Australian Admissions Checklist

If you dream of attending an Australian university, here’s how to make that fantasy come true. Australia has a centralized application process for students from Australia and New Zealand. Students from other countries must apply to individual universities, so it’s best to start the process earlier.

Three Years Before You Enter University Research universities and identify courses you are interested in Research scholarships Contact universities by email or mail Learn entrance requirements at each university. Locate the nearest office of the Australian Commission on Educational Research (ACER) All schools in Australia are regulated by the state or territorial government. The higher education tax system in Australia ensures that the brightest students are able to attend university, without worrying about the cost.

For this reason, the most intelligent students, not the richest, usually go to state universities in Australia. On the other hand, private universities may have more financial aid available for international students. Compared to similar programs in the United Kingdom or the United States, it is much cheaper to live and learn in Australia. The cost of living is low, and students can work up to 20 hours per week.

Two Years Before You Enter University Take the STAT in October or November Apply for scholarships, grants, loans and funding from your home country Apply for scholarships, grants, and other funding from a variety of sources:

  • The Australian Government
  • The Australian States and Territories
  • Australian Companies
  • The United Nations
  • The World Bank
  • International Student Loans Begin working on your personal statement or Statement of Purpose (SOP)

Since the STAT measures ability and not knowledge, there’s no advantage in taking it later. Take it in October or November. If you don’t score well, you can always take the test again next year. Australia offers a variety of scholarships for students in high-demand professions. Usually, the students must agree to work in Australia for a specified period after graduation. Contact each Australian state for more specific information.

One Year Before You Enter University Take the IELTS or TOEFL English tests, if required. Complete your personal essay or Statement of Purpose (SOP) Complete applications for each university on time. Receive an offer letter from one or more universities and select one Make sure you have funding in place for your education. Apply for a preliminary assessment of your student visa, if required Get health insurance coverage through the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) Get a medical exam, if required Pay at least one semester’s tuition, if required. Receive your eCoE from the university Apply for a student visa Receive your student visa The school year for Australian universities starts at the end of February and runs until November, so plan accordingly.

If English is not your first language, most Australian universities will require that you complete an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test, or a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam. Depending upon which African country you come from, you may be required to have a preliminary assessment for your student visa. Once this is complete, you can get health coverage, pay your tuition and receive the electronic Confirmation of Enrollment (eCoE) from your university. With that in hand, you can officially apply for your student visa.

Your student visa will not be issued until you have met any financial requirements of your university, and obtained health coverage through the OSHC (Overseas Students Health Cover.) OSHC is designed specifically to provide health coverage for international students, and their families, while studying in Australia. The rates range from $300 for a single student to $1,000 for a family. OSHC covers medical and hospital care, but not dental care.

The Australian Student Visa

Congratulations! You’ve been accepted by an Australian university. Now it’s time to think about your student visa. You should apply for your visa as soon as possible – at least two months before you begin classes.

Each person applying for a student visa from the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) must meet certain standards. The standards are a bit more severe if you are an Assessment Level 3 or 4 student, rather than an Assessment Level 2 or 3 student. (See Understanding Assessment Levels for more on this topic.)

All students from Africa, and most other nations, must apply for their first student visa before they enter the country. You cannot go to Australia as a tourist and then apply for a student visa from within the country.

An essential part of your visa application is the financial information. You’ll need to provide evidence to the DIMIA that you are able to support yourself, including paying your school fees, while you are in the country. Although you will probably be allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during the school term, this can’t be counted as part of your financial evidence.

Fully funded students need to show only a minimum amount of financial resources to obtain a student visa. These are students whose education is being paid for by a scholarship or grant. Some fully funded students receive money from their home country, while others receive funds from Australian companies, the UN, the World Bank or other sources.

You’ll also need to demonstrate that you speak English well enough to complete the course you have chosen. Normally, you will have completed an English test as part of the university application process. The DIMIA will also determine that you are a genuine student. They’ll consider if your past grades and education are consistent with the program you’re enrolling in.

In Australia, as in other countries, it’s very helpful to demonstrate that you have strong reasons to return to your home country once your education is completed. This may include family members who remain in your native country, or a business or other financial resources. All of these factors will convince the DIMIA official that you intend to return to Africa once your education is complete.

Your student visa is usually granted for 2 months longer than your course of study. If your course of study ends in November or December, your student visa will be valid until March 15 of the following year. If your course of study is 10 months or less, your student visa will be valid for 30 days after the end of your course.

Your student visa allows you to leave Australia and return. You can bring your family members including spouse and dependent children to Australia with you. Boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 15 will have to conform to Australian law by attending school. If you leave Australia for any reason, such as visiting your home country, your dependents must accompany you.

