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Education System in Australia for Nigerian Students

8 min read
Blog Summary A comprehensive look at Australia's education system, detailing its structure and benefits for Nigerian students.

The Education System in Australia for Nigerian Students is laudable as the country is home to a modern yet finest education system. Australia, one of the highly developed countries, fares well as a highly-preferred international educational destination. Thanks to its high GDP and strong economy, the country has been able to shine as a global platform providing a high-standard higher education for international students. The country also ranks high in other factors such as - quality of life, democracy, health, freedom, civil liberties, safety and political rights. The country also has exceptional cities that ranks top in the livability factor. Considering all these factors, Nigerian students can confidently choose Australia as their higher education destination.

How does the Australian Education System Work?

The education system in Australia is the same across all over the country, including its six states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia) and two territories (Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory).

Formally, the country's education system is divided into four categories,

1. Primary Education - Primary education is attended by children aged 6 to 12.

2. Secondary Education - Secondary education is for students aged 13 to 15.

3. Senior Secondary Education - Senior secondary education is for students aged 16 to 18.

4. Tertiary Education - Students above 18 attend tertiary education in Australia.

Tertiary education in Australia is provided by five different institutions.

1. Public Universities

2. Private Universities

3. Institutes of Technology

4. Technical and Further Education (TAFE)

5. Private Colleges

Australia's education system is governed by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), which links all the schools, colleges and universities into a single national system. The integration is made to help students transition from one level of study to another and between institutions. The integration also proved helpful in maintaining a single standard of education in all of Australia's educational establishments.

Education Policy of Australia

Australia has established an educational policy called Students First. Depending on this theme, the country's government has drafted four key policies to maintain the standard of education and to provide valuable education to its citizens and international students. The four key policies are:

  • Developing a sound national curriculum.
  • Improving the quality of teaching.
  • Expanding Principal's autonomy.
  • Engaging parents and the wider community.
Academic Year in Australia

For Schools - Schools in Australia last about 200 days. Schools start from late January/early February to early/mid-December. A year in school has 4 terms.

Term 1 - Starts in late January/early February to late March/early April.

Term 2 - Starts in late April/early May to late June.

Term 3 - Starts in mid-to-late July to mid-to-late September.

Term 4 - Starts in mid-to-late October to mid-to-late December.

For Vocational Education

Certificate I to IV - Six months to two years.

Diploma - One to two years.

Advanced Diploma - 1.5 to two years.

Vocational Graduate/Diploma - Six months to two years.

English Language Courses - Four to 48 weeks.

University Education

UG - 3 Years.

PG - 4 Years.

PhD - 3 Years.

MBA - 15 months to 2 Years.

Study Level in Australia

Higher education in Australia is classified into two categories. One is Vocational Education and Training (VET), which is under the control of the Australian Skills Quality Agency (ASQA), and the other is Universities that are under the control of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

VET is further split into - Certificate I, II, III, IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Vocational Graduate Certificate/Diploma and English Language Courses.

University Education - UG, PG, PhD and MBA.

AQF Level

Qualification (s)

Level 1

Certificate I

Level 2

Certificate II

Level 3

Certificate III

Level 4

Certificate IV

Level 5


Level 6

Advanced Diploma/

Associate Degree

Level 7

Bachelor Degree

Level 8

Bachelor Honors Degree

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Diploma

Level 9

Masters Degree

Level 10

Doctorate Degree

Academic Intakes

Like other English-speaking countries, Australia offers two major intakes. Sometimes, there is a third intake, but that purely depends on the study program students select. In Australia, an Intake is also called a Semester/Trimester. Let us now see the three intakes' time period.

Semester/ Trimester 1 or Intake 1 - Starts late February/early March to late May/early June. Popularly called February Intake in Australia and also the highly preferred one.

Semester/Trimester 2 or Intake 2 - Starts late July/early August to early September.

Semester/Trimester 3 or Intake 3 - Starts late September to late November.

Tuition Fee Structure in Australia

The tuition fee in Australian universities largely varies according to the study program. Students are advised to research more about the tuition fees by visiting the university's website, contacting the university directly or mailing them.


Average Annual Tuition Fee

Undergraduate Degree

AUD 30,000 - 40,000

Postgraduate Degree

AUD 20,000 - $50,000

Doctorate Degree

AUD 14,000 - 37,000

MBA Degree

AUD 30,000 - AUD 60,000

Financial Aid at Australian Education Support 

There are four types of financial aid provided to international students by the Australian government and its universities.

1. Government Financial Support - Government Financial Support is offered by the student's home country government. As per facts, the chances of the Australian government accepting a foreign government fund is only fifty-fifty.

2. Scholarships in Australia - Scholarships are the monetary funds provided by both the government of Australia and its universities. To avail of these scholarships, students must hold an exceptional academic record.

