Affordable Australian Universities for International Students

Last updated: 3 November 2023 Australian University Guide Student Finance

Studying abroad is a dream many cherish as it unfolds a world of opportunities for cultural exploration and career advancement. In the learning process, you encounter diverse individuals, expanding your network in the most profound way. The educational journey in top global universities exposes you to experimental learning techniques, equipping you with practical skills that are highly relevant to the job market.

However, pursuing the right university and obtaining an education in Australia remains a pivotal decision for both domestic and international students. It is particularly significant when considering the financial aspects, encompassing the cost of living and tuition fees.

In this blog, we will discover some of the most affordable universities in Australia that offer a wide range of academic programs while being mindful of students' financial constraints.

affordable universities in australia

Affordable Cities in Australia for International Students

Gold Coast - a metropolitan city in Queensland, one of the top choices of international students. It is known for its high-quality education and low cost of living. Aesthetic beaches, theme parks, etc., surround the town, making it more engaging and pleasing. It is the sixth largest city in Australia.

Canberra - Australia's capital city, established on 12th March 1913, it is one of the most affordable and livable locations for international students. Students make up 30% of the city’s population, and according to a QS 2019 ranking, it is the 23rd-best student city in the world and has the most affordable universities in Australia for international students.

Adelaide - South Australia’s capital city, known for its food and wine. It is an excellent place to study and reside due to its fresh, green environment and coastal landscapes. Students can enjoy Glenelg, an old coastal area while studying abroad. 

Brisbane- Australia’s third largest university, serves as the state capital of Queensland. It is one of the most affordable cities to study in Australia. Brisbane is a significant destination for international students, which makes the cost of living more affordable with quality education. The city has world-class biotechnology and research facilities in many of its universities. 

Melbourne- has been one of Australia's most affordable and livable cities for seven consecutive years. It is the highest-ranked city in Australia and is also placed 105th in affordability. Living expenses in Melbourne are expensive. However, housing costs are relatively low in suburban regions like Brunswick. 

Affordable Australian Universities Offering Bachelor’s Degrees

University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ)

The University of Southern Queensland is a medium-sized regional university established in 1967 in Toowoomba, Queensland. Two of its campuses are located in Ipswich and Springfield. The university aims to offer quality courses and programs at an affordable price, thus making it one of the best universities to study in Australia. 

According to the QS World University Rankings 2024, the university was ranked 410, with an acceptance rate of 69%. In addition, the university conducts regular student events, personal counseling facilities, medical checkups, etc. Some notable alumni are - Richard Dalla Riva, Paul Lucas, Preetha Krishna, etc.

Griffith University

Griffith University is one of Australia's oldest and most affordable universities for international students. The public university was established in 1971 in South East Queensland. According to the QS World University Ranking 2024, it ranks 243rd and has an acceptance rate of 50%. The university gained recognition through scientific breakthroughs and received some accolades for the malaria vaccine created at the University of Glycomia.

Edith Cowan University (ECU)

Edith Cowan University is a great choice if you're looking for budget-friendly universities in Australia. The university offers affordable course programs that go beyond traditional classroom instruction. Established in 1991, it is the only university in Australia with a female name.

Edith Cowan University has also earned international recognition. According to the QS World Rankings for 2024, the university holds a global ranking of 529 and maintains a reasonable acceptance rate of 61%. Moreover, ECU's courses are widely acknowledged and accredited by numerous international organizations, further solidifying its reputation as a compelling educational institution.

Charles Darwin University (CDU)

Charles Darwin University is an Australian Public University established in 2003. As of 2022, the university has a strong network of active alumni, 70,000 spread across the globe. According to QS Ranking 2024, CDU ranks 601-610, with an acceptance rate of 66%. In addition, the Times Higher Education ranked the university 501-600 worldwide. 

International students applying for CDU courses can enjoy several benefits, such as an innovative study culture and a well-structured education system that extends beyond the classroom. 

