Top 10 Cheapest Universities in Australia

Australia is home to many International students owing to their solid education system, one of the best in the world actually. The diverse culture, friendly environment and safe cities can’t be ignored too. The standard of living is high, and incurs some expenses which are worth it though.  Another major motivation for students is the number of scholarships available to them, as well as job opportunities afterwards. The process of getting a study permit is also generally stress-free.

Financing Your Study

Tuition fees vary based on your discipline, program, as well as your University. Averagely tuition for bachelor’s degree programs range anywhere from 20,000 – 45,000 AUD yearly, and 22,000 – 50,000 AUD yearly for Master’s degree.

Just like in the United States and United Kingdom, you’d need proof of your financial capabilities in order to apply for a student visa. This helps the government know you won’t become a liability, but instead would be able to cater to whatever living expenses is needed, be it food, rent, tuition, etc.

Depending on which student city you’re living, your budget will differ. However, be prepared to spend anywhere from 1,400 to 2,500 AUD monthly. Adelaide is one of the cheapest places, with Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane somewhere in the middle, and Sydney the most expensive.


For most schools, the student lodges can’t cater to the number of students they take in, so you might need to make provisions for an off campus accommodation. If you’re staying in an on-campus residence, you’ll be spending anywhere from 400 – 1,100 AUD monthly on your rent, and elsewhere, depending on what kind of apartment it is, anywhere from 750 – 2,000 AUD monthly. Of course, you need to make provisions for other utilities needed, so save some extra cash.

Feeding Expenses

Food can be readily gotten in the local supermarkets. Cheap supermarkets such as Coles, Woolworths and Aldi are also available to save costs on your purchases. If restaurant dining is your thing, then anywhere from 20 – 100 AUD will give you a fine experience.

Transportation Cost

Transport pass for students varies depending on your city of residence, but is generally about 30 – 70 AUD monthly. You might also enjoy available discount programs. On-campus students might also enjoy the campus transport available to them. Bicycles are pretty common in schools, and you could buy, or rent one daily at a fair price .


Do not forget to set aside some money for your health insurance, internet services, books and other materials that will help your education.

Scholarships and Grants

There are many scholarships to take advantage of for international students. These scholarships cover different categories of payments and are applicable to specific people, so find one that suits you or is available to a general group. Some examples include:

  1. Australia Awards – these scholarships and fellowships are funded by the Australian Government. They cover full tuition fees, travel expenses and part of your monthly living expenses.
  2. Australia APEC Women in Research Fellowship Program – this is restricted to female researchers from APEC economies who are interested in a research programme via collaboration with Australian universities.
  3. Destination Australia Program (DAP) – this is funded by the Australian Government as a way of encouraging both local and international students to enrol at academic institutions in the regional areas of Australia.

Always pay attention to the criteria laid down by the sponsors so you don’t waste your time and energy on applications, and keep your eyes and ears out for more funding opportunities.

Bear in mind that education in Australia is pretty expensive, though not as much as it is in the United States, and United Kingdom. So, if after going through the options, they are still beyond your budget, you might want to consider other countries like China with high standard of education at affordable rates.

Well, let’s get to the cheapest Universities in Australia based on tuition fees for international students:

Cheapest Universities

  1. UNIVERSITY OF DIVINITY: this is an Australian collegiate University where you can study in a number of fields related to divinity, such as Theology, and Philosophy. Their application fee ranges anywhere from 300 – 500 AUD, and tuition fee starts from about 16,000 AUD.

There are English Language requirements of score 6.5 with no band less than 6 for IELTS, and score 58 with no band less than 50 for PTE.

  1. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND: this is located in Queensland, Australia, and caters to a number of courses in various disciplines such as Science, Education, Health, Engineering, Arts etc. There are no application fees, and tuition is anywhere from 25,000 AUD yearly.

This University is medium sized and allows for more English Language requirement options. For PTE, the usual score is 58 with no band less than 58, however some programs go as high as 65. For TOEFL, a score of 90 with no component less than 20, while some courses require 95 with no band less than 22. For IELTS, a 6.5 with no band less than 6, or 7 with no band less than 7 for certain courses is the requirement.

