Studying abroad is a dream many international students hope to achieve. Source: Mandel Ngan / AFP

As one of the leading countries for higher education, Australia is famous for so much more than just its warm climate, beaches and kangaroos. The Land Down Under is home to over 43 universities of which 36 institutions were ranked in the QS World University Rankings for 2021.

Thanks to its excellent learning and teaching resources, every year Australia brings in thousands of international students. This year alone the country has seen over 550,409 international students

Studying here is a dream many students want to pursue. Not only do they stand to earn a degree  respected globally, they’ll get to explore the finest Australia has to offer too, from Melbourne’s coffee culture to Sydney’s legendary nightlife, from celebrated vineyards to the legendary sunsets and stark charms of the Australian bush.

This dream, however, is expensive for most of us. The average cost of higher education ranges from 20,000 to 45,000 Australian dollars annually. This, coupled with the average cost of living between A$1,400 and 2,500 a month, can burn many holes in an average international student’s pocket.

Though Australia has many scholarships and financial aid options available for students, there just aren’t enough to go around. 

But don’t let all of this stop you from fulfilling your dream of studying in Australia. There’s still one more recourse: affordable universities in Australia where you can study without breaking the bank.

Here is a list of five of the cheapest universities in Australia for international students:

1. University of the Sunshine Coast

The University of the Sunshine Coast (UniSC) first opened its doors in 1994. Located in Queensland, it is the second-ranked public university in Australia, #1 in Queensland for overall educational experience and has a five-star rating for teaching.

Despite producing ground-breaking research, championing sustainability, and supporting gold-winning athletes and award-winning alumni, UniSC’s fees are affordable. The annual cost of pursuing a degree here starts as low as A$24,400.

2. Charles Sturt University

Charles Sturt University offers hundreds of courses spread across five welcoming campuses. Pursue any one of them, and you stand to get jobs faster than graduates from any other Australian university, according to QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey 2021. They earn an average of A$70,000 straight after graduating. If your campus is in a regional area, you could be eligible for extended post-study work rights too.

What’s more, international students only pay as low as A$21,280 annually to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Charles Sturt University.

3. Federation University Australia

Federation University Australiaederation University Australia (FedUni) is Victoria’s premier regional university. It’s rated the number one university in Victoria for the way it supports students and develops their skills. It’s also number one in Victoria for helping its graduates find full-time employment.

That’s not all. FedUni is the alma mater of Australia’s leaders, innovators and thinkers for 150 years. ranked in the top 100 worldwide for Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities and Gender Equity. It is also ranked in the top 20% of universities globally in Quality Education (SDG4), and in the top 25% of universities globally in Good Health and Well-being (SDG3), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7), Peace and Justice (SDG16) and Partnership for the Goals (SDG17).

Studying here is affordable. Its annual fee for the Bachelor of Arts is A$15,750The university offers financial aid, textbook and laptop vouchers, and scholarships as well.

4. Southern Cross University

Southern Cross University (SCU) has established multiple campuses in New South Wales, South East Queensland, Lismore and Coffs Harbour. 

The university’s undergraduate and graduate programmes are spread across six schools, two colleges, and two research centres. This includes the School of Health and Human Sciences, the School of Education, the School of Arts and Social Sciences, the School of the Environment, the School of Science and Engineering, the School of Business and Tourism, the School of Law and Justice, the SCU College, and the Center for Peace and Society. Maintaining Justice, National Marine Science Centre, Gnibi University of Indigenous Australia.

SCU first opened in 1994 and has maintained its global position among the 2022 Times Higher Education Young University Rankings.  The annual cost of an undergraduate programme at SCU starts as low as A$28,000.

Due to its quality education and affordability, SCU has a large international student body, with 3,338 of its 15,967 students coming from outside Australia.

5. University of Southern Queensland

University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) is a medium-sized university located in Toowoomba, Queensland, and was founded in 1967. Its main campus is in Toowoomba and two others are in Springfield and Ipswich. The university has a rich history and is ranked 452 on the list of Best Global Universities.

UniSQ offers more than 600 specialised professional programmes for undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral students. The most popular programmes are in business, education, law and arts, health, engineering and science, indigenous research colleges, education, and research.

The institution admits more than 24,000 students each year. The annual tuition fees for this university cost around A$25,038.