University vs. college in Australia

Are you looking forward to studying in Australia? In that case, you might get confused between choosing a university, university-affiliated colleges and colleges that aren’t affiliated with any university whatsoever. You might even think that all of these institutes are somewhat similar to each other and are different words to describe similar educational institutes, but the reality is far from it. There is another misconception that colleges are private institutes while universities are state-funded institutes. Other people think that universities provide a better education than colleges, but these misconceptions aren’t true at all. In this article, we will discuss in detail the difference between an Australian university vs. a college degree and which is better. Moreover, let us talk about the benefits and drawbacks of studying in Australian universities and colleges.

What is the basic difference between a college and a university?

  • Colleges are affiliated or non-affiliated institutes that offer degrees and diploma courses to their students.
  • Universities are autonomous bodies and authorized educational institutes that are focused on research and offer degrees and diplomas in the relevant fields.

Benefits and drawbacks of studying in universities

Universities are the highest education providing institutes. To become a self-crediting authority, they have to meet the strict requirements laid out by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TESQA). Studying at University is far better than studying in any college because it provides the finest quality education, highly qualified teaching staff, research options, and better job prospects. The Department of Immigration also values the applications of those international students who want to apply to the universities in Australia for education, than the candidates who apply in colleges. The visas of such students are also processed earlier than others.

Well, other than opportunities and benefits, applying to study at a university typically has only one significant drawback: universities are far more expensive than any college. Admissions in universities come with added costs of research and other numerous expenses, which might become troubling for a candidate if he can’t make his ends meet while studying in Australia.

Benefits and drawbacks of studying in colleges

Colleges are generally affordable, and the fees are significantly lower than that of universities. On top of that, students will still get permanent residency if they choose to take admissions in permanent residency oriented courses. Additionally, the assignments are far easier to complete than that of universities. But here are some limitations if you are making up your mind about studying in colleges. Most of the companies don’t tend to hire students who study from colleges.

Well, just like any other case, there are a few exceptions, such as if the students have studied from TAFE college, which is a state-owned institute, and CIT Canberra, which is also a government institute. Both institutes are the state’s top colleges for Nursing, Carpentry, Hospitality, Chef, Auto-mechanic, Child-care related degrees. If you want to apply to one of the colleges other than CIT Canberra and TAFE, please make sure that they are registered. To check if they are registered or not, please click here: Training Provider Search. If you want to have a thorough search, consider clicking on our “Course Search” page. Just for your convenience, our course search page contains only listed verified universities and registered colleges.

Benefits and drawbacks of studying in university-affiliated colleges

University-affiliated colleges are normally mediocre in everything. These colleges offer affordable fees as well. The quality of the education is mediocre. Although the universities frequently audit these colleges, still some of these institutes don’t normally adhere to the guidelines set by the respective universities. As per their certificates are concerned, students get their certificates from the main university.

The only drawback of studying in these institutes is that their quality of education is not as good as one might expect.

What is the best pathway?

The choice and the path you want to choose depends upon the personal options that you want to choose. We suggest that TAFE and CIT Canberra are the best options out there if you are an international student and are aiming towards a permanent residency in Australia. TAFE Canberra is also popularly known as CIT Canberra, but all the other states have TAFE colleges. These institutes are affordable than most universities and colleges. The degrees from these institutes are highly regarded by well-established companies and recruiters all over Australia. The best thing about these institutes is that students can finish their two years of education in TAFE, and after that if they need to continue their studies further, they can get enrolled in a university where they can get credit points from TAFE.

Other than that, if you are an international student and want to study in Australia but don’t have enough financial resources, you can apply for a scholarship in some of the well-known universities in Australia. Australia is the hub of the world’s finest educational institutes, and the government alone offers a huge number of scholarships for international students every year.


Colleges and Universities are academic equals, but keep in mind that colleges prepare you for a career in a short time, while universities are more broad and theoretical and have the ability to prepare you for a number of careers. Keep in mind that universities can govern their own educational affairs while focusing on research and progress, not just teaching. Universities are considered as institutes that educate the students for the general benefit of the community as they are focused on research. At the same time, colleges are for-profit educational institutes and are interested in maximizing enrollment without focusing on research. Therefore, if you are an international student and are looking forward to studying in Australia, we recommend that you should weigh out the pros and cons of all three educational institutes before you make any choice. Happy Learning!

If you are planning to come to Australia, you have come to the right page. We will keep you informed with our up-to-date information, news and blogs.

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