Relevant, Unique Aspects of Context and Environment

    • Universities are large and often have an international student cohort both onshore and offshore
    • The majority of universities are public and the Australian Government has the primary responsibility for funding; international student fees makes up a relatively large proportion of revenue in most institutions Source: Higher Education and Research Facts and Figures (Nov 2015)
    • Federal and state governments have actively promoted participation/growth in the sector for both domestic and international students
    • Australian higher education is highly regulated with strong national and state government oversight and auditing
    • Given the importance of international education to the Australian economy, the government regulates, monitors and audits the sector against increasingly challenging quality metrics; regulation and review also applies to international onshore students
    • Universities are very cooperative and collaborative – government research funding is often across multiple institutions
    • The Department of Education and Training collects data from all Australian universities which is publically available and allows for system-wide analysis. In addition, the government web site (QILT) provides independent Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching for the public by bringing together survey data from all Australian universities about students’ experiences and graduate job outcomes
    • Domestic students are not required to pay course fees up front and can defer payment to a government loan; repayment of the loan does not commence until the student/graduate is earning more than $54,869 per annum (2016/2017), which is approximately 1.5 times the minimum wage.
    • The Australian education system is distinguished from many other countries by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Established in 1995, the AQF is a national policy that covers qualifications from the tertiary education sector (higher education and vocational education and training) in addition to the school-leaving certificate; the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. The AQF has 10 levels and links school, vocational and university education qualifications into one national system. This allows students to move easily from one level of study to the next, and from one institution to another. (http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/india/australian-education/education-system)
    • Australian courses are often shorter than alternatives in other countries, particularly in the US. For example, most Australian bachelor degree courses can be completed in three years and less if the provider works on a trimester system
    • In 2014, the Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Survey found that four Australian cities ranked in the world's top ten most liveable cities; Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Perth ranked first, fifth, seventh and ninth respectively.