Australia: Group of Eight elite universities

Overseas-education | 31 Mar 2021

Widely-recognized as the Australian version of the Ivy League, the Group of Eight (Go8) is a coalition of eight leading universities reputed for their diverse programs and quality education. 

Diverse and inviting, Australia is the biggest island in the world with a relatively small population of 24.5 million. Thanks to its unrivalled range of study options, the country is expected to take over the United Kingdom as the world’s second most popular study destination, just after the United States.

Boasting a well-developed education system, Australia offers international students with more than 1,200 institutions and 22,000 courses to choose from, across every discipline and at every level. To date, about 680,000 international students are pursuing their studies there, with one-third choosing to study at a Go8 university. 

The Go8, incorporated in 1999, is a cluster of eight oldest and leading research-intensive universities in Australia, viz, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales, the University of Queensland, Monash University, the University of Western Australia, and the University of Adelaide.

They undertake 70% of Australia’s university research and educate more than half of Australia’s doctors, dentists and vets. In addition, they have nurtured every Nobel Prize winner educated at an Australian university. 

Different from most English-speaking country’s admission requirements, Australian universities will take all subjects into account including Chinese-taught subjects, giving higher flexibility to Hong Kong students.

Students need to achieve level three or above of each subject in the HKDSE and also achieve 6 band score in IELTS. In general, Australian universities will look at the applicant’s total score of their best five HKDSE subjects. For the Go8 universities, the minimum admission score usually ranges from 15 to 25 points.

What makes studying in Australia more attractive is that the universities do not set an entry prerequisite for a subject. As for Hong Kong’s universities, some specialist programs will require students to meet the elective subject requirements. For example,  a physiotherapy degree would ask students to obtain level two or above in physics and biology.

With no entry prerequisite, Australian universities allow students to choose the program they want regardless of their academic foundation. Take the University of Sydney as an example, they accept students with no sciences background to pursue popular specialities such as veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and engineering.

To attract and retain talents, the Australian government has offered an extended visa option with a pathway to permanent residency for Hong Kong students. Starting from July 2020, current and future students from Hong Kong will be eligible for a 5-year temporary graduate visa once they have completed eligible tertiary studies. For graduates who choose to live and work in regional Australia, the pathway to permanent residency will be available after 3 years.


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