foundation or an equivalent qualification. O-Levels or SPM qualification holders can apply for matriculation studies or foundation studies of the university applying for before studying bachelor degree programmes. To save cost, students can first study an Australian matriculation course or twinning programme in a Malaysian private college or university before continuing on in an Australian university.

TAFE Programmes

Basic entry requirement of TAFE certificate programmes is SPM or an equivalent qualification, while that of TAFE diploma is STPM or an equivalent qualification.

Language Requirements

While applying for Australian bachelor degree or TAFE programmes, students must submit with a relevant English proficiency certificate such as ToEFL, IELTS or ELICOS. The requirement for applying bachelor degree programmes is ToEFL 550 or IELTS 6.

How to Apply

You can contact the Australian university or school directly to obtain the relevant information and forms to prepare the application. The Australian Education International (AEI) Centre at the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur provides comprehensive information of studying in Australia. The AEI Centre also facilitates your application free of charge. For convenience, you may apply through an Australian education representative, which makes all the arrangements before admission. There are many Australian education representatives in Malaysia, you should choose one that is reputable and reliable.

Costs of Studying in Australia

The following gives a summary of tuition fees and living expenses of studying in Australia.

Tuition Fee

Tuition fee varies depending on the university and the discipline of study. Reputable universities charge higher tuition fee and tuition fees of technical programmes are higher than those of non-technical ones. The tuition fees of various programmes are as follows (source: AEI, 2007):

  • Matriculation or Foundation -- AUD9,000 to AUD14,000 per year
  • TAFE certificate, diploma and advanced diploma -- AUD5,500 to AUD18,000
  • Bachelor degree (Arts, Business, Law and other non-technical disciplines) -- AUD10,000 to AUD13,500
  • Bachelor degree (Engineering, Science and other technical disciplines) -- AUD11,000 to AUD16,500
  • Postgraduate degree -- AUD9,000 to AUD18,500
  • English language (depending on the institution and course duration) -- AUD3,500 to AUD13,500

Working Part-time

As an international students in Australia, you may apply for working permit after you have commenced your studies. With the working permit, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours in a week during the semesters and work full day during semester breaks. You are paid a minimum wage of AUD10.00 per hour.

Accommodation

You may choose to stay with an Australian family when you are studying there. The rental is about AUD110 to AUD270 per week and it usually includes three meals a day and a furnished room. If you choose to stay in on campus, the rental is about AUD80 to AUD250 per week. Many international students like to share an apartment off campus at a rental per person of about AUD50 to AUD150 per week.

Living Expenses

It is more expensive to stay Sydney, Melbourne and Gold Coast (Queensland) than in Adelaide, Tasmania and Western Australia. Nevertheless, in general, the living expenses in Australia range from AUD12,000 to AUD15,000.
Information Sources
For more information:

  • Visit the official website of Study in Australia: www.studyinaustralia.gov.au
  • Call MyStudy Centre on 03-3374 5850 or visit website: www.mystudy.my