Education System in Australia: A Complete Guide


Meridean Overseas

Updated On 18 September 2023 & Read Time 6 minutes



Australia, known for its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture, is renowned for its world-class education system. The country attracts students from all corners of the globe, offering a diverse range of educational opportunities.


Do you also wish to know about the education system in Australia? If yes, you’re at the right place.


In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into Australia’s education system, its unique features, notable institutions, and frequently asked questions to help you navigate your educational journey Down Under. Let’s start then, shall we?


An Overview of the Education System in Australia

Australia’s education system is a vibrant and expanding service market. After the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK), Australia ranked as the third-largest education provider to international students in 2016.


 It is noted in the Australian context that five million tertiary students are currently studying abroad, and the UN UNESCO predicts that this figure will rise to 8 million by 2025.


Additionally, the education system in Australia is highly privatised in both higher education and schooling sectors compared to other countries' education systems. The education system is divided into many levels and structures. Let us dive into that section of the topic now.


Levels in the Australian Education System

Let us take a closer look at the different education levels in Australia.


1. Early Childhood and Compulsory Education: Early childhood education aims to give children care and supervision, prepare them for school, and ensure they can fully engage in later learning opportunities.


2. School Education: The Australian education system begins with primary and secondary schooling, and it is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16 to attend school. The school curriculum is governed by individual state and territory education departments, ensuring high national educational standards. Schools are divided into primary (grades K-6), secondary (grades 7-10), and senior secondary school (11-12) levels.


3. Tertiary Education: Australia offers a world-class tertiary education system comprising universities, vocational education and training (VET) institutions, and English language schools. Tertiary education is the focus of this guide.


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Tertiary Education System in Australia for International Students

Let us briefly examine what the tertiary education system in Australia comprises.


1. Universities: Australia is home to some of the world's top-ranking universities. These institutions offer undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs in a wide range of fields, including arts, science, engineering, medicine, and business. The Group of Eight (Go8) universities, including the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne, are renowned for their research excellence and academic rigour.


2. Vocational Education and Training (VET): VET institutions provide practical, industry-focused training in areas such as hospitality, construction, healthcare, and more. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, and advanced diplomas, which employers highly regard. 


3. English Language Schools: Australia is a popular destination for international students seeking to improve their English language skills. Language schools offer General English, IELTS preparation, and Academic English courses to cater to students' specific needs.


Notable Features of the Education System in Australia

Let us look at some of the notable features of the education system in Australia


1. Quality Assurance

The Australian government maintains strict quality assurance standards for all education providers. In this regard, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) ensures that universities and institutions adhere to these standards, guaranteeing the quality of education.


2. Student Diversity

Australia is a multicultural nation, and its education system reflects this diversity. You'll study alongside students from various backgrounds that would enrich your cultural experience.


3. Work Rights for International Students

International students studying in Australia on a student visa are typically allowed to work part-time during their studies and full-time during scheduled breaks. This provides financial support and valuable work experience to international students.


4. Post-Study Work Opportunities

Australia offers excellent post-study work opportunities through the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485). Depending on your level of qualification, you can stay and work in Australia for up to four years after completing your studies.


5. Research Opportunities

Australian universities are known for their cutting-edge research. Postgraduate students can engage in research projects and contribute to their chosen fields. 



Q1. What are the tuition fees for international students in Australia?

A. Tuition fees vary depending on the institution and course. On average, undergraduate programs can range from AUD 20,000 to AUD 45,000 annually, while postgraduate programs may cost between AUD 22,000 and AUD 50,000 annually.


Q2. Are scholarships available for international students in Australia?

A. Yes, Australia offers various scholarships for international students. The Australian government, universities, and external organisations provide these scholarships. Moreover, eligibility criteria and application processes can vary, so it's essential to research available opportunities.


Q3. Can I work in Australia while studying as an international student?

A. Yes, international students on a student visa are typically allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during the academic semester and full-time during scheduled breaks. This can help you cover living expenses and gain work experience.


Q4. What is the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485)?

A. The Temporary Graduate Visa allows international students who have completed their studies in Australia to stay and work there for a specified period. There are two streams under this visa: the Graduate Work stream and the Post-Study Work stream, each with different eligibility requirements and duration.



To conclude, Australia's education system is globally recognised for its quality, diversity, and student-friendly policies. Hence, whether you're pursuing a degree, taking up vocational training, or working on enhancing your English language skills, Australia provides a welcoming and enriching environment for your educational journey.


Additionally, the education system in Australia for international students is a prime choice for international students owing to its strong emphasis on quality assurance and student support; Australia continues to be a top destination for educational pursuits.


We hope you enjoyed learning about the education system in Australia, but if you would like to get a deeper understanding or have any questions about how to study in Australia, we encourage you to speak with our team of expert Australia counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC).


Visit our website for free online counselling, or contact us at or 1800-1230-00011 for personalised support.

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