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Australia finance

Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Students planning to pursue an education in Australia can further reduce their cost of education by carefully planning and availing of a number of scholarships funded by both universities as well as the Australian government

Australia finance There are a number of advantages of pursuing an Australian education- quality education, a range of undergraduate, postgraduate, vocational, technical and school programmes as well as an education system similar to that of India’s. And though the major advantage of studying in Australia is the cost of education that is cheaper than that in countries like the US or UK, one can still considerably reduce the cost of studying with some financial aid.

Financial requirements

To be granted a student visa for Australia, one must have the required finances that cover the entire living cost along with the tuition fees and return airfare that is usually taken as A$ 2,000. The Australian High Commission usually considers the annual living cost as A$ 12,000. (Exchange rate: 1A$ = Rs 35, but is subject to change in accordance with the current market value).

Cost and aid

Where you choose to study and how you choose to live in Australia will affect your costs. The cost of studying in Australia varies depending upon the institute and the course chosen. Tuition fees range from A$ 12,000 per annum to A$ 50,000 per annum. The annual living expenses too can vary from A$ 6, 000 to A$ 12,000 depending on the place of residence. For instance, within a particular city, living in the CBD is always more expensive than living in a suburb.

The Australian High Commission provides several options for a student to fund his/ her education. The student can choose to use a combination of liquid assets, which have to be from acceptable financial institutions. These may include saving accounts, fixed deposits, and post office accounts such as monthly income scheme, recurring deposits, and national saving scheme. Employment provided fund, public provided fund, bank loans and overdraft facilities may also be used.

Since the rate of interest is reasonably low with the repayment normally commencing one year after the completion of the programme, many families prefer this option. Students can avail of loans up to Rs 15 lakhs. Bank loans are usually granted on the basis of certain eligibility criteria such as collateral security, parent’s income, and third party guarantee.

It is important for the student to fulfill the terms and conditions set by the bank to get a clear sanction. Students may avail of bank loans from more than one bank, so long as all the banks are aware of each loan sanctioned.

The Australian High Commission has a list of a number of acceptable Indian banks ( from which funds to cover tuition and living expenses may be shown. In addition, funds garnered from overseas commercial banks are also acceptable. 

University scholarships

At the undergraduate level, few universities offer bursaries in the form of fee waivers (25 to 50 per cent of the tuition fee) to students with a good academic background. There are limited full fee scholarships awarded based on class 12 marks in four major subjects and the IELTS score.

When a student applies to a particular Australian university, the application, by default, gets assessed for a scholarship. The student is then granted the scholarship depending upon whether he/ she meets the university criteria. Universities also offer a few scholarships for master’s by coursework. The best way to get the updated information on the same is by looking at the websites of individual university.

Government funded scholarships

  • The IPRS (International Postgraduate Research Scholarship) is granted to high quality researchers, who can contribute to the Australian economy in its priority areas. IPRS covers tuition fees and the annual overseas health cover (OSHC) for one’s entire period of study. Universities also give a stipend to most IPRS awardees to meet the living costs for the entire course duration. An honors (four year degree) with research experience is a must in order to be able to avail of this scholarship.
  • The Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) is a regional programme under the Australian Scholarships initiative. The programme's objectives include developing leadership and building partnerships and linkages within the Asia-Pacific region. The ALA Scholarships programme offers scholarships of up to A$ 130,000 for master’s degrees and A$250,000 for doctorate programmes. They are intended for candidates who are already leaders or have the potential to assume leadership roles that can influence social and economic policy reform and development outcomes, both in their own countries as well as in the Asia-Pacific region. Further information on the programme, including closing dates and application procedures is available on However, it must be noted that ‘getting aid’ is very competitive as it is solely based on academic merit and no country specific quotas are applicable.
  • The Endeavour Awards is the Australian Government's internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship programme providing opportunities for citizens of the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia. The Endeavour Scholarships include four types of award-

              a) Postgraduate and postdoctoral awards

              b) Vocational education and training awards

              c) Executive awards

             d) Student exchanges

Further information on the programme, including closing dates and application procedures is available on

 (Content Courtesy: Sweny Rokani, Manager, IDP Education)


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