Apart from being a culturally rich country, Australia is a top destination for international students who want to enjoy a well-rounded educational experience. The Australian education system is recognized worldwide for its high teaching and learning standards, quality school infrastructure, qualified teachers, and diversity among students.
Education institutions in Australia are mainly regulated by State and Territory Governments, which oversee course accreditation, student assessment, and funding. Compared to the considerable enrollment rate (34.9%) in privately-funded primary and secondary schools, tertiary or higher education institutions in Australia are mainly public. Out of 43 universities in Australia, three of them are privately funded.
The list of private universities in Australia includes:
- Bond University
- Torrens University
- The University of Notre Dame Australia
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Bond University is an independent, not-for-profit university in Gold Coast, Australia. Established in 1989, this university is known as Australia’s first private university. Although smaller in size and in number of students compared to public universities in Australia, this only allows for a more personalised student experience.
Bond University offers undergraduate, postgraduate, postgraduate research, micro-credential, and academic & English pathway programs and courses.
The main study areas offered here include:
- Academic and English pathways
- Actuarial Science and Data Analytics
- Business Commerce and Entrepreneurship
- Communication, Film, and Creative Media
- Construction, Property, and Planning
- Health, Biomedical, and Sports Sciences
- International Relations, Politics, and Art
- Project Management and Innovation
- Psychology, Criminology, and Social Sciences
Bond University is known for its vibrant campus culture, multiple club activities and events, and diverse body of students, which is why many international students have made it their top choice for studying in Australia.
Torrens University Australia
Torrens University Australia is one of the three distinct education providers that are part of Torrens Global Education. This university provides a hands-on learning environment, a variety of learning modes (part-time, full-time, online, in-person), and world-class facilities.
With campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, the Blue Mountains, the Gold Coast, and Auckland, you are sure to find Torrens University Australia wherever you’d like in Australia. This university offers excellent vocational and higher education programs.
Whether you’re interested in an undergraduate, graduate, higher degree by research, or a specialised degree program, Torrens University Australia is the institution for you.
You can also choose from on-campus, online, or blended learning modes, as well as from a variety of study areas:
- English Language
- Higher degrees by research
Torrens hosts numerous events and workshops to support its future and current students, along with other fun campus activities.
The University of Notre Dame Australia
The University of Notre Dame Australia is a national Roman Catholic private university that embraces 2000 years of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Its campuses include one in Fremantle and one in Broome in Western Australia, extending to the other side of the continent with a campus in Sydney.
With over 12,000 students enrolled, Notre Dame offers programs that suit every student. Their programs include undergraduate and postgraduate studies, postgraduate research, vocational education & training, and online courses.
Some of the course topics offered at the University of Notre Dame Australia include:
- Arts & Sciences
- Health Sciences
- Nursing & Midwifery
- Philosophy & Theology
This university offers an English bridging program, student counselling, study workshops, as well as access and inclusion advisors to support its students and make sure they have the best experience possible.
Carnegie Mellon University – Australia
Carnegie Mellon University is a private global research university that has been operating on its Australian campus until it announced the decision to wind down operations on this campus in June 2022. This university had been offering Public Policy & Management and Information & Technology Management degrees on its Adelaide campus.
Private Colleges in Australia
Apart from Australian private universities, many students choose to pursue higher education courses at a private college. Compared to universities, colleges are typically smaller institutions that offer mainly diploma or certificate-level courses, including VET (Vocational Education and Training). Colleges in Australia lean toward employability-based curriculums and teaching more practical skills so students can immediately enter the workforce.
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TESQA) is a regulatory agency that offers a National Register where you can search for a higher education institution and its status in Australia. If a tertiary education institution does not have self-accrediting authority, it must be registered with TESQA.
Some private colleges or collegiate universities in Australia include Avondale University, the University of Divinity, Alphacrucis University College, Stanley College, Perth College of Business & Technology (PCBT), etc.
Why Study at an Australian Private University?
Australian residents and international students in Australia who choose to study at a private university do so for a variety of reasons. Due to the high number of international students, public universities in Australia can be highly competitive to get into. This is the first reason why private universities and colleges have become a popular choice among students.
Another reason why some prefer private universities is that public university classes can be overwhelming in size and not as engaging. Private universities offer smaller and more interactive classes, allowing for more discussions and a stronger sense of community.
Private universities also offer more opportunities for accelerated learning and hybrid learning models, which are ideal for students who are looking to advance their careers faster or who need to balance work, family, and studying. For example, many of the bachelor’s degree programs at Bond University can be completed in two years instead of the traditional three-year study programs.
Last but not least, private universities tend to place more emphasis on getting hands-on experience in industry-related topics. Due to the smaller number of students, it is easier for these institutions to arrange workshops, join forces with other institutions to offer internship opportunities, and organize networking events.
Is It Harder to Get Into a Private University?
Admission criteria in private universities are usually similar to those in public universities in Australia. However, some public universities in Australia are considered more prestigious (especially the Group of Eight) and are, therefore, harder to get into. Private universities are less in-demand and, therefore, not as hard to get into. They also offer various pathway programs to qualify for undergraduate studies for students who do not meet their criteria.
To qualify for undergraduate private university courses in Australia, students must prove English proficiency through an approved test or pathway, have finished Australian Year 12 or equivalent, as well as meet other program-related entry requirements.
International Students & Private Universities in Australia
If you’re coming to Australia from abroad, you may be wondering if private universities and colleges in Australia accept international students.
Bond University, Torrens University Australia, and the University of Notre Dame Australia all accept international students and are proud of their global community of students. These universities provide ongoing opportunities for internationals as well as constant support with accommodation, language assistance, etc. They also offer numerous scholarships and financial aid options for both domestic and international students.
As a student in Australia, you will be among students from all over the world in a country of endless opportunities. Australian private universities are small in number compared to the majority of public universities; nevertheless, they offer quality education and are a great choice if you’re searching for a personalized educational experience.