Universities in Australia are occupying leading positions in the Pacific region, their diplomas are recognized worldwide. More than 680,000 students are studying in the universities of this country. The list of only undergraduate programs includes more than 2,000 items.
Higher education in Australia for international students is offered by Sydney and Melbourne, the two largest Australian cities. Sydney and its suburbs can boast with six universities. When speaking about qualifications, their number is more than enough. For instance, the University of New South Wales offers over 75 different programs in the field of design.
The oldest university in the country is the University of Sydney which was founded in 1851. Among the most prestigious universities of the country there are also the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland and others.
Training for a bachelor’s degree in Australia takes three (ordinary degree) or four (honorary degree) years. Some areas, like medicine, dentistry or engineering demand longer – 4 to 6 years – period of study.
Recently, “double degree” becomes more and more popular, for example, in business and law, information technology and management. These programs usually last longer – for 5 to 6 years. Master’s degree can be obtained in 1-2 years. Ph.D. – the highest academic qualification – is awarded after a deep study of theoretical courses and performance of research work. All together, including research, takes three years.
Many Australian universities (especially “new”, which received their status quite recently) significantly differ from the common European “classical” model. Some of them have the right to award only a bachelor’s degree and possess a small number of departments, which train specialists in only most relevant areas – business, accounting, information technology, law and engineering. Most universities have several campuses. The overall number of student campuses around Australia is over 150.
One of the characteristic features of Australian higher education system is a well-developed sector of distance education: 10 out of every 100 Australian students acquire knowledge without leaving home. Queensland University was the first to graduate students that completed the course remotely in 1911 and now this type of program is offered by more than 30 universities, including the most prestigious ones.
Foreign students can make use of Foundation Studies. On average they last for 24 weeks of training (although there are shorter versions of the so-called Fast-Track) and combine intensive training in English with the study of several majors. Successful completion of Foundation Studies guarantees entry for the first year.
Admission to the Foundation Studies is carried out twice a year – at the beginning and in the middle of the year. In order to join you must have a high school diploma and a good knowledge of English (at 5.5 points of IELTS and 500 points of the TOEFL).
The majority of Australian universities is financed by government. Australia spends more than $55 billion, accounting for 4.6% of GDP. Such investments allow providing the high quality of education, making students promising employees in any country. List of qualifications includes more than 2,000 titles. Choice of directions for future professional growth is very broad and includes both the most popular (business, engineering) specializations, as well as rare ones, like oceanography, or tropical medicine.
Among the variety of Australian universities, one can choose the future alma mater based not only on the alleged cost of training and specialization, but also taking into account the geographical location of the campus. Some of them are based in the state capitals, while the others in the quiet suburbs. Some located their housing in tropical latitudes (Charles Darwin University in Darwin), while others in temperate climates (University of Tasmania in Hobart).
The oldest universities in Australia are united in an informal group of Sandstone Universities (because of the material, with which the first campuses were built). The main features of the Sandstone Universities are prestige, focus on research and a strong bias for more theoretical rather than practical knowledge. According to statistics, students who prefer to enter Sandstone Universities are the children of wealthy families. Graduates tend to get higher salaries and influential positions. The group of Sandstone Universities consists of University of Sidney, University of Melbourne, University of Adelaida, University of Tasmania, University of Queensland and University of Western Australia.
In 1999 the leading Australian universities merged into the “Group of Eight”. Members of the association are the most respected and high-flying higher educational institutions, which guarantee getting a high social status in the future. Go8 includes Australian National University, University of Queensland, University of Sydney, University of Western Australia, University of New South Wales, University of Melbourne, University of Adelaide and Monash University.
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University of Melbourne is located in the capital of Victoria. It is one of the oldest educational institutions in Australia, being founded in 1853. In 2010, it was ranked among the top-200 world universities (36th place). It provides a particularly high level of natural and medical sciences. It is also one of the leading research centers in Australia, which means that it attracts a lot of government subsidies and grants.
There are 12 departments at the University of Melbourne (many of which have postgraduate programs), which enroll nearly 35,000 students. Campuses are located in a suburb of Melbourne, Parkville, and throughout Victoria.
University’s founders used achievements of various European universities, especially Oxford. Many buildings are prominent pieces of architecture and considered to be historical monuments.
Students can use university library, which is recognized to contain one of the most comprehensive collections in Australia and stores more than 3.5 million items.
The university pays great attention to the sport life of the students. It has 39 sports clubs and it has frequently become the absolute champion of the national Universiade. On the territories of campuses numerous exhibitions, concerts, theatrical performances, and public lectures are held. A variety of student interest clubs (from environmental to chocolate lovers club) provides fast socialization and social support to the newcomer.
Australian National University is located in Canberra. It was founded in 1946. Here, about 10,000 students and 7,500 postgraduates are studying. Two prime ministers and five Nobel laureates graduated this university. In 2006 he was given the title of the best Australian university.
ANU is divided into seven academic colleges, each of which has a number of faculties, schools and research centers. The University has Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. On its basis the Observatory Siding Spring – the largest in Australia – is founded. The university provides a wide range of sport and cultural clubs, shops, cafes.
