Education in Australia is quite similar across states and territories. It includes:

  • preschool – early childhood education
  • primary school – primary education
  • high school – secondary education
  • universities, TAFE colleges, vocational education – tertiary education
  • adult and community education (ACE).

School education is obligatory (ages 6 to 16, or school year 1 to 9-10). The overall school education lasts 13 years and divided into:

  • primary school – from 7-8 years old (Kindergarten or Pre Prep) to Year 6-7
  • secondary school – 3-4 years starting from Year 7-8 to 10
  • senior secondary school – 2 years starting from Year 11 to 12.

60% of students study in government schools, while 40% in non-government. Government schools are free for Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Some costs that are not covered by government funding:

  • uniform
  • stationery
  • textbooks
  • sports
  • school camps and others.

These additional schooling costs were about $300 in 2010 per year per child.

Tertiary education is given in universities or technical colleges. Here students may gain a Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral Degrees.

There are 43 universities in Australia:

  • 40 public
  • 2 international
  • 1 private.

7 out of 100 top universities in the world are Australian.

The quality of education is guaranteed in Australia by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

Educational costs

The costs for foreign students are applied in the following ranges depending on a course chosen (and those ranges do not include medical and veterinary courses):

  • School – from $8,000 to $30,000
  • Vocational Education and Training (Certificates I to IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma) – from $5,000 to $30,000
  • Undergraduate Bachelor Degree – from $20,000 to $45,000
  • Postgraduate Masters Degree – from $15,000 to $60,000

Besides schools, tertiary and adult education foreign students may enroll in English courses, or apply for Work and holiday program.

More details at