1) UNDERSTAND THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS IN AUSTRALIA:
- Vocational education courses usually require you to have the international equivalent of Australian Year 10, 11 or 12. Higher education courses generally only recognise certain overseas high school qualifications and require you to have achieved a score that is equivalent to the Australian Tertiary Admission Ranking (ATAR) set for the course. Click here for information on the entry requirements for undergraduate courses, postgraduate courses, TAFE, English language courses and secondary schools.
- The ATAR is the ranking (or score) that Australian students gain when they graduate high school after completing their final-year assessments. It is the most common way (and, in some cases, the only way) that Australian students are selected for university courses.
- The ATAR you need varies depending on the course, the institution and the institution campus (for example, city campuses and courses such as medicine and law often require higher ATARs). Some courses also require applicants to have completed prerequisite studies, such as science or maths.
2) CHECK THAT YOUR OVERSEAS QUALIFICATION IS ACCEPTED:
- Overseas qualifications (for example, the Chinese National University Entrance Exam in China) recognised by each institution vary, so you will need to check on the institution website to find out whether your country’s high school qualification is recognised.
- Where to look? Most institution websites will list the overseas high school qualifications (and minimum scores) they accept from each country in the international student entry requirements section.
- If your country is not listed you will need to contact the international admissions office for further details. It may mean that your high school qualification is not recognised and you will need to complete further studies to meet the entry requirements, such as completing university study or a diploma in your home country or completing a foundation program in Australia.
- Entry requirements can differ significantly depending on the country you are from. Students from certain countries will only need a high school qualification for admission, whereas others will need to have completed the first year of a bachelor degree.
3) CHECK THE ATAR REQUIRED
- Now that you know your qualification is accepted, you will need to find out the ATAR you need to gain for entry into your dream course in a course handbook or by searching for the course on the university website.
4) CONVERT YOUR SCORE
- Recognised overseas high school qualifications can be converted into an ATAR. The institution’s admission centre will calculate your ATAR for you when you apply for a course to determine whether you are eligible for entry.
- Some institutions also include ATAR conversion tables on their website to help you convert your overseas qualification score into an ATAR.
5) CONSIDER AN INTERNATIONAL QUALIFICATION
- The best way to ensure that your high school qualification will be recognised internationally is to study an international qualification such as the International Baccalaureate (IB).
- The IB Diploma Programme is recognised in around 140 countries for university entry, including every major tertiary institution in Australia.
- Scores can be easily translated into Australian ATAR rankings although the conversion rate changes every year. See the 2011 conversion table here. Click here to find a school that offers the IB near you and to search for each Australian university’s IB score requirements.
- Other international qualifications include GCE A Levels, the European Baccalaureate and the Advanced International Certificate of Education. Check the university websites to find out which international qualifications are accepted.