Before your student visa is issued, you’ll need to obtain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), which provides medical and hospital insurance. OSHC ensures that you will have medical care while you are visiting, at no expense to the Australian government. You’ll need to include proof of OSHC payment with your visa application. While you’re in Australia, you’ll need to maintain your student visa by attending class at least 80% of the time, and earning passing marks in your courses.



Australia Awards Scholarships in Africa

Australia’s international development assistance in Africa aims to help people overcome poverty through economic development. The Australia Awards form a core part of Australia’s development assistance in Africa. The Awards develop the capacity and leadership skills of Africans to enable them to contribute effectively to development in their home country.

Australia Awards Scholarships are prestigious international awards offered by the Australian Government to the next generation of global leaders for development. Through study and research, recipients develop the skills and knowledge to drive change and help build enduring people-to-people links with Australia.

Applicants will be assessed for their professional and personal qualities, academic competence and, most importantly, their potential to impact on development challenges in Africa.

Applications are strongly encouraged from women and people with disability.

Priority fields of study

The priority areas of study for Africa are aligned with development priorities indicated at:

Level of study

Australia Awards Scholarships

These Scholarships provide citizens of eligible African countries with the opportunity to obtain a postgraduate qualification at an Australian tertiary institution. Awards are available for studies at Masters-level for 11 African countries. Details of eligibility by country can be found

Short Course Awards

The Australian Government also offers a range of short courses for applicants seeking targeted professional development studies in extractives governance, agricultural productivity, and public policy.  Awards are available for 22 African countries. For information on how to apply visit:

Australia Awards Benefits

Australia Awards Scholarships are offered for the minimum period necessary for the individual to complete the academic program specified by the Australian education institution, including any preparatory training.

Scholarship recipients will generally receive the following:

  • return air travel
  • a one-off establishment allowance on arrival
  • full tuition fees
  • contribution to living expenses
  • introductory academic program
  • Overseas Student Health Cover for the duration of the Scholarship
  • supplementary academic support and
  • fieldwork allowance (for research and masters by coursework which has a research component where fieldwork is a compulsory component).


Equity and participation

Mechanisms and funding are available to support people with disability to participate in the Australia Awards Program. To ensure equity and broad participation, the Australian Government encourages women, people with disability, ethnic minorities, people living in rural areas and members of socio-economically disadvantaged groups to apply.

Eligibility criteria

Australia Awards applicants must meet all eligibility requirements detailed in the Australia Awards Scholarships Policy Handbook, available at:

Additional eligibility criteria may vary from country to country. For more details on the application guidelines and eligibility for your country, please visit the following website:

Special conditions

Special conditions may also differ from country to country. For more details on the conditions for your country, please visit

Application dates (for Masters study commencing in Australia in 2019)

Opening date:     1 September 2017

Closing date:      15 December 2017

Applications or supporting documents received after these dates will not be considered.

Application dates (for Short Course Awards commencing in 2018-19)

Opening date:     1 September 2017

Closing date:      15 January 2018

Applications or supporting documents received after these dates will not be considered.

The application process­

Electronic applications

We strongly advise applicants to submit their application and all required supporting documentation via email to the correct e-form.

The e-form can be obtained by sending a request via the Australia Awards website for Africa:

Hardcopy applications

Application forms can be downloaded from: www.australiaawardsafrica.organd must be submitted to the Australia Awards offices in Nairobi, Kenya or Pretoria, South Africa, as indicated on the application form.

Supporting documents

Applicants must submit with their application all of the relevant supporting documents listed in the Australia Scholarships Policy Handbook, available at:

Document type Certified
Proof of citizenship i.e. birth certificate /passport if available and photographic identification i.e. student card/drivers license if a passport is not available. yes
Tertiary degree certificates (Bachelors level for Masters Awards and Masters level for Ph.D. awards) yes
Academic transcripts (where they are not in English please provide an English translation) yes
IELTS, TOEFL or PTE Academic results No
Academic Referee Reports (with seal) No
Employment Referee report with seal No
Curriculum Vitae No
Reintegration Action


Letter from Supervisor No
Signed Signatures and Commitments Page No
Statutory Declaration Yes

The selection process­

  • Following eligibility checking, applications will be shortlisted. The selection process will also include an interview. Applicants will be assessed against the following criteria:
    • Academic competence
    • Potential outcome, including contribution to development outcomes in your home country.
    • Professional and personal leadership attributes
    • Work experience and level of seniority in the organization.

Preparatory training

  • All successful applicants will be required to attend a pre-departure briefing
  • You may be required to complete the following preparatory training and or testing:
  • IELTS-International English Language Testing System to assess English language competence.


All applicants will receive notification as to whether they have been successful by July 2018.

Participating countries

Scholarships and Short Course Awards

  • Botswana
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia

Short Course Awards Only

  • Cameroon
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Ethiopia
  • Namibia
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe