6 Australian universities that you can apply to for free
People sit along the grassy area at Bondi Beach in Sydney. Source: Bianca De Marchi/AFP

Getting a world-class education with seven Australian unis ranking in the Top 100 for QS World University Rankings 2023. Earning at least the minimum wage of 21.38 Australian dollars per hour while studying. Livable cities with easy access to public transportation. Living with people from all four corners of the globe, with close to one in three people in Australia from abroad.

It’s well-known that Australia is a haven for international students. But lesser known is another plus point: (mostly) free application to unis.

Most Australian unis charge a non-refundable application fee of 50 to 100 Australian dollars — however, this may be waived.

Application fees may seem small if you’re just applying to one or two unis of your choice. This isn’t the case if you’re planning to apply to multiple universities. If you apply to 10 unis, you could pay up to A$1,000. 

The good news is there are Australian universities that waive this fee: 

People enjoy a ride during the Moomba Festival in Melbourne on March 13, 2022. Source: William West/AFP

RMIT University, Melbourne

Ranked #90 in QS World University Rankings 2023, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) hosts 97,000 international students from over 230 countries. 

Located in the capital of coffee culture, RMIT is known for its research in technology, design and enterprise. Their mission? To teach students to shape the world through research, innovation, quality teaching and engagement. On top of that, students can complete a semester overseas, either through a cross-campus study in Vietnam or through a study abroad programme in Singapore, Hong Kong and China.  

Applying to RMIT is free, unless you are from this list of countries. If you belong to the latte, you are expected to pay a non-refundable application fee of 100 Australian dollars. But the great news is, if you are considered for admission and choose to accept the offer, the fee will be used to offset your tuition fee deposit. 

The University of South Australia (UniSA), Adelaide

Unlike RMIT, The University of South Australia (UniSA) offers free applications to everyone regardless of the country they’re applying from. International students can submit their applications through the UniSA portal

UniSA is a public research university that was ranked #29 in QS Top 50 Universities Aged Under 50. They also boast many university achievements and global recognitions such as being rated five stars for excellence in research, employability, teaching, facilities, internationalisation, inclusiveness and innovation. With over 2,500 industry partnerships, the university provides students with a valuable global network as well as work opportunities. 

Charles Darwin University (CDU), Darwin

Charles Darwin University (CDU) is located in the Northern Territory of Australia, less than five hours by flight from Singapore. Built on social justice, sustainability, creativity and collective effort, CDU prides itself as a new world university that embraces change and challenges conventions, repelling the idea of tradition or legacy. Fostering a student-focused community, it is the perfect place for international students to follow their passion. 

International students at CDU have the opportunity to apply for student exchange programmes, study abroad programmes and internship placements. Here is a list of partner universities.

CDU has four campuses across the famous Northern Territory located in Darwin, Alice Springs, Palmerston and Katherine, as well as study centres in Sydney, Jabiru, Tennant Creek and Yulara. 

No application fees are required. click here to submit your applications online.

People walk past statues of kangaroos in Perth. Source: Trevor Collens/AFP

University Of Notre Dame

University Of Notre Dame is a private Catholic university based in various locations across

Western Australia. Emphasising Catholic values, the university welcomes international students of all faiths and beliefs or none, from all over the world. There is a list of undergraduate programmes ranging from arts and sciences to philosophy and physiotherapy. At the postgraduate level, programmes

Committed to honouring every individual, the University believes in preparing students for more than just a career path. An education at Notre Dame is well-rounded with a focus on five pillars: educating for the common good, integral human development, universality, transformative research, and integrating practice and knowledge. 

Be sure to check your admission requirements before applying for free here

Bond University, Gold Coast

“Forever learning” – this motto rings true for Bond University. Here, class sizes are intentionally small to encourage productive engagement and personalised mentoring. There is also an open-door policy outside of class hours for students to have one-on-one access to their mentors. 

Other than that, Bond University offers accelerated degrees where students can complete their bachelor’s degree in just two years and finish a year ahead of their peers. Every degree at the university is embedded with skills needed by all students under the Bond Core curriculum. This helps students develop essential graduate attributes such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration and leadership — all of which are essential in today’s workplace.

Follow this guide on how to apply to Bond University. 

Wollongong is home to beautiful patrolled beaches. Source: Gilberto Olimpio/Pexels

University of Wollongong (UOW), New South Wales

Ranked 24th for 2022 in the Young University Rankings, the University of Wollongong (UOW) prides itself in helping students find their why and their passions. Built on values such as intellectual openness, mutual respect, diversity and empowerment, UOW is committed to finding solutions and driving positive change. 

The university is providing students access to quality education in Hong Kong, Dubai and cities in Malaysia through its global campuses. Apart from that, students can also explore twinning programmes with prestigious Chinese universities that are recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Education.

UOW offers free applications to international students. You can apply to UOW here