The Australian IELTS fee charged to foreign students and alike in Australia is set to increase by 5% to $330.00 come August 2011. the same test costs $180 in the UK, USA, Ireland and Ukraine.
There is no justification for the rip-off with substantial profits being paid to off shore entities and Seek Learning who in partnership with Australian Universities own the IELTS testing regime in Australia.
The high costs is used to buy support and extra income for Australian Universities. Students visiting Australia deserve a better deal. They have to pay high rents, get no concession in travel or any benefits other than an Australian education and the limited possibility of securing Australian residency after they graduate.
Those students who need English testing should look into TOEFL which is now accepted as an alternative English language test assessment. But do not expect parity, TOEFL costs $200 but is still $40 more expensive to do in Australia and other counties.