Australia is a study target among many international students. Universities in Australia are reputed universities globally providing quality education to the students. Many students go to Australia to pursue the education they want. At times, there may be need of changing course. The reasons may be individualised and varied. However, many may not know how to change the course. Changing course in Australia is not that easy as Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIPB) has enforced stringent policies regarding it and so, you have a couple of things to organise before making your effort to change the course.
Changing course in Australia
You can first start by booking an appointment with your student advisor or the course coordinator. They are there to help you with your queries, to solve your problems. They will be of huge help to get advice on making changes in your enrolment. Also, you need to inform your education provider and get permission from them.
If you want to change the course, you should know about the level of the course you are currently in and the one that you want to change to. There are many courses provided in Australia that subsumes High School Programs, English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS), Vocational Education and Training (VET), Technical and Further Education (TAFE), Undergraduate Postgraduate. These are organised into different levels by the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF). AQF consists of 10 levels organised regarding relative complexity. Level 1 is the lowest whereas level 10 is the highest. These are Level 1 (Certificate I), Level 2 (Certificate II), Level 3 (Certificate III), Level 4 (Certificate IV), Level 5 (Diploma), Level 6 (Advanced Diploma, Associate Degree), Level 7 (Bachelor Degree), Level 8 (Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma), Level 9 (Masters Degree) and Level 10 (Doctoral Degree).
Then you need to know about your visa requirements (International Students six visa conditions in Australia). Australian Student Visa is the most important thing to consider while changing course in Australia because you have to continue to meet the requirements of the visa that you have been granted. You must inform your nearest DIBP office about the change of your course.
Then, you will know whether you have to apply for a new visa or not, depending upon the new course that you would like to undertake. You are provided visa for your current course. However, while changing course, your visa subclass may change, and you may require a new visa.
- If you want to change your course to the same level and in the same institution, then you will not have to apply for the new visa unless your current visa is going to expire.
- If you were granted the visa under SSVF (Streamlined Student Visa Framework) and are planning to undertake a new course at another university, you have to make sure that another university is also eligible for streamlined visa processing. If that is not the case, you have to cancel your visa, go to your home country and apply for the new visa.
- You will have to apply for a new visa if you want to change your main course of study to a lower AQF level or non AQF level. For example: If you want to change your course from level 7 (Bachelor of Science) to Level 5 (Diploma of Accounting) at the same or different institution, you have to apply for and be granted a new visa.
- However, you do not need to apply for a new visa while changing from AQF level 10 to AQF level 9 course i.e. from Doctoral to Masters degree.
- You will not need to apply for a new visa if you want to change from non-AQF course to AQF course.
You should also understand your financial obligations. The university provides census date for each subject, which means the last date to formally withdraw from the subject if you do not wish to continue it or want to take a leave. It is the deadline for finalising the fees that you have to pay for your enrolment. If you change your course or subject before the census date, you might get your refund (full or partial). However, if you fail to do so, you will be liable to pay the fees.
Also, be fully informed about the new course that you are going to undertake and decide whether it meets your needs or not. Get the information from all the possible sources. After taking into consideration, all the fore mentioned requirements and their understanding; you can change your course.