Australia Migration, Immigration Australia, Migrating to Australia
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Australian Student Fees

Australian Student Fees

Undergraduate Fees

Since 1998, universities have been able to offer fee-paying places to Australian undergraduate students. These places can only be offered on the condition that universities have met their enrolment target for Commonwealth funded student places. Universities will face financial penalties if they do not meet this condition.

It will be up to universities to decide whether they want to offer fee-paying places and which courses they will offer them in. If a university decides to charge fees, then the number of domestic undergraduate fee-paying student places will be limited to 25 per cent of the total number of places held by domestic students in any given award course.

Universities will not be able to substitute fee-paying undergraduate places for HECS liable places, nor will they be able to move entire undergraduate courses onto a fee-paying basis. The overwhelming majority of students will continue to contribute to the costs of their higher education through HECS.

Units of study offered to domestic undergraduate fee-paying students must be available to undergraduate students enrolled on a HECS-liable or non-fee-paying HECS exempt basis.

HECS-liable and non-fee paying HECS exempt students (recipients of merit-based equity scholarships and students in places fully funded by an employer) must be able to complete the requirements of their award course without being required to pay fees and must have access to the full range of unit electives offered for their award course.

For more information, consult the Guidelines for domestic fee paying undergraduate students in award courses, contained in the HECS, Loans and Fees Manual 2003.

Postgraduate Fees

Universities may offer postgraduate courses on a fee-paying basis.

It is up to each university to decide on the mix of HECS-liable and fee-paying postgraduate student places across its various faculties and schools.

There is no requirement for universities to charge either a minimum or a maximum fee for postgraduate courses.

There are several groups of postgraduate students who are protected from paying full tuition fees to undertake their course of study. These are: 

  • students enrolled in a course on a HECS-liable basis and non fee paying HECS exempt students (students who hold a research training place under the Research Training Scheme  and students in places fully funded by an employer); 
  • students in a postgraduate general nursing course required for initial registration; 
  • students undertaking a postgraduate award course providing initial teacher training; and 
  • students undertaking a postgraduate award course the completion of which would allow provisional registration as a medical practitioner 

Students who are protected from full tuition fees must be offered either a HECS-liable or HECS-exempt place to undertake their course of study. Subject to their citizenship status, students who are offered a HECS-liable place will have the choice of paying their HECS contribution up-front, making a partial payment or deferring all of their HECS contribution.

For more information on postgraduate fees consult the Guidelines for domestic fee paying postgraduate students in award courses, contained in the HECS, Loans and Fees Manual 2003



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