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Neo Phoenix Pty Ltd
Lawyers & Registered Migration Agents

We are experienced Solicitors and Registered Migration Agents with a proven track record. We offer personalised service with a reasonable fee structure.

Check out our latest client testimonials!

Types of Study and Costs

All tertiary qualifications in Australia are classified according to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) The AQF was designed by the Australian Government to ensure that Australian qualification titles are the same throughout the country and that they represent the same high standard of education.

What is the AQF?

The AQF regulates all Australian qualifications providing clear rules on the level of education each qualification title represents. The framework is designed in a sequential fashion so that each qualification generally leads into the next qualification up the education framework.

Having a system that is standard across the whole country makes it easier for people to continue their education as there is a clear pathway to follow no matter what state or territory they are in. Thus transferring between different states, territories and universities much easier as there is no confusion caused by differing qualification titles and education levels.

The AQF is one reason Australia provides such high quality education as each qualification title has rules as to what level of education the title must represent and provide.

AQF qualifications by education sector

Schools Sector

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Higher Education Sector

Senior Secondary Certificate of Education

Vocational Graduate Diploma

Doctoral Degree

VET in Schools

Vocational Graduate Certificate

Masters Degree

Advanced Diploma

Graduate Diploma


Graduate Certificate

Certificate IV

Bachelor Degree

Certificate III

Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma

Certificate II


Certificate I

There are 3 main sectors in the AQF - Schools, Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education.

In addition to these qualifications, the AQF also includes a Statement of Attainment which is issued when only part of a qualification is completed. It is a formal record of completion of part of an AQF qualification.

Overseas students and the AQF

The AQF makes course search for overseas students easy as the qualification levels are equivalent throughout Australia. Therefore you can focus on finding the best course and university for your needs, without having to consider what each qualification title means. In addition, overseas students who complete a qualification within the AQF will easily be able to understand the entrance requirements for higher qualifications should they wish to continue their studies; for example, from undergraduate to postgraduate study.

The AQF also enhances Australia's worldwide reputation for quality qualifications, as other countries can understand what level of education each Australian qualification represents.

There are a limited number of courses not part of the AQF that are also available to international students. These courses are designed to help students meet course entry requirements or to lead to further study resulting in an AQF qualification such as foundation studies.

Comparisons between overseas qualifications and AQF qualifications

To find out if your home country qualification satisfies entrance requirements for an Australian course you will need to check with your chosen education provider(s).

You can find more information on international qualification recognition at .

Further information

The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), lists all the courses and education providers that are registered within the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 to enrol overseas students.

The Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) regulates the education and training sector's involvement with overseas students studying in Australia on student visas. It does this through the ESOS Act and associated legislation which protects the interests of these students by providing tuition and financial assurance. The legislation mandates a nationally consistent approach to registering education providers so that the quality of the tuition, and associated pastoral services offered to students, remains high.

For more information visit .

For the pruposes of applying for skilled permanent residency upon completion of eligible studies it is important that overseas students study a registered course at a registered education provider. Each institution and course registered on CRICOS has an identifying CRICOS number. The institution number must be shown on all promotional material offered to overseas students. If there is no number, then the institution may not be registered to teach overseas students.

Private colleges that offer higher education must be registered with the AQF as eligible to offer higher education qualifications. The AQF Register lists all courses and providers that are currently registered.

If you are studying through a VET provider, you can find this information on the National Register of VET on

If you are studying through a higher education provider, this information can be found on the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency’s website under the National Register of Higher Education Providers.

Further information on AQF qualifications, the AQF Register and learning pathways, together with direct links to other relevant websites, is available on the AQF website at .

Migration Amendment Regulations 2006 (No.4) which took affect from10th July 2006 affecting all General Skilled Migration applications by adding a the following time of decision criteria:

"If the [skills assessment application/approval] is made on the basis of a qualification obtained in Australia while the applicant was the holder of a student visa, the qualification was obtained as a result of full time study of a registered course".

Therefore any applicant who holds a positive skills assessment based on a non-CRICOS registered course cannot meet the time of decision criteria.

This will of course affect all students who for example completed a non-CRICOS registered commercial cookery course, or telecommunications linesperson course in addition to their approved course of study.

Undergraduate study

We advise overseas student on how to gain a student visa for study at the undergraduate or postgraduate level whether it is at University or at Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions.

Undergraduate level study is normally undertaken between secondary school (High School) and postgraduate study.

The table below comprises Australia's Undergraduate qualifications and their general study length.

Undergraduate Qualification

General program length (full-time study)


1.5 - 2 years

Advanced Diploma

2 - 3 years

Associate Degree

2 years

Bachelor Degree (single degree)

3 - 4 years

Success Stories

Over the years we have helped many people from all over the world realise their dream of a new life in Australia.

Please see the Testimonial Section of the website and see for yourself.

Due to industry regulations, in order to be able to provide you with migration advice and assistance you must first become a client. If you are serious about General Skilled Migration it is worthwhile having a professional assessment by a Registered Migration Agent.

Please contact us so that a Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent can analyse your profile, determine your eligibility and if eligible advise you further on how to secure an Australian Student Visa.

Visa Assessment

Related Client Testimonials:

We can't find any words to describe our grateful feelings. We were very nervous about applying for another Student Visa and meeting the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE). We received outstanding professional work and we always have excellent communication even during the weekends. Andre is a very ...

Student Visa Renewal