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Foundation Programmes in Australia

Do you long to go on your new journey and have a burning desire to study in Australia? It should not come as a surprise as Australia has consistently ranked highly on the list of top study abroad destinations for Malaysian students. 



Foundation programmes are university preparatory courses to prepare students for bachelor's degrees in Australia after SPM, IGCSE or UEC. They are the equivalent of Grade 12 qualifications in Australia and are designed mainly for international students who have completed Grade 11 in their home country or for those who have completed Grade 12 or equivalent qualification but fall short of university entry requirements. Students can find suitable foundation programmes that will enable them to progress to almost any programmes at universities across Australia. 

Foundation programmes can range between 6 to 9 months (accelerated), 12 months (standard) or 15 months (extended) depending on students' academic background and grades. 



There are many foundation programmes in Australia. Here is an overview of a few popular options:

Trinity College in Melbourne is the pathway school to the University of Melbourne. More than 1,500 students are enrolled at Trinity College each year and they go on to study at the University of Melbourne and other leading universities. Students take English and History of Ideas as core subjects and three other elective subjects. Around 1 in 4 international student at the University of Melbourne came through Trinity College foundation studies. 

UWA College in Perth is a new pathway college located within the campus of the University of Western Australia. UWA Foundation Programme has intakes in February, June and October. The 8-months Standard Programme can be completed over 2 terms (8 months) while the Extended Programme can be completed over 3 terms (12 months). Tuition fees is priced at AUD30,000 for 2023 intakes. Minimum age for entry is 17. Up to 25% scholarships are available for students with good academic grades. 

The University of Adelaide College in Adelaide is the preferred foundation provider for the University of Adelaide. The Standard Foundation Programme have intakes in March and August and takes 39 weeks to complete. Entry requirement: Completion of SPM / O levels with C average or UEC with 70% average. Tuition for 2023 is priced at AUD32,300. 

Curtin College in Perth offers a two stage diploma leading to a broad range of degrees at Curtin University, including Communication, Design and Arts, Computer Science & IT, Architecture and Construction, Business & Commerce, Engineering and Health Sciences. Diploma Stage 1 is the equivalent of foundation studies and is suited for students who have completed SPM or IGCSE. Tuition is priced at AUD25,000 for 2022. Students who have completed their diploma at Curtin College with a 65% average may be awarded a scholarship of up to 12% to cover their first year tuition fees at Curtin University. 

Taylors College in Sydney has been running the University of Sydney Foundation Program (USFP) for over 20 years. Around 96% of USFP students received offers from the University of Sydney. USFP is available in 3 different options: Intensive Program (40 weeks), Standard Program (52 weeks) and Extended Program (75 weeks). Tuition for the Standard Program is priced at AUD40.950 for 2023. Students who have completed a Grade 12 or pre-university programme but just missed the the entry requirement to the University of Sydney may consider the High Achievers Preparation Program which can be completed in 20 weeks.


In general, foundation programmes in Australia will accept students with Bs and Cs average in their SPM, IGCSE or high school qualification. 


The main advantage of enrolling in a foundation programme in Australia is the guaranteed progression to a university degree when students meet the necessary grades. For students who are looking for that assurance, particularly to a Group of Eight university, foundation programme could be the more ideal option. When students receive a foundation offer, it is usually "packaged" with a bachelor's degree, with the exception of certain competitive degrees such as medicine, dentistry and a few other health science majors. For students looking at cost-saving options, then the Ausmat or other pre-university courses in Malaysia will be the obvious choice. 

Need further advice on selecting the right foundation programme? Wondering about your eligibility for scholarships? Speak to one of our consultants to get free guidance. 

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