A choice between the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia as study abroad destinations for international education, though exciting, has never been anything short of a tough call.
For centuries now, African students have plied the deep waters and airways of the Atlantic, Indian, and Mediterranean to pursue world-class education. The UK and Australia have been two major destinations.
The quality of education, degree of diversity, cultural integration, and many other student-captivating factors are as extant in the UK as Australia.
However, a few differences could make either of the two more suited for your international education goals than the other.
But first, let’s consider the similarities.
Similarities Between UK and Australia as Study Abroad Destinations
The United Kingdom and Australia are uncommonly similar in many ways, such as
Quality of education
The high quality of education in the UK and Australia is the primary reason they are both coveted by international students.
Australian and UK universities are renowned for their thorough academic and scientific research commitment. This commitment enlists both countries as homes to most of the world’s highest-ranking institutions.
This should be one of the minor concerns of an aspiring international student. Yet, the political system of the academic community has a significant impact on every student.
Since the 18th century, when the Royal Navy led by James Cook discovered Australia, both countries have shared a joint leader – the sovereign of England.
Queen Elizabeth is currently the queen of Australia as she is the queen of the united kingdom. Every other element of their political system is equally similar.
The cultural ties and similarities between these two countries are profound and very glaring on the first visit to one by an individual who has already been to the other.
The two countries share the same English style, and it’s no surprise that over 1.1 million Australians were born in the UK while 70% of the country’s entire population trace their origin to the same UK.
Indigenes approach foreigners
This is another clear indication of the cultural similarities between the two countries. According to the 2021 world population review, Australia and the UK rank amongst the first 16 least racist countries & territories on earth. Making them relatively safe, peaceful, and fun for everyone irrespective of skin color
Some other similarities include
- The driving side (they both drive on the right).
- Both countries are among the top 7 countries with the highest minimum wage.
- The number of hours international students can work a week is 20 in both countries.
UK VS Australia: Differences Between the Study Abroad Destinations
Despite the numerous similarities in the quality of education, culture, and many more between these two countries, there are significant differences.
Bachelor type undergraduate degrees in the United Kingdom typically take three years to complete, with some exceptions that allow a student to complete his undergraduate program in two years or less.
Medical courses require 4-6 years, and a Master’s degree typically takes 12 months of two semesters to be completed.
Conversely, though undergraduate courses last between 3-4 years for other programs and 4-6 years for medical degrees, just like in Britain, the best any student can achieve with two years in Australia is the training for a diploma or associate degree.
Also, Master’s degree programs require a minimum of 1.5 to 2 years to be completed by full-time students.
Australia’s universities and colleges usually resume a new academic session in February/March and June/July.
However, it’s September/October and January/February for additional intake in the UK.
The difference in tuition fee rates between these two giant international education destinations is a major contributing factor in the choice between UK and Australia.
Though institutions in both countries are renowned for academic and research excellence, Universities in Australia are approximately 20% more affordable than those in the UK.
Cost of living
The difference in cost of living in the UK and Australia varies from one need to another.
A student’s basic needs like housing and feeding are estimated as being 12% less in the UK than in Australia. In comparison, transportation and electronics are much more affordable in Australia than in the UK.
Proximity to Africa
This is a prominent factor to consider while choosing between these two.
While Australia is approximately 18 hours from Nigeria, the UK is less than half that distance with airfares that are equally less than half the cost of flying to Australia.
Study visas allow flexible travel allowance for its holders. However, international students in Australian universities may not find it very easy to take advantage of the opportunity.
Climate & Environmental factors
In the UK, the climate is temperate. The landscape is mountainous to the north and lowland to the south. Though housing over 67 million people, the landmass is 32 times smaller than Australia, which is significantly less populated than it is.
However, the climate in Australia is as highly diverse as the landscape is, ranging from arid to plateaus and rain forests.
As a result of these environmental factors, adventurous, outdoor activities-loving students prefer Australia to the UK, better suited for indoor activities.
Despite the differences between these two major international education destinations, thousands of international students successfully apply to study each year in Australia and the UK.
Australia and UK both have their peculiarities, which complement the high quality of education both countries afford students. Hence, the question: “Study Abroad, UK Vs. Australia?” would remain for as long as international education continues.
However, you can rest assured that whichever one you eventually choose after considering the salient factors is the best for you, and your experience there will exceed your expectations.