Australia remains one of the most popular destinations for international students. To date, there are almost 1.6 million enrolled in higher education institutions. The numbers are expected to further increase, given the country’s excellent academic system, high quality of living, and picturesque landscapes.

Although the cost of living in Australia can be pretty high, it shouldn’t hinder your dreams of studying abroad. After all, there are cheap universities in Australia where you can study without breaking the bank.

Affordable Universities in Australia for International Students

1. Federation University of Australia

The Federation University or FedUni is a public university based in Ballarat – with branches in Churchill, Horsham, and Berwick also. Founded in 1870, it is the fourth-oldest higher education institution in Australia. With the tuition fee starting from AUD 22000 per year, the Federation University of Australia is the cheapest university in Australia for international students.

FedUni offers programs in the areas of Humanities, Engineering, Business, Science, Math, Nursing, Midwifery, Paramedicine, Psychology, Performing or Visual Arts, Information Technology, Occupational Health, and Physical Education.

As one of the top universities in Australia, FedUni is home to 14,500+ local enrollees and almost 9,000 foreign students.

2. Victoria University

Victoria University, also known as VU or VicUni, is a public educational institution situated in Melbourne, Australia. It opened in 1916 as the Footscray Technical School before it was awarded university status in the year 1990.

VU, which is regarded as one of the best universities in Australia, has campuses in the western region as well as Sydney. These branches altogether house 15,000 students – with 28% of the population coming from international backgrounds.

At VU, students can enroll in either the College of Art & Education, Business, Engineering & Science, Health & Biomedicine, Law & Justice, and Sports & Exercise Science.

3. Torrens University

Torrens University is a cheap private university in Australia. It opened in the year 2013, making it one of the youngest universities in Australia.

Torrens University offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees through its Colleges of Business and Communication, Design, Business, Media Design, Hotel Management, and Hospitality Management.

As of date, Torrens University has 10,000 local and foreign students enrolled in its various schools.

4. Charles Darwin University

Charles Darwin University is a public educational institution that opened in 2003 following the merger between 3 schools. While it is headquartered in Darwin, CDU also oversees 8 branches within the region.

As a dual-sector university, CDU offers vocational and university courses in the areas of Business & Law, Education, Engineering & IT, Health & Human Science, Indigenous Society, and Nursing & Midwifery.

CDU, which is one of the most affordable universities in Australia, has an enrollment rate of only 6,200+ students. Although this is the case, it has a diverse population with 30% coming from outside Australia.

5. Australian Catholic University

The Australian Catholic University (ACU) is a top-rated public university in Queensland, Australia. It opened in 1991 following the amalgamation of 4 institutions – some of which have been around since the 1800s.

ACU offers undergraduate and graduate programs through its 4 faculties, namely Education & Arts, Health Sciences, Law & Business, and Theology & Philosophy.

To date, ACU has 24,000+ students – 13% foreign – dispersed throughout ACU’s 7 local branches.

The university also holds a satellite branch in Rome together with the Catholic University of America. Although the university is not geared towards research, ACU is aiming to increase such activity through its intensification program.

6. University of the Sunshine Coast

The University of the Sunshine Coast or USC first opened its doors in the year 1996. From a measly enrollment rate of 624 students, USC has grown into a big public university of 10,242 students – 18% of which are international learners. It has also progressed as one of the best universities in Australia despite its relatively young age.

This cheap university in Australia has the main campus at Sippy Downs and branches at the Fraser Coast, Caboolture, and Gympie. At these schools, USC students can complete their undergraduate or graduate degrees in the fields of Business, Tourism & IT, Design & Communication, Creative Industry, Engineering & Science, Education, or Health & Sports Science.

7. Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University (WSU) is a public university that first operated in the year 1989. True to its name, it serves Western Sydney – although it also has campuses in Perth, Parramatta, Blacktown, Bankstown, Campbelltown, Liverpool, and Hawkesbury.

Like other Australian universities before it, WSU was established following the merger of 2 colleges. This has given the university a wide array of Schools, including Business, Computing, Education, Law, Medicine, Nursing & Midwifery, Social Science & Psychology, Science & Health, and Humanities.

WSU has a relatively high foreign enrollment rate, with 20% of its 34,750 students coming from different countries outside Australia.

8. University of Wollongong

The University of Wollongong, one of the cheapest universities in Australia for international students, is a public research institution based in New South Wales. Formerly the New South Wales University of Technology, it has become an independent entity with campuses in Shoalhaven, Sydney, Batemans Bay, Bega, and Moss Vale.

UOW offers multiple programs in the fields of Business, Engineering & Information Science, Law & Humanities, Science & Medicine, and Social Science.

As a highly globalized university, 29% of UOW’s 18,500+ students come from over 134 countries.

9. Southern Cross University

Southern Cross University (SCU) is a multi-campus public university with branches in Lismore, Coffs Harbour, and Gold Coast. It is one of the world’s best young universities, having only opened in the year 1994.

The university’s undergraduate and graduate programs are delivered through the Schools of Art & Social Science, Business & Tourism, Education, Environment & Technology, Health & Human Science, and Law & Justice. SCU also houses a College of the Australian Indigenous Peoples.

As with most universities, SCU has a high foreign studentship, with 32% of its 10,000+ students coming from outside Australia.

10. University of New England

The University of New England (UNE) – not to be confused with the one in the USA – is a public institution located in Armidale, New South Wales. It opened in the year 1938 as the New England College of the University of Sydney. But in 1994, it merged with the Northern Rivers College to form the present-day UNE.

This cheap university in Australia is divided into the Faculties of Humanities, which oversees 2 schools; Science, which governs 4 schools; and Medicine & Health, which has 3 departments under its belt.

Currently, UNE hosts 14,000+ undergraduate and 6,000+ graduate students from Australia and the rest of the world. Most of them are housed in the university’s 7 colleges, making UNE one of the biggest residential institutions in the country.

FAQs about Studying in Australia

What Are the Requirements for Studying in Australia?

To study in Australia, you need a high school certificate (for undergraduate studies) or a bachelor’s diploma (for Masters or Ph.D.) You also need to meet the set English proficiency score such as IELTS or TOEFL by your university of choice.

Additionally, you need to provide proof that you have the financial capacity to study and stay in Australia throughout your schooling.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Can You Study Using English at Australian Universities?

Yes, since English is the primary language used in Australia. To get into the University of Sydney, for example, you need to have English as your first language. If not, you must take the IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE test. The same requirements apply at the University of Melbourne, though the cut-off scores generally differ from school to school.


We hope that this article on the cheapest universities in Australia for international students was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students to know more!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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  1. Anonymous May 12, 2024 5:17 am - Reply

    Thank you Hyun, for all the resources you bringing to our doorstep. Well appreciated.

    • Hyun Lee May 12, 2024 2:02 pm - Reply

      You are welcome!

  2. MOHAMMAD HAMIDI May 14, 2024 2:27 pm - Reply

    Thank you Hyun, for all the resources you bringing to our doorstep. Well appreciated.

    • Hyun Lee May 15, 2024 1:54 pm - Reply

      You are welcome!

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