Affordable Australian Universities Offering Master’s Degrees

University of Canberra (UC)

The University of Canberra is a public research university established in 1967, with its main campus in Bruce, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. According to QS World University Rankings 2024, UC ranks 421 with an acceptance rate of 89%. It has academic affiliations with ASAIHL and New Generation Universities. The university offers postgraduate programs in five faculties: health, art and design, business government and law, education, and science and technology, with many scholarships, thus making it one of the most affordable universities in Australia. Some notable alumni include Peter Leahy, Donald Horne, Janine Deakin, etc.

Torrens University Australia

Torrens University Australia is a private university established in 2012 with campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Blue Mountains, Australia, Auckland, New Zealand, and Suzhou, China. The university ranks 7th nationwide due to its quality of education and affordable course offerings. In addition, it has been recognized as one of Australia’s most innovative companies three years in a row. Torrens holds the 2nd position in the overall employment for undergraduate international students. Daniel Menzel and Jonathan Giles are some of the university's notable alumni.

RMIT University

RMIT University is a public research university established in 1887 in Melbourne, Australia. It has academic affiliations with ATN, ASAIHL, and OUA. According to QS World University Rankings 2024, the university has secured 140 globally, with an acceptance rate of 22%. RMIT offers various scholarships and bursaries to help international students with all expenses, such as books, accommodation, and living expenses. In addition, the university provides a range of career and job support services to help students find job opportunities. Some notable alumni are Robin Hill, Jonathan Ling, Sean Godsell, etc. 

University of Wollongong (UOW)

UOW is a public research university founded in 1951 in Wollongong, New South Wales. The university has an enrollment of over 12300 international students and an alumni base of over 176000. It is one of the most affordable universities in Australia. According to QS World Ranking 2024, the university ranks 162 worldwide for its state-of-the-art facilities and affordable, world-class education. The acceptance rate of the college is 22%. Some notable alumni are Kate Bell, David Hurley, Graham West, etc.

Federation University Australia (Fed Uni)

Fed Uni is a public, multi-sector university established in 1870 in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. It is the fourth oldest tertiary university institution in Australia. According to the Times Higher Education Ranking 2023, the university ranks 1288 globally, with an acceptance rate of 66%. The living expenses at Federation University Australia are significantly lower than in large Australian cities, thus making it one of the best value universities in Australia for international students. Some notable alumni include - Peter Crisp, Marcus Wills, Aunty Donna, etc. The university is known for building a generation of independent thinkers and creating a history. 

Cost of Living in Australia for International Students

Candidates can check the breakdown of the average weekly expenses for international students.

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Australian Education System

Australia consistently ranks among the top three countries globally for its education system, boasting a quality index of 70.5. Its education system is widely recognized for its well-structured, organized, and disciplined approach, making it a magnet for students worldwide seeking a forward-looking educational experience. The Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) further enhances the appeal, offering a comprehensive spectrum of education levels, ranging from certificates to doctoral degrees.

What makes the Australian education system particularly advantageous for international students is its stringent regulation of all education institutions operating in the country. The system establishes a clear equivalency framework, enabling you to smoothly transition to an Australian educational institution after completing high school in your home country.

Whether you aspire to pursue a diploma, an advanced diploma, or a bachelor's degree, Australia offers a seamless path to achieve your educational goals.

Study at an Affordable Australian University

If you want to study in Australia and keep costs low, contact SI-Australia today, and our experienced team can take you through all of your available study options.

Affordable Universities in Australia FAQ

Which university in Australia is the most affordable?

The first thing that comes to mind when studying abroad is the program fees and living expenses. Getting higher education in Australia is not as expensive as in other countries. Many affordable universities cut the cost of heavy expenses. 

Where is the most affordable place to study in Australia?

Melbourne has been one of Australia's most affordable and livable cities for seven consecutive years. The average cost of living is AUD 2132 - AUD 2652 per month.

Which are the best, most affordable universities in Sydney?

Some of the best affordable universities in Sydney include Australian Catholic University, Western Sydney University and Southern Cross University.

Which are the best affordable universities in Melbourne?

The best affordable universities in Melbourne are Victoria University, Monash University, and RMIT University.

Universities featured in this article:

  • Charles Darwin University
  • Griffith University
  • Edith Cowan University
  • RMIT University
  • University of Canberra
  • Federation University of Australia
  • University of Wollongong
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