Home » Affordable universities in Australia – Pursue cost effective UG and PG courses

Affordable universities in Australia – Pursue cost effective UG and PG courses

by Anup chowdhury
Affordable universities in Australia

Affordable universities in Australia – Australia has the 3rd largest influx of overseas students in the world, behind only the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Such is the popularity of Australia for study abroad students in our country that Indian students are just second to Chinese to get the highest number of admissions in Australian universities.

This article attempts at making you understand the costs involved before you apply in any university in Australia. You will learn why Australia is such a sought-after study abroad destination despite the high living costs. We will list down a few universities in Australia which are a good choice for low cost UG/PG courses. Further, we will discuss a few more Australian universities that are the most popular amongst international students, not only due to their affordable tuition costs but also other factors like flexibility of study options, return on investment, quality of education, student assistance and scholarships being offered.

Read now: Top Universities in Australia and Benefits of studying in Australia

Study Abroad

Affordable Universities in Australia – Why is Australia a sought-after study abroad destination?

While Australia is one of the most popular study destinations in the world with more than 9,00,000 international enrolments in October 2019, it’s also considered one of the most expensive. According to the recent student visa requirements by the Australian Department of Home Affairs, the students need AUD$ 20,290 yearly for living costs alone. However, with the conversion rate of the Australian dollar comparatively lower to that of the euro, pound and US dollar, and the range of tuition fees at Australian universities varying considerably, (based on the subject, level and place of study) the aspirants can create a workable budget plan.

The main reasons why Australia is such a popular study abroad destination in spite of it not being one of the cheapest are:

  • Return on Investment – Australian education offers a great return on investment. A recent research by the International Alumni Job Network (IAJN) disclosed that the return on investment for an Australian education is high for international students, and theyre generally also positive about the experience.
  • Tuition protection: Another point worth noting is that the Australian Government provides a tuition protection service which protects any fees paid by international students. This is to make sure that they do not suffer any loss, in case their education provider is not able to deliver the education which has been paid for. Under theESOS (Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000) legislative framework,students will be compensated either monetarily or through substitute services to make sure they do not suffer any loss.
  • Highest rankings – Many of the Australian universities are on the worlds top universities list, with at least 8 featuring in the top 150 as per the rankings of Times Higher Education, QS and the Academic Ranking of World Universities. The qualifications provided by the Australian universities are recognised worldwide by employers and leading educational institutes. In addition, most of the courses and training taken up by the international students in Australia are covered by Australian Qualification Framework (AQF). It is a system of learning which is authorised by the Australian government.
  • High standard of living and part-time opportunities: The standard of living in Australia is amongst the highest in the world and offers value for money for the students in terms of the living costs. International students are also able to work part time (20 hours a week) while they study, allowing them to offset their living costs. Moreover, the conversion factor is lower when compared to the UK or US.
  • Scholarships: While Australia is a newer destination in this regard, when compared to the UK and the US, there are still several attractive grants offered to international students under the schemes of Australia Awards Scholarships and Endeavour Scholarships. Buddy4Study can help you in getting more information on this and ease your process of getting a scholarship by even helping in the application process.
  • Ease of visa clearance: While the American and British visa officials are known to be high handed, the process is much easier for Australia. Also, spouse visa is allowed which permits the spouse to work part time too.
  • InnovationThe degree and diploma courses being taught in the Australian universities are quick to incorporate the latest trends in the market and technology. This makes the education intensive and more practical towards the needs of the industry and the market, leading to limitless job opportunities for the students in the future.

Affordable Universities in Australia – Average Cost of UG/PG Courses

When you are an international student, your main expense is tuition fees. Before we discuss about few low cost universities in Australia, let’s check out the general average annual tuition fees of Australian universities.

UG Courses

AUD$ 30,840

PG Courses

AUD$ 31,596

The above figures are excluding the high value courses like medical/doctoral degrees. In Australian universities, the tuition fees are calculated per unit which further falls into a fee band. This implies that the fees will be different for all the bands.

Some important points to consider:

  1. If you consider the cheapest tuition fees for international students, the average is around AUD$ 20,000 25,000 per year. A majority of universities offering courses at such low cost tuition fees are regional universities.
  2. As an international student, you will be required to pay international tuition fees and the cost of your education will depend on the course you choose. Therefore, the tuition fees will vary each year according to the subjects you choose.

Top 10 Universities in Australia with Lowest Tuition Fee for UG courses

We are listing here the cheapest and the most affordable universities in Australia for UG and PG courses separately. While we are looking at a list of affordable and cheapest universities in Australia, this nowhere implies that they compromise in their education standards. Majority of these universities rank fairly in the global rankings and they strive to provide quality education to their students. Apart from the low tuition fees, these universities are also offering many student loan schemes and scholarships to make your financial burden lighter. Please note that financial aid and scholarships are made available to those students who meet their individual requirements.

While there are many other affordable universities in Australia, we are here listing the top 10 as per their average tuition fee.

Study Abroad

S. NO.




IIBIT, Adelaide



Oxford Education Group, Melbourne



Southern Cross University, Perth



Asia Pacific International University, Melbourne



Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne



University of Southern Queensland, Queensland



James Cook University, North Queensland



Kaplan Business School, Adelaide



Charles Darwin University, Darwin



University of New England, New South Wales


Top 10 Universities in Australia with Lowest Tuition Fee for PG courses

S. NO.




Asia Pacific International University, Melbourne



International College of Management, Sydney



Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane



Charles Darwin University, Darwin



University of New England, New South Wales



Central Queensland University, Adelaide



Victoria University, Melbourne



University of Western Sydney, Sydney



Australian Catholic University, Ballarat



La Trobe University, Melbourne


Affordable universities in Australia – Most Popular & Affordable Universities in Australia

While we listed the cheapest universities for undergraduate and postgraduate courses, based on the average tuition fees levied above, we would now like to discuss few other affordable and the most preferred Australian universities by international students in detail.