  1. UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND: this is a different University (UQ) from the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). It is a public research University which is one of the top 50 reputable universities in the world. Application fee is usually about 100 AUD, with tuition fees starting from about 26,300 AUD yearly.

On English requirements, IELTS must be a score of 6.5 with no band less than 6, and for TOEFL, a score of 87 with writing component no less than 21, and Listening component no less than 19.

  1. UNIVERSITY OF SUNSHINE COAST: usually abbreviated as USC, this is located in Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Take a degree program, be it undergraduate or postgraduate in Tourism, IT, Business, Communication education. There are no application fees required, with tuition fee starting from 27,200 AUD per year.

For the English language requirements, IELTS should be 6.5 with no band less than 6, PTE should be 58 with no component less than 54, and TOEFL should be 85 with writing band not less than 21.

  1. UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA: usually abbreviated as UC, this is a public University located in Bruce, Canberra. Get an Undergraduate and postgraduate degree in courses such as Health, Science, Technology, Art and Design, Education etc. No application fees are needed here, and tuition fee starts from 27,200 AUD per year.

English requirements include a score of 58 with no band less than 50 for PTE, score of 6.5 with no band less than 6 for IELTS, and a score of 79 with no component less than 21 for TOEFL.

  1. CHARLES DARWIN UNIVERSITY: usually abbreviated as CDU, this is a public University which has the advantage of flexible study options for the benefit of students. There are also a wide range of vocational and degree programs, as well as training courses. No application fees are necessary, and tuition fee starts at 26,760 AUD per year.

IELTS score of 6.5 with no component less than 6, PTE score of 58 with no band less than 50, and TOEFL score of 79 with writing band no less than 21, are the English requirements for this University.

  1. SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITY: usually abbreviated as SCU, this public University has two campuses, one at South Wales, and the other at the end of the Gold coast. They are popular for their MBA programs and rated highly by the Graduate Management Association of Australia (GMAA). Application fee is about 50 AUD, and tuition starts at 27,600 AUD per year.

The English requirement acceptable is usually IELTS of 6 with no component less than 5.5.

  1. AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY: usually abbreviated as ACU, this is a public University with seven campuses in different regions of Australia, and even in Rome. This University is in the top 2% of all universities worldwide, and is no1 in Australia for graduate employment. They offer Masters, Bachelor and Doctoral degree programs. Application fee is about 110 AUD, and tuition fee starts at about 27,960 AUD per year.

The English requirements include PTE score of 61 with no band less than 50, IELTS score of 7 with no band less than 6, and TOEFL score of 90 with writing band no less than 21, speaking band no less than 18, Reading band no less than 20, and Listening band no less than 19.

  1. VICTORIA UNIVERSITY: this is usually abbreviated as VC, and is a public University located in Melbourne. They offer different Masters and Bachelor’s programs, but additionally offer TAFE program i.e. Technology and Further Education programs. Application fee costs about 127 AUD, and tuition fee costs about 28,600 AUD per year.

English requirements include IELTS score of 6.5 with no component less than 6, and TOEFL score of 90 with no component less than 20.

  1. JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY: usually abbreviated as JCU, this public University is located in North Queensland. The campus at Brisbane caters to the international students mainly on research in various fields eg Engineering, Marine Sciences, Biodiversity, Tropical health care, Tourism, Genetics and Genomics, Ecosystems and management, etc. Application fee is about 100 AUD, and tuition fees start at about 28,000 AUD per year.

The English language requirements include a PTE score of 72, IELTS score of 7.0 with no component less than 6.5, and TOEFL of 100 with writing band no less than 23.

AUD – Australian Dollars

TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language

PTE – Pearson Tests of English

IELTS – International English Language Testing System

Note that all the fees are subject to change at the discretion of the university, so always make room for miscellaneous fees. This is to wishing you the best as you advance your education in one of the most developed education systems in the world.