they seem to flock to Newcastle Australia uni... i think its way cheaper then other countries
Well, they are not mutually exclusive. IF you think good study opportunities are important, then the latter country is a good country to live in.
Would you be there forever? And low standards of living, don't mean a worse social life, but probably better. People are more dependent on each other in poorer countries. They have a vested interest in a good social life.
Australia an England have good universities and the living standards aren't too bad.