Canada or Australia: Which Is Better for Indian Students?

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Anand Patinge

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Canada or Australia, which is better for Indian students?

The answer to that question is not as straightforward as you might like. And since you won’t be satisfied with an answer based on personal experience or preference, we would like to present some facts that should nudge you in one direction or another. 

With over 642,000 foreign students, Canada is now the world’s third most popular destination for international students.

Canada or Australia: Which Is Better for Indian Students

As per an IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) report, the total number of international students in Canada increased by 13% between 2018 and 2019. 

As of 2019, Canada has over 219,000 Indian study permit holders, and Indian students make up 34% of the country’s foreign student population. In fact, between 2015 and 2019, the Indian student population in Canada quadrupled, going from 48,765 to 219,855.

The increasing approval rate of the popular PGWPP (Post-Graduation Work Permit Program) has had a major role to play in that. In 2020, 98% of PGWP applications were approved, breaking all previous records. 

Australia, on the other hand, has the world’s highest ratio of international students per capita. 

But the Indian student market in Australia dropped by 53% in 2009/10 compared to the previous year, and it took nearly 10 years for the numbers to recover, only to be dampened again by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although two years of border closure had a significant negative impact, Australia’s international education sector is now slowly recovering

As of April 2022, there are 456,811 international students in the country, and India is second in charge.

Canada or Australia: Which Is Better for Indian Students

Between 2021 and 2022, Australia granted 28,000 student visas to Indian students, and nearly 50% of them were granted after they reopened the borders earlier this year.

When it comes to the question of whether you should study in Australia vs. study in Canada, the numbers seem to be speaking in favor of Canada. But there is plenty more you should consider before making the final decision. 

Canada or Australia: Which Is Better for Indian Students As Per the Education System?

Canada and Australia are two of the world’s leading education sectors, and each has its own strengths. 

Canada is great for several disciplines including business management, engineering, computer science, nursing, media, and hospitality. Australia, on the other hand, is known for excelling in fields such as accounting, IT, education, MBA, healthcare, and hotel management.


Undergraduate courses in Australia require 12 years of pre-university education, and you can apply for postgraduate courses after completing a three-year undergraduate course. 

At the undergraduate level, engineering is a four-year course. To study management, you need to take the GMAT, and if you are planning to get into science-based courses, you would have to crack GRE.

You may not need work experience to be eligible for management courses in some universities, but in that case, you may have to get a certificate or graduate diploma. Finally, not all universities require you to crack TOEFL or IELTS, but they are necessary to get visas.


In Canada, undergraduate courses require 12 years of schooling, and you need to take the SAT as well as degree courses that cover four years. You need to take the GMAT to get into postgraduate courses in management and the GRE for engineering courses. 

There are no cut-offs in colleges in Canada, and institutions require acceptable average scores to enroll students in various courses. Indian students may need to take IELTS and TOEFL regardless of their degree. Although some colleges may not require these scores, they may be necessary to get a visa.

Make sure to take these factors into account when choosing Canada or Australia for studying aboard.

Top 10 Universities in Canada

Before you can answer the question of which country is better for Indian students, Canada or Australia, you need to have an idea of the top universities in each country. 

Here, we are going to refer to the 2022 QS World University Rankings to see which Canadian universities rank in the top 10. 

Top 10 Universities in Canada

QS World University Rankings is a yearly publication of university rankings released by a UK-based company called Quacquarelli Symonds. The QS system has three parts:

  • the global overall ranking, 
  • the subject ranking, and 
  • five independent regional tables. 

QS World University Rankings is among the three most highly regarded and widely read university rankings in the world, and it receives approval from the IREG (International Ranking Expert Group).

So, without further ado, the top 10 universities in Canada are:

Canada Ranking Institution QS World Ranking Overall Score
1 University of Toronto 26 85.3
2 McGill University =27 84
3 University of British Columbia 46 77.1
4 Université de Montréal 111 57.3
5 University of Alberta 126 55.2
6 McMaster University 140 52.7
7 University of Waterloo =149 50.5
8 Western University 170 47.5
9 University of Ottawa 230 40.2
10 University of Calgary 235 39.7

Even if you don’t get into one of the top 10 universities in Canada, there are hundreds more you can try.

But it is nearly impossible for you to go through all the possible options to see which one fits you the best. That is when AI comes into play! 

SelectRight, an innovative AI-based tool, is designed to help you find the best university for you. The tool uses 6 million data points across 10,000+ MBA, STEM, and CS programs to offer you unbiased and transparent recommendations based on your requirements. 

To further help you assess whether a particular institution is right for you, SelectRight connects you to mentors who can offer valuable guidance. The best part is that you get either a current student or alumni of that program or university as a mentor. 

That gives you access to the most relevant advice and information to make choosing an institution in Canada or Australia a breeze!

Top 10 Universities in Australia

Now it’s time for you to learn about the top 10 universities in Australia. Again, we are turning to the QS World University Rankings to make this list.

