Affordable Universities in Australia for International Students

Last updated: 17 January 2024 Student Finance

Australia is one of the most popular study destinations in the world, offering international students a unique experience that cannot be found anywhere else. According to the Australian Government Department of Education, the number of international students studying in Australia is around 746,080 from January to September 2023. Still, the question that many potential students may be asking before applying is, "Can I afford it?".

Thankfully, many affordable universities in Australia offer courses and programs, such as entry pathways, diplomas, bachelor’s, master’s, and research courses in specialisations like business, engineering, healthcare, law, and education.

If you’re overwhelmed by the choices available and need expert guidance regarding studying in Australia and the university selection process, why not arrange a free consultation with SI-Australia today? Our education consultants will take you through your study options and expenses and help you decide which next step is the right one.

Low Cost Universities in Australia for International Students

Australian universities offer affordable education to international students in different forms, such as scholarships, financial grants, and other aid. Additionally, many universities offer lower tuition fees as compared to other countries. Also, Australia's living costs are affordable in certain places, such as Gold Coast and Canberra. 

1. University of Southern Queensland

The University of Southern Queensland is a public research university that received university status in 1992 in Brisbane, Australia. It is one of the low-cost universities in Australia offering courses in business, law, and engineering. Up until now, the university has over 110,000 alumni dispersed around 146 countries across the globe. The tuition fees for international students vary depending on each course's study level and subject area. International tuition fees are set by the university and are reviewed annually. 

2. Charles Darwin University

Charles Darwin University is a public university established in 2003 with a campus in Darwin and eight satellite campuses in some metropolitan and regional areas. CDU is a member of the group of seven Innovative Research Universities in Australia and offers academic degrees and vocational training. The university believes in the transformative power of training, education, and research to change people’s lives. 

3. Federation University of Australia

Federation University of Australia is a multi-sector public university that received its university recognition in 1994. It is Australia's fourth oldest tertiary education institution, offering courses in education, science, and health. The university provides course-based annual fees, which students are charged for each semester they enrol. However, it is renowned for its cost-effective education options, making it a popular choice for international students. 

4. University of Sunshine Coast

Established in 1996, the University of Sunshine Coast is a public university that ranks second in Australia for overall education experience. The university offers pathway, undergraduate, and postgraduate programs in medical and health sciences, arts and international studies, law, criminology, and engineering. Thus, USC combines quality education with a lower cost of living, making it an attractive option for students looking for affordable universities in Australia. 

5. Southern Cross University

Southern Cross University is a public university with campuses at Lismore and Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales and Coolangatta of Gold Coast in Queensland. It is also ranked among the top 100 young universities in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Southern Cross University provides affordable education with a comfortable lifestyle. 

6. Central Queensland University

The Central Queensland University is a public university established in 1967 in Queensland, Australia. It ranks among the top two per cent for graduate employability. CQU offers programs in various disciplines, including apprenticeship, trades and training, accounting, law, and visual arts, at low-cost tuition fees for international students. 

7. University of Wollongong

The University of Wollongong is an Australian public research university established in 1951 in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. It is globally recognised for delivering impactful research that positively impacts society. The university offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and vocational arts, humanities, engineering, and healthcare studies with affordable tuition fees. In addition, UOW ranks 70th among the world’s universities for social and economic impact in THE Impact rankings. 

8. Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University is a top public university established in 1989 in Penrith, Australia. It is a world-class university with a growing international approach and a reputation for academic excellence. The university focuses on equipping students to be workplace-ready by responding to workplace challenges. If we talk about the fees, Western Sydney University offers affordable and competitive tuition fees for international students pursuing bachelor's and masters. 

9. Edith Cowan University

Edith Cowan University is one of the most affordable universities in Australia for international students. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in areas such as business, education, engineering, law, nursing, and psychology. ECU has a reputation for providing high-quality education at an affordable cost, making it a popular choice for international students. Also, the cost of living in Perth is lower than other cities in Australia, making it an attractive option for those seeking an affordable university experience.

10. La Trobe University

La Trobe University is a public research university established in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is one of the top universities in Australia, ranking 242nd in the QS 2024 rankings. The objective of La Trobe University is to embrace the power of equality, diversity, and inclusivity. Besides, the university is known for its affordable tuition fees (especially master’s degrees) with a research-oriented approach. 

Study in Australia

If you want to study at an Australian university with low tuition and living costs, contact SI-Australia today, and we can help you apply.

Universities featured in this article:

  • University of Queensland
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Federation University of Australia
  • University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Southern Cross University
  • University of Wollongong
  • Western Sydney University
  • Central Queensland University
  • Edith Cowan University
  • La Trobe University
Back to Study Guide

"SI-Australia helped me successfully apply to study business in Australia and I cannot thank them enough for their support. They assisted me with each step, ensuring I was aware of all my options in terms of program and university selection, making the process totally stress free."

Isabella Ramos Business and Management

Isabella Ramos