Your Chances of Obtaining Bachelor Equivalence/Advanced Standing

Bachelor equivalence and advanced standing are very complex issues. (I once even had to explain bachelor equivalence to the head of the administrative unit responsible for admitting international students to an Australian university!) Although I have tried to explain some of the main principles to you in the course of this chapter, there are many subtle points which I have not described in detail. Consequently your chances of obtaining bachelor equivalence and or advanced standing may not be very good. Therefore if you are considering applying for bachelor equivalence and/or advanced standing for a course at an Australian university, I would strongly recommend that you take the following steps:

  1. work out your chances of
    a) being accepted into the course of your choice (see section 3),
    b) receiving advanced standing (see section 4), and
    c) make sure that you have understood the difference between bachelor equivalence and advanced standing (see section 5).
  2. Carefully read the description of the course in which you wish to apply for advanced standing. You will find this on the website of your chosen university.
  3. You may find that the course description contains a reference to a database of advanced standing information. You can check that if you wish, but the chances that you will find that the course which you are taking in Germany is listed in the database are approaching nil! Such a database usually contains the results of standard agreements between the Australian university and partner universities with which it has an agreement. Not finding a match does not mean that you have no chance of obtaining advanced standing. On the contrary, as far as I am aware, none of the courses taken in Germany by any of my students who have obtained advanced standing is listed in an advanced standing database.

Obtaining advanced standing for teaching units which you have completed in Germany is by no means straightforward, as should have become clear to you from this chapter. Nevertheless this is a speciality which I had developed to help German students escape from the limitations of Study Abroad programmes.

You should also realise that Australian universities will normally not be prepared in advance to give you an assurance about whether specific German courses which you have not yet completed will be given advanced standing. You will only discover this after you make an application – and in order to make an application you must have already completed the units in Germany. This reticence to give information in advance is understandable. Until you have completed the German unit(s) and have applied for admission to the Australian course, the effort of checking advanced standing requests is purely theoretical and there is no guarantee that the Australian university is not wasting its time!