What Type Of Australian Universities Should I Apply For?
Written by Sarrah David, April 2017
There are three types of students who walk through our doors every other day – there are the ones who already know what course they want to do and the University they are aiming for; the ones who has an idea of the course they are interested in doing and are open to the Universities who can provide them the best opportunity; in some cases, we have students who have no idea what they want to do at all. That leads us (parents, students and counsellors) to a challenge – how does one choose a University? As a counsellor, one of the ways (and possibly one of the more effective ways of narrowing down the options) is to choose via the category of Universities.
In Australia, we have group Universities to four categories:
The Group of Eight (Go8)
The Group of Eight is a coalition of research-intensive Australian universities, undertaking 70% of all Australian university research. They are some of the largest and the oldest universities in Australia and are consistently rated as the top tier institutions in Australia. The Go8 comprises of University of Melbourne, The Australian National University, The University of Sydney, The University of Queensland, The University of Western Australia, The University of Adelaide, Monash University and UNSW Sydney.
They boast to train, attract and retain the best researchers from Australia and around the world, offering an intellectually stimulating, diverse and supportive academic environment for their students. The equivalence of these Universities is the National University of Singapore. Students who choose these Universities are typically our high-achieving ‘A’ Levels and IB Diploma students who plan to expand and progress their studies to research.
The Australian Technological Network (ATN)
The Australian Technology Network (ATN) is a coalition of five Australian universities that share a common focus on the practical application of tertiary studies and research. The network claims they have a special strength in the way each of the member universities is focused on producing practical outcomes through their academic activity. The result is graduates and research that is closely aligned to the needs of industry and the wider society. The member universities of this network are Curtin University of Technology, University of South Australia, RMIT University, University of Technology Sydney, Queensland University of Technology. Nanyang Technological University would have a similar concept to this category.
These universities share a common background in the way they distinguished themselves as technical colleges before becoming accredited universities. It is from this background that the universities have been able to develop a framework of flexibility and innovation that continues to deliver practical results. Polytechnics and vocational students who already have done some form of internships or already worked in their industries would be the most interested in applying to these Universities.
Innovative Research Universities (IRUs)
Innovative Research Universities (IRU) is a network of 6 comprehensive universities committed to inclusive excellence in teaching and research in Australia; Charles Darwin University, James Cook University, Griffith University, La Trobe University, Flinders University and Murdoch University. These six universities share a common background having been founded in the 1960s and 1970s as research universities and it is estimated that collectively they have about 15% of total university enrolments in Australia. Each of the universities has developed highly regarded areas of specialisation and the formation of the group has resulted in all the member universities becoming stronger.
Students who apply to these Universities are those who have a good idea on the course they wish to apply for and are looking for Universities with a strong industrial network and research background to maximise their experience and learning environment. In Singapore context, they are the likes of SMU, SUTD, La Salle and NAFA.
The Regional Universities Network
The Regional Universities Network was formed in 2011 to take advantage of the regional focus of the minority Labour Government. The founding members of this grouping were Central Queensland University, Southern Cross University, Federation University, University of New England, University of Southern Queensland, University of the Sunshine Coast. The focus of this grouping is on promoting the special requirements and contributions of the Australian regional universities.
International students who choose these Universities are looking for options that are more cost-economical but still can provide good quality education and are looking to ultimately migrate in the quiet living in the regionals. With these categories in mind, do take note that this is one of the ways in narrowing down one’s options. One has to also take into consideration, the state they wish to study, the cost of living and of course the subject rankings of the Universities.
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