University admissions or college admission is the process through which the students enter tertiary education at Universities and colleges. Systems may vary from country to country and sometimes from institution to institution. Australian Universities welcomes applications from school leavers, mature age applicants and those with previous tertiary study. Academic performance is the main criterion in the University’s selection process. Each university in Australia requires non-English speaking students to demonstrate competence in English in one of three ways. First, students can enter a higher degree institution directly if they have completed their high school in Australia. This option is generally taken by students who seek to become permanent residents of Australia through migration with other family members.
A second way is to successfully pass a recognized examination of English Proficiency. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the preferred test in Australia. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), however, is equally recognized. Other examinations recognized in Australia include the both General Certificate of English (GCE) ‘A’ levels and ‘O’ levels tests. In Addition, institutions accept the Hong Kong ‘A’ levels examinations and successful passage of the Cambridge Certificate. The Combined Universities Language Test (CULT) is widely used in South Wales. The International Second Language Proficiency Ratings (ISPLR), another Australian English Proficiency test is most widely used in Queensland universities.
A third way to enter an Australian university is to complete a foundation course. Foundation courses are one-year post-secondary courses design to prepare overseas students for study in Australian Universities. These courses vary widely in both their content but generally include English language entry requirements, though these are generally lower than needed for direct entry.
To provide an overview of English language proficiency examinations, a survey of the requirements needed for entry from a sample of prominent universities was made. At least one institution was included for each state and territory in Australia.
Abbreviations TOEFL Test Sections: R = Reading , L = Listening , S = Speaking , W = Writing