The University of Queensland is situated in St. Lucia, one of Brisbane quarters. It is the oldest university in the state of Queensland with about 40,000 students studying there. Queensland University is considered to be one of the leading research educational establishments in Australia. Structurally it consists of the Institute of Molecular and Biological Sciences, the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and the Queensland Institute of Brain.
Besides the above-mentioned units the university comprises a set of other research centers, for instance, the Queensland Institute of Medical Research at the Royal Brisbane Hospital.
University provides training programs in the areas of art, business, economics, law, design, architecture, information technologies, medical, natural and social sciences.
Students are assisted in accommodation search. Legal advice is also provided. The university website offers the possibility of calculating the approximate cost of training in each particular case.
University of Sydney is Australia’s oldest state university located in Sydney, New South Wales, training about 50 000 students. It constantly ranks among the top twenty world best universities according to many indicators. Sixteen faculties and schools form up this university offering a bachelor degree as well as master and doctoral degree.
The core of the university is made by five largest schools:
- Social Sciences School;
- Business School;
- Natural Sciences School;
- Engineering and Information Technology School;
- Medical Sciences School.Three Nobel laureates, two governors general, five prime ministers, the president of the UN General Assembly and many other prominent individuals studied and lectured here. The University library consists of thirteen branches and is the largest academic collection of papers in the Southern Hemisphere.
The University of Western Australia is located in Perth. Among 20,000 students 4000 students are of foreign origin. Nine faculties provide educational services. They are:
- Architecture and Fine Arts;
- Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences;
- Computer Technology and Mathematics;
- Natural and Physical Sciences;
- Medicine, Dentistry and Health;
- Agricultural Sciences.The university library has 7 branches.
The University of Western Australia is a partner of more than 40 foreign scientific and research centers. Its students participate in the exchange programs offered by the best universities of the world. The University has more than 80 research centers of its own, including the Crime Research Center, Centre for Forensic Science, Centre for Water Research and Center of Oil and Gas Engineering. Many graduates of UWA became successful in science, politics and business.
The University offers different sport sections including football, hockey, rugby, swimming and many others. The campuses provide students with a high level of comfort and a wide range of social, cultural and sport events. Over 200 brands of student clubs exist within the University. Students in cooperation with the famous people organize numerous concerts, exhibitions, theatre performances.
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The University of New South Wales is located in Sydney in Kengsington (main campus) and Paddington (College of Fine Arts) areas. There is a department in Canberra where the Australian Defence Force Academy is situated. About 50,000 students are studying at this university. 15,000 students are from abroad.
There are eight faculties:
- Humanities and Social Sciences,
- Built Environment;
- Fine Arts;
- Natural Sciences
Providing rock-solid knowledge, the university does its best to create an environment in which each student, no matter the nationality, can succeed in his training and research programs (concerts, conferences, exhibitions). The University of New South Wales has more than 100 research centers of its own like the National Centre for Epidemiology, Center for Cancer Research and participates in fifteen joint research projects.
The University of Adelaide is situated in the very center of Adelaide (main campus) and in different parts of South Australia (four campuses). It consists of five departments:
- Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences:
- Petroleum school;
- School of Chemical Engineering;
- School of Civil and Mining Engineers;
- School of Computer Science;
- Center of Innovation and Commercialization;
- School of Electrical and Electronics Engineers;
- School of Mathematical Sciences;
- School of Engineering.
- Faculty of Health Sciences:
- School of Dentistry;
- School of Medical Sciences;
- School of Medicine;
- School of Pediatrics and Reproductive Health;
- School of Population Health and Clinical Practice;
- School of Psychology.
- Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences:
- Music Conservatory;
- School of History and Politics;
- Humanitarian School;
- School of Social Sciences.
- Professional Faculty:
- School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design;
- Business School;
- School of Economics;
- School of Education;
- Law School.
- Faculty of Natural Sciences:
- School of Agriculture, Food and Wine;
- School of Chemistry and Physics;
- School of Earth Sciences and Environment;
- School of Molecular and Biomedical Science;
- School of Veterinary Science.
There are 42 research centers including Water Research Center, Center for Economic Research, Center for Medical Engineering, etc.
The university has about 25,000 students, including 4,500 foreign students from more than 90 countries. Students have organized more than 35 sports and 90 cultural clubs. Five Nobel laureates, a Prime Minister and an astronaut studied there. The University library has more than 2 million units.
Monash University is located in Melbourne, the state of Victoria. It was founded in 1958 and named in honor of the Australian General John Monash who took an active part in the World War I. It is the largest university in Australia with about 55 thousand students. There are six campuses in Victoria and two campuses overseas: in South Africa and in Malaysia.
Monash University has 100 research centers of its own, for example, Center for Stem Cells Research, Gas Research Center and participates in 17 joint projects.
There are ten faculties within the university:
- Faculty of Fine Arts and Design;
- Faculty of Arts;
- Faculty of Business and Economics;
- Pedagogical Faculty;
- Faculty of Engineering;
- Faculty of Information Technologies;
- Faculty of Law;
- Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences;
- Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences;
- Faculty of Natural Sciences.
Recently, Monash University has gained a recognition of the international community for stem cells research. UM library preserves over 3.5 million units in its funds.
47 sports clubs and many sports facilities in each campus are at student’s disposal (pools, tennis courts, football fields and stadiums). 1100 Monash University graduates are included in the list of famous people of Australia.
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