In his latest move aimed at appeasing his domestic voters ahead of the upcoming US Presidential elections, President Donald Trump, on August 3, signed an executive order that prevents federal agencies from hiring H1B visa holders. This move came in less than two months after US authorities had ordered a temporary freeze in issuance of H1B visas to new applicants. However, after a lot of hue and cry, and possibly due to low filing of H1B visa applications, US has now announced that they will hold second lottery for certain categories such as H1B for foreign applicants.

Therefore, amidst the ongoing controversy, in this blog series, Student Cover will try to provide information on alternative overseas higher education destinations that a student might want to consider. For our first series, we have decided to focus on Australia.

This series would cover all relevant areas pertaining to higher education in Australia including study programs and educational institutions, Educational qualifications and language proficiency requirements to get admitted to a degree course, admission and application process, and education loan and health insurance options available to students.

In this blog we present a brief summary of higher education scenario in Australia as well as explain the process of getting admission in Australian Universities.

Australia – An emerging Study Abroad Destination

A continent in itself, Australia is the 6th largest country in the world with a population of over 25 million people. In the last few decades, it has also emerged as a one of the most preferred study abroad destination for international students due to high quality of education, job opportunities and liberal immigration policies. That is the reason why the number of international students enrolled in various study programs in universities in Australia has been increasing with each passing year.

International Students in Australia

According to an estimate, nearly 8, 70,000 international students were enrolled in various education programs in Australia (26.7 percent of student population in Australian universities) thereby generating a revenue of US$ 3.47 billion. Australia is ranked the third in the list of top study abroad destinations. Most international students in Australia come from China (2, 05,189). India is at distant second with 89,570 students followed by Nepal (43,021), Brazil (26,620) and Malaysia (26,085).

HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS AND STUDY PROGRAMS

Globally Ranked Universities in Australia

Being a developed country, Australia spends a significant portion of its GDP on education which includes primary, secondary, senior secondary and higher education as well as vocational education. According to QS World University Rankings 2020, seven Australian universities feature in the list of top 100 universities in the world whereas there are 27 Australian universities in the list of top 500 universities in the world. Australian National University (Ranked 29 globally) is the highest ranked Australian university in the world followed by University of Melbourne (Rank 38), University of Sydney (Rank 42), University of New South Wales (Rank 43) and University of Queensland (Rank 47).

Globally Ranked Study Programs in Australia

With Regard to Study Programs (Degree Courses), Australian National University and University of Melbourne are among the top ranked universities in the world for Arts and Humanities subjects with both universities sharing 16th position in global rankings. They are followed by University of Sydney (Rank 22), University of New South Wales (Rank 42) and Monash University (Rank 48).

In Engineering and Technology, University of New South Wales is ranked globally at 37 whereas University of Melbourne, Monash University and University of Sydney are ranked 41st, 54th and 61st respectively by QS World Rankings.

University of Melbourne is best ranked globally at 22 in Life Science and Medicine category whereas University of Sydney, University of Queensland and Monash University are ranked 24th, 37th and 39th respectively. Students willing to pursue medical science should check these and other such high ranked universities for admission.

To read more on Top ranked universities and study programs in Australia, Click Here. (Coming Soon)

A Brief Summary of Admission Process in Australian University

Australian universities offer high quality education at comparatively lower cost as compared to countries those in countries like the UK and the US. But getting admitted to a course or study program in Australia requires a student to do thorough research not only with regard to application process but also other factors such as the domestic and international ranking of the course as well as the institution.

Below is the summary of admission process for getting admitted to a university in Australia.

Summary of the process

Step 1Do thorough researchDo a thorough research on the educational institution and study program.
Step 2Narrow it downAfter thorough research, narrow down your choices to best 5 courses and educational institutions
Step 3Meet requirementsIdentify eligibility criteria and other requirements such as Language Tests, Admission Test scores, SOP, Letters of Recommendation, work experience etc.
Step 4Apply for admissionApply formally for the course and the institution either offline or online after collecting necessary documents.
Step 5Apply for education loanStudent Cover, through its partner lending institutions, helps students get both secured and unsecured education loans to finance overseas education.
Step 6Purchase health insuranceHealth Insurance is mandatory for getting student visa to enter Australia. Student Cover provides health insurance through NIB for International students.
Step 7Apply for visaOnce admission offer is secured, student can apply for student visa in the Australian Embassy.
Step 8DepartAfter all formalities are completed, a student can board the flight to Australia

