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Thursday, 5 December 1985
Page: 3111

(Question No. 630)

Senator Foreman asked the Minister for Education, upon notice, on 16 October 1985:

(1) What level of fees are charged for tertiary tuition for overseas students in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, New Zealand, Japan and other comparable countries.

(2) Do the charges referred to in (1) vary greatly with the courses undertaken.

(3) Are charges different for study at postgraduate level rather than undergraduate.

(4) How many overseas students are currently enrolled in tertiary education in Australia.

(5) What numbers of these students receive fully subsidised tertiary education in Australia.

(6) What percentage of the full cost of tuition does the present charge represent.

(7) How do Australian education institutions compare with those of comparable countries in terms of accessibility to overseas students.

(8) Do quotas currently exist in courses for overseas students.

(9) Is this the practice in other comparable countries.

Senator Ryan —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) Fees charged for tertiary tuition for overseas students in a number of countries are set out below:


Fee range

per annum



United Kingdom...



United States of America...

Public institutions...


Private institutions...






Public institutions...

1,845 (average)

Private institutions...


New Zealand...



All figures are in Australian dollars and are based on exchange rates at 3.1.85.

(2) In all the countries listed above, with the exception of New Zealand, the level of fees varies according to discipline, arts and humanities being in the lower ranges and science, engineering, veterinary and medical courses being more expensive.

(3) Of the countries listed in (1) above only Canada's fees distinguish between undergraduate and postgraduate courses. All the other countries charge the same level of fees irrespective of the level of the course undertaken.

(4) At 30 June 1984, the last year for which the Department of Education has complete statistics there were 14,255 overseas students in full time tertiary education in Australia.

(5) Of the 14,255 overseas students, 1,208 were students in full time tertiary study and fully subsidised by the Australian Development Assistance Bureau.

(6) The Overseas Students Charge currently represents 25% of the average full cost of courses.

(7) The following table shows overseas students as a percentage of the total tertiary student population:




as a %

of total


UK (1982-83)...


Germany (1981)...


Canada (1983)...


USA (1983)...


France (1981-82)...


Australia 1984...


(8) There have been overall quotas on the number of overseas students entering Australia for some years. In 1986 there will also be quotas limiting student enrolment to 10% in each tertiary institution and 20% in each course. In addition to the quotas set by the Government some tertiary institutions set their own quotas on the number of overseas students accepted each year.

(9) Of the major western nations who are host countries for foreign students only West Germany imposes quotas to regulate the number of overseas students entering the country. No other country operates a quota system at the course level.