It should make it easier to choose Canada vs. Australia for further studies.

Australia Ranking Institution QS World Ranking Overall Score
1 The Australian National University =27 84
2 The University of Melbourne 37 81.4
3 The University of Sydney 38 80.4
4 The University of New South Wales 43 77.7
5 The University of Queensland 47 76.6
6 Monash University 58 72.2
7 The University of Western Australia 93 62.5
8 The University of Adelaide 108 57.9
9 University of Technology Sydney 133 53.9
10 University of Wollongong 193 44.9

You can always rely on SelectRight to find out which Australian university matches your profile, score, preferred courses, funding options, and academic goals. 

With SelectRight by your side, you never have to worry about not finding a suitable program or university. Try it out when choosing Canada or Australia for pursuing higher studies abroad.

Popular Postgraduate Courses in Canada and Australia

“Canada or Australia, which is better for Indian students?” 

You cannot answer this question without finding out if the course or program that you are interested in has any scope or popularity in that country. Here are the most popular postgraduate courses in Canada vs. Australia.

Most Popular Postgraduate Courses in Canada Most Popular Postgraduate Courses in Australia
Accounting Business Administration
Business Management and Commerce Medicine
Computing and IT Accounting
Biological and life Sciences Engineering
Engineering Management Studies
Environmental Science Architecture
Health and Medicine Law
Pharmacy Fine Arts
Finance Environmental Sciences
Agriculture Sciences Social Sciences

You can choose colleges in Canada or Australia if you are planning to get a postgraduate degree in any of these subjects or fields.

Estimated Cost of Studying in Canada vs. Australia

The estimated cost of studying in a particular country can either limit your options or set them wide open. 

Before you choose Canada or Australia for further studies, make sure to find out how much it will cost to pursue your preferred course or apply to your dream institution. 

Here is a brief breakdown of the estimated cost of studying in Canada vs. Australia:

Programs Yearly Tuition Fees in Canada Yearly Tuition Fees in Australia
Undergraduate degree CAD 10,000 – CAD 30,000 AUD 20,000 – AUD 45,000
Graduate degree CAD 15,000 – CAD 65,000 AUD 22,000 – AUD 50,000
Doctoral program CAD 7,000 – CAD 17,000 AUD 22,000 – AUD 42,000
Diploma/ vocational training/ certificate CAD 10,000 – 15,000 CAD AUD 4,000 – AUD 22,000

If the shortage of money is becoming a barrier between you and your dream college in Canada or Australia, getting a student loan is the best available option for you. 

But if you know a thing or two about how the traditional banking system works in India, especially when it comes to granting student loans, you are possibly already terrified or discouraged about your prospects. 

Instead of losing hope, you should check out FundRight, India’s first student loan bidding platform, where 14 lenders compete to get you the best loan offers. 

And you won’t even have to wait for ages to receive funding. You can get a loan in 2 days to fulfil your dream or studying in Canada or Australia!

Scholarship Programs for Indian Students in Canada vs. Australia

Universities in both Canada and Australia have scholarship programs for Indian students who show excellence and merit. 

For instance, Australia’s Deakin University recently announced Research Scholarship Program 2023 worth up to INR 25 crore, and four Indian students have already won 100% scholarships at the university.

Scholarship Programs for Indian Students in Canada vs. Australia

Canadian colleges and universities also offer scholarships to worthy applicants. The Canadian government and public and private institutions provide grants, scholarships, and bursaries. 

When applying for scholarships in Canada or Australia, remember that each scholarship or grant program has its unique set of eligibility criteria, and knowing them is absolutely crucial. 

Here are some of the most sought-after scholarship programs in Canada vs. Australia that you should know about:

Canada Scholarship Programs Australia Scholarship Programs
Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Australian Government Research and Training Program
Vanier Graduate Scholarships Australia Awards
IDRC Research Awards Destination Australia Scholarship
Ontario Graduate Scholarships Dr. Abdul Kalam International Postgraduate Scholarship
Quebec Provincial Government Scholarship Research School of Accounting South Asia Merit Scholarship
Canada- ASEAN SEED Melbourne International Undergraduate Scholarship

Canada or Australia, Which Is Better for Indian Students?

Hopefully, by now, you know how to answer the question “which country is better for Indian students – Canada or Australia?” 

At the very least, you should be able to tell which one will suit your requirements and goals the best.

Although Canada sees a higher influx of international students than Australia, it does not mean your chances of studying in Australia are dim.

But if you are planning to live and work in your chosen country after finishing the course, you should check immigration laws and employment opportunities before making the final call. 

Good luck and Godspeed!

Picture of Anand Patinge

Anand Patinge

A master storyteller, Anand has enriched multiple entities with captivating designs, compelling messaging, and impactful media campaigns. Beyond work, you can find him feeding stray dogs, exploring art, and watching insiprational documentaries.

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