  • University of Southern Queensland

Considered as one of the cheapest universities in Australia, its average annual tuition fee is AUD$ 24,000. Over 200 UG and PG programs are offered here. Its most popular courses are of law, engineering, health, business, education, science, English language programs, and arts. This university has been ranked number 1 for graduate salary in Australia. You also get to choose where, when and even how you study with the flexibility of online, on-campus, and external study option. It has also been ranked number 1 in Australia for engineering students in full-time employment. The University of Southern Queensland is also involved in the Australian Awards scholarship program for many years.

  • University of Queensland

Ranked as the 48th most reputable university in the world, the University of Queensland is a public research university. Its average annual tuition fee is AUD$ 25,800. The most popular courses here with study abroad students are agriculture, business, engineering, environment and planning, humanities, etc.

  • University of Sunshine Coast

This university is also located in Queensland and provides UG and PG courses in business, IT, communication, tourism, education, etc. Its average tuition is approximately AUD$ 25,800 annually and has fees going as low as AUD$ 13,500 per year for postgraduate coursework programs like Graduate Certificate in Management or Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. Their programs include hands-on training and practical experience. They have simulated nursing and paramedic labs, advanced engineering technologies and a CAVE2 3D visualization studio.

  • University of Canberra

University of Canberra is also a public research university and is good for UG and PG courses in education, science, technology, health, art, etc. The average annual tuition fees here is AUD$ 26,800. They have flexible study options that fit your life. As an international student, you also get a guaranteed on-campus accommodation. The university has many merits and equity based scholarships during all stages of the study.

  • Charles Darwin University

An Australian public university, the Charles Darwin University boasts of around 22,000 students and 1,400 staff at their campuses. The university offers a wide range of both UG and PG courses, which can be taught as per the part-time, external, or online study option. It is also counted as being one of the most research-intensive universities of the continent. The average annual tuition fee is AUD$ 26,760. The universitys main campus is situated in Darwin. With a national ranking of 15, this university is a good choice for international students. This university has involved itself in many prime research fields in Australia and owns several research institutes.

  • Southern Cross University

This university has campuses in New South Wales and Gold Coast. It is very well known for its MBA, having gained 4 out of 5 stars by the Graduate Management Association of Australia (GMAA). The average tuition fees here is AUD$ 27,600 per year. Southern Cross University has been recognized and ranked number 1 on the International Student Barometer (ISB) for assisting international students.

  • Australian Catholic University

Australian Catholic University has bachelors, masters and doctoral programs to offer in four departments. It has 7 campuses all over the continent. The average tuition fees here is AUD$ 27,960 per year. The university is publically funded and has about 35,000 students. Various types of fee assistance are also available in the form of international loans and scholarships. If you are an Indian student, you may be eligible for loans through Global Education Management Services (GEMS), which offers a wide range of services through the Credila Indian Student Loan Program.

  • Victoria University

This university is located in Melbourne and ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide. Along with the regular courses, Victoria University also offers TAFE (Technology and Further Education) programs. Its average annual tuition fees are AUD$ 28,600. It is the first university in Australia to use block levels of learning which has been recognized by the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA). The student can study only one unit at a time rather than shuffling between many at once. If you are unable to pay your fees by the due date, you can also request a fee extension or pay with their Payment Plan Option (TAFE students).

  • University of New England

Located in Amidala (a city in northern central New South Wales), The University of New England is a public university. In addition to the lower tuition fees, the university offers more than $5 million in scholarships, etc to the students involved in research. Around 22,500 students study here. One of the reputed universities of Australia, it ranks 25th nationally. It offers more than 200 courses at all levels. The average annual tuition fee here is AUD$ 29,000.

  • James Cook University

This university is based in North Queensland but also has a campus in Brisbane. It offers affordable tuition fees majorly in the research areas of biodiversity, marine sciences, genetics and genomics, tourism, engineering, etc. The average annual tuition fees here is AUD$ 28,000. It is worth mentioning that the James Cook University has been ranked number 1 globally for marine biology and number 2 for biodiversity conservation research.


Affordable universities in Australia – FAQs

Q. Which is the cheapest university in Australia?

The cheapest universities in Australia in terms of tuition fee costs are University of the Sunshine Coast (Sunshine Coast), University of Southern Queensland (Toowoomba), Southern Cross University (Lismore), Charles Darwin University (Darwin) and University of New England (Armidale) amongst others.

Q. Can I study in Australia free of cost?

One cannot possibly study in Australia for free or at a very low cost because of the countrys living cost, international student tuition fee and visa financial requirement expenses. However, Australia offers great value for investment for its international students, thanks to its internationally recognised universities, part time work opportunities, spouse visa availability, tuition protection scheme and other factors.

Q. Is it expensive to study in Australia?

The cost of studying in Australia depends on various factors including the subject you choose to study, level of degree and university. The average tuition cost to do an undergraduate course and postgraduate course is AUD$ 30,840 and AUD$ 31,596 respectively. One needs to provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition, travel and living costs during the visa application itself. Since February 2018, the amount you need to prove you have is AUD$20,290 for a year.

Q. Is Australia safe for international students?

With an influx of more than 9,00,000 international students in October 2019, Australian university campuses offer a multicultural environment for the students. However, just like any other country, Australia is not free from incidences of crime.

Q. What is the cost of living in Australia for an international student?

According to the statistics released by the Australian Government, the 12-month living costs are AUD$ 21,041 for students or guardians, AUD$7,362 for partners coming with you, and AUD$3,152 for a child coming with you, as of October 2019.

Study Abroad

0 comment

You may also like