3. Student Loan for Overseas Students - A student Loan is offered by the student's home country. This type of financial aid is only marginally accepted by a foreign government like Australia. So students should find out whether their university accepts this kind of monetary fund.

4. Combining many forms of financial aid - As it is not financially easy to live in a foreign country like Australia, students can combine their funds like scholarships, loans, and part-time job salaries to live a sustainable life in Australia.

Types of Higher Education Institutions in Australia

As we said before, higher education in Australia is provided by five different institutions. Let us see about them precisely.

1. Public Universities - Public Universities are funded by the government of Australia. Since it is run by the government, tuition fees are affordable, and numerous scholarships are available for international students. These universities provide both theoretical as well as practical education for students to make them eligible for their future occupation.

2. Private Universities - Private Universities are run by religious groups and organisations, and so religious courses and other short-term courses are offered here.

3. Institutes of Technology - Institutes of Technology are private organisations teaching new technologies to students, so they gain theoretical as well practical knowledge of the same.

4. Technical and Further Education (TAFE) - A TAFE institute majorly teaches vocational education programmes to students, so they principally gain practical and real-life skills to be job ready.

5. Private Colleges - Private Colleges are the same as Public Universities that offer educational degrees like UG, PG, PhD and MBA. But here, it is owned by private groups and not by the government.

Overseas Healthcare Insurance in Australia

Students choosing to study in Australia must buy a private health insurance plan called Overseas Health Student Cover (OSHC). Purchasing this private health insurance ensures students will be taken care of medically during their stay in Australia. Students can purchase their OSHC from any one of the following organisations.

  • ahm OSHC
  • Allianz Care Australia (Peoplecare)
  • BUPA Australia
  • CBHS International Health
  • MediBank Private

Alternative Education in Australia

There are alternative education methods available in Australia for students who can't go to schools and universities. This is strictly not applicable to international students coming to study in Australia.

  • Homeschooling

Homeschooling is legal in Australia, and there is a separate authority/organisation called Homeschool Registration Authority that monitors homeschooled children's academic performance from time to time. Either parents themselves can teach their children or employ a tutor for their children.

  • Distance Learning

Distance Learning is chosen by students who want to study from home or whose parents are overseas for work or other reasons. Through Distance Learning, students can earn professional degrees like other students. Professionals who need to earn their Master's or PhD can do distance learning and give their exams at Open Universities of Australia.

  • Bush Schools

Bush schools are for toddlers aged between two to five years. These schools are managed by education rangers helping the toddlers understand nature, teaching them to be eco-friendly, and also making them school ready.

  • Blended Learning

Blended Learning is a new type of learning which was a result of covid. Blended Learning promotes more one-on-one and online learning, which helps tutors to concentrate more on a student. This type of learning is being introduced in classrooms at present and helping the tutors to educate students more.

  • Adult Learning

Adult Learning helps disadvantaged students of Australia who missed the opportunity to study. This learning helps them to get re-introduced to education and gain work skills for their future occupation.

Job Opportunities in Australia

Students can apply for a post-study work permit to stay back and find a job in Australia once they complete their course. To receive the permit, students have to apply before six months of completion of their course. By receiving the permit, students can stay for two years in the country.

Currently, the following fields are popular in Australia. 

Job Fields

Average Annual Salary

Business Management

AU $70,000

IT & Computer Science

AU $90,000

Health Care

AU $80,000

Statistics/Data Science

AU $145,000

Education & Training

AU $75,000

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Frequently Asked Questions

How is the education system structured in Australia for Nigerian students?
The education system in Australia is consistent across its six states and two territories. It's divided into four categories: Primary Education for children aged 6 to 12. Secondary Education for students aged 13 to 15. Senior Secondary Education for students aged 16 to 18. Tertiary Education for students above 18, provided by institutions like Public and Private Universities, Institutes of Technology, Technical and Further Education (TAFE), and Private Colleges.
What is the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)?
The AQF links all schools, colleges, and universities into a single national system. This integration helps students transition from one level of study to another and between institutions, ensuring a consistent standard of education across Australia's educational establishments.
How is the academic year structured in Australian schools?
Schools in Australia operate for about 200 days, starting from late January/early February to early/mid-December. The school year is divided into 4 terms, with specific start and end dates for each term.
What is the tuition fee structure for higher education in Australia?
The tuition fee varies based on the program: Undergraduate Degree: AUD 30,000 - 40,000 Postgraduate Degree: AUD 20,000 - $50,000 MBA Degree: AUD 30,000 - AUD 60,000
What types of financial aid are available for international students in Australia?
There are four types of financial aid: Government Financial Support from the student's home country. Scholarships provided by the Australian government and its universities. Student Loans offered by the student's home country. Combining multiple forms of financial aid, including scholarships, loans, and part-time job salaries.

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