LANGUAGE & ADMISSION TESTS ACCEPTED IN AUSTRALIA

Language Tests

Australia is an English speaking country. Therefore, international students applying for higher education in Australia are required to show proof of their proficiency in English language for their course application to be accepted. Being a member of the British Commonwealth, it follows the British form of English with certain words and phrases added to it due to local dialects. Nevertheless, major English language proficiency tests accepted in Australian universities include

1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)[25]

2. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

3. Cambridge English: Advanced

4. Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic and,

5. Occupational English Test

Admission Tests

With regard to admission for various courses, major admission tests such as GRE, GMAT are accepted in Australian Universities. In addition to that, international students are required to sit for International Students Admission Test (ISAT) which is 3-hour mandatory test. It consists of papers for specified courses. It is conducted by Australian Council for Educational Research. The purpose of these tests is to gauge the cognitive and other abilities of international students.

To read more on Language and Admission Tests required for admission in Australia, Click Here to visit our blog on the same topic.(Coming Soon)

EDUCATION LOAN AND STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE OPTIONS

Education Loan for Study in Australia

For Indian students going abroad to Australia for higher education, there are several overseas education loan options available in the India. Commercial banks as well as Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) offer both secured (with collateral) and unsecured (without collateral) loans to students a competitive rates with easy repayment options. The volume of loan and the interest rate charged on such loans depends on the type of loan sought by the student i.e. secured or unsecured.

While secured loans, being taken against collateral such as non-agricultural land, property etc have lower interest rate as compared to unsecured loans which are given based on a student’s creditworthiness (CIBIL Score), fixed income, the type of course, institution, country and job prospects after completion of the study program.

Student Cover, in association with leading banks and NBFCs provides student loans to students so that they can realize their dream of studying abroad. It has tie-ups with several lending institutions and helps students apply and obtain education loans at lowest interest rate and in shortest period of time.

To know more about Education Loan options available for study in Australia, including volume of education loan, interest rates, moratorium period, repayment period and terms of repayment, in detail, Click Here to visit our blog on the same topic.

Student Health Insurance for Study in Australia

Every foreign student going to Australia for higher education is mandatorily required to purchase student health insurance plan, also referred to as Overseas Health Insurance Cover (OHSC), from an Australian health insurance provider. Health insurance providers such as NIB, Australian Health Management (AHM), Bupa Australia, Medibank Private and Allianz Global Assistance offer student insurance plans.

Student Cover also provides health insurance cove to students going to Australia through its tie-up with NIB. It not only helps students get health cover based on their need and budget but also allows Student Cover to assist students, free of charge, in procuring insurance plan online, in getting their insurance claims settled in time as well as address any query or grievance.

To know more about Student Health Insurance options available for study in Australia, including types of plans, their annual and monthly premium, out-of-pocket expenses, coverage etc., in detail, Click Here to visit our blog on the same topic.

Student Visa and Visa application process

International students are required to apply for student visa in order to get entry into Australia. Students can apply for Higher Education Sector (Subclass 573) visa once they get admitted to a study program in an Australian University which offers Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Graduate certificate or diploma or Master’s degree.

Before applying for a student visa, a student must fulfill certain terms and conditions such as: having an admission offer letter, English language proficiency tests score, proof of availability of funds for study program, student health insurance etc.

Note: At present, visa application for study in Australia is closed due to Covid-19 pandemic (Source: Department of Home Affairs, Govt. of Australia).

To know more about Student Visa and Application Process in detail, Click here. (Coming Soon)

Let’s Wrap Up

With United States adopting an increasingly isolationist policies under Trump Administration, other countries like Australia are further opening up to foreign students and implementing pro-immigration policies such as extending work visa benefits even to those students who are currently pursuing higher education through online mode. Australia, which earns billions of dollars each year from international students in the form of tuition fees and living expenses is, through its pro-immigration policies, may soon emerge as the most favoured education destination for international students.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is based on personal research of the writer. Reader’s discretion is advised. Neither Student Cover nor the writer will be held responsible for any wrongful interpretation of the content of this blog.

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