Best Universities in Australia

14 min read

Australia is the home of some globally leading universities. By studying in the best universities in Australia, you can take advantage of some world-class lectures, student support facilities, and outstanding faculty. It will open up a lot of opportunities in your personal and professional life.

Finding the best university is often the most challenging decision for a student. This is mainly because a lot of considerations go into the decision-making process of choosing the right university. International students going to Australia for higher education already know about the country’s high quality of education and progressive education system. 

best universities in Australia

Therefore, to make this university search process more straightforward for international students, a discussion about the best universities in Australia and university ranking processes is explained below.

Universities and Higher Education

Higher education in Australia is also known as Tertiary Education. According to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), level 5-10 generally falls under Higher Education.

Levels and Qualification as per Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)

Level 1

Certificate I

Level 2

Certificate II

Level 3 

Certificate III

Level 4 

Certificate IV

Level 5


Level 6

Advanced Diploma Associate Degree

Level 7 

Bachelor’s degree

Level 8

Bachelor Honors Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma

Level 9

Master’s Degree

Level 10 

Doctoral Degree

In Australia, there are 43 universities, among which 40 are Australian universities, 2 are international universities, and one private specialty university. All these universities offer a wide range of courses to earn advanced degrees in Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral.

The higher education sector in Australia includes private and public universities, the Australian branches of overseas universities, and other higher education providers.

In general, Australia has the reputation in the world to be the best, particularly in Engineering and Technology, Medicine, Accounting and Finance, and Environmental Science disciplines. However, the majority of international students in Australia enroll in the following courses. 

  • Accounting
  • Actuarial Science
  • Agricultural Science
  • Architecture
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Earth Science
  • Psychology
  • Core Engineering
  • Computer Science and Information Technology
  • Tourism and Hospitality Management 

These courses are also termed the top 10 programs to study in Australia because they increase employment and permanent residency in Australia.

All the universities in Australia follow a national regulation and quality agency for higher education, known as Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). TEQSA aims globally to ensure student rights and protect Australian Higher Education in terms of excellence and innovation. 

Global University RankingsSource:

Global University Rankings

For many years students and their families trust the guidance of different university rankings to select universities for higher education. As this decision is an important aspect of a student’s life, these ranking systems help students evaluate and judge universities based on research, Teaching systems, Campus, International reputation, Student ratio, and many other aspects. 

There are multiple university rankings available, but the most famous and well known are - 

Times Higher Education World University Ranking: Created by Times Higher Education, this ranking methodology uses 13 performance indicators grouped into five categories to evaluate universities in different countries. The five categories are - Teaching, Research, Citations, Industry Income and International Outlook. 

Time higher education ranking methodologySource: Times Higher education

QS World University Ranking: Created by Quacquarelli Systems (QS) is an annual publication to rank universities based on six performance indicators. The six categories are - Academic Reputation, Employee Reputation, Student-to-faculty ratio, Research Citations, Proportion of International Faculty, and Proportion of International Students. 

It is one of the most viewed world rankings of universities by students and approved by the International Ranking Expert Group (IREG). 

QS education ranking methodology

What are the best Universities in Australia?

Based on these two methodologies, the top universities in Australia have been ranked below. These universities provide world-class education and are well known around the world.


QS World University Ranking 2021

Times Higher Education Ranking 2021

University of Melbourne



University of Sydney



Australian National University



University of Queensland



Monash University



University of New South Wales



University of Adelaide 



The University of Western Australia 



University of Technology Sydney



University of Canberra 



These ten universities are some of the most prestigious and best universities in Australia for international students. They are well known for providing globally recognized degrees, one-of-a-kind teaching and assessment systems, and outstanding research and innovation. 

There are at least 3 Australian universities in the top 50 of the world’s best universities across different study disciplines of Engineering and Technology, Arts and Humanities, Life Sciences, Natural Sciences, Medicine, and Business and Management. 

However, other than these 10 universities, there are some very good universities in Australia which are very lucrative among international students. 

What is The Group of Eight (Go8) in Australia? 

Go8 is a company that was started in 1999 in Canberra to develop long-term sustainable higher education and research policy. 

Being, someone of the top education providers of the world, Australia has created a ranking for their universities, popularly known as the prestigious Group of Eight or Go8. It is a coalition of the top 8 universities of the country that contribute more than half of research done in Australia. 

The Eight Universities are consistently highest ranked in Australia and placed at the world’s top 100 universities. 

  • The University of Melbourne 
  • The Australian National University 
  • The University of Sydney 
  • The University of Western Australia 
  • The Universities of Queensland 
  • Monash University 
  • The University of Adelaide 
  • University of New South Wales Sydney 

The Group of Eight universities

The Group of Eight universities is sometimes compared with the Ivy League colleges in the United States of America. However, the Go8 is not so exclusive as Ivy League colleges, and they accept a more significant number of higher education students nationally and internationally. 

Each of these eight universities has something unique to offer. Therefore, while choosing which university to study as an international student, it is ideal to have a specific career path and focused study area. 

Top 5 Universities in Australia - Facts

The University of Melbourne 

Founded in 1853, The University of Melbourne is one of the best public universities in Australia. It is Australia’s second-oldest university and is located in Melbourne, Victoria. This university accepts only the brightest students and researchers from all around the world. 

Highest Ranking Courses

Student-Faculty Ratio

No.of International Students

Tuition Fees

  • Architecture 
  • Dentistry
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Electrical Engineering


Over 30,000

A$40,000 - A$45,000 Yearly Fees

The University of Sydney 

Founded in 1850, this is the oldest public research university situated in Sydney, Australia. It is also regarded as the very first university of Australia and ranked in the top 10 of the world’s most beautiful universities by The Telegraph and The Huffington Post. 

It is also considered the first university to admit women based on their merits alongside men. 

Highest Ranking Courses

Student-Faculty Ratio

No.of International Students

Tuition Fees

  • Arts and Social Sciences 
  • Business 
  • Engineering and Information Technology
  • Medicine and Health


Over 25,000

A$40,000 - A$50,000 Yearly Fees

The Australian National University (ANU)

Ranked as the #1 public research university in Australia, ANU was established by the Parliament of Australia. The campus is located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. 

The university is ranked as the best university in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere by the QS World University Ranking. ANU is also the home of 6 Nobel Laureates and 49 Rhodes Scholars. Two of the Australian Prime Ministers are also among the alumni of Australian National University. 

Highest Ranking Courses

Student-Faculty Ratio

No.of International Students

Tuition Fees

  • Anthropology 
  • Geography
  • Politics and Sociology 
  • Earth and Marine Science 


Over 10,000

A$39,000 - A$45,000 Yearly Fees

The University of Queensland 

Located in Brisbane, the capital state of Queensland, The University of Queensland was founded in 1909 by the Queensland Parliament. The university is well known for its collaboration with over 100 research institutes, such as Boeing Research and Technology Australia Center, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, UQ Dow Center for Sustainable Engineering Innovation, and many more. 

One of the recent notable innovations by this university is developing a COVID-19 vaccine in human trials. They also invented the HPV vaccine to prevent Cervical Cancer. 

Highest Ranking Courses

Student-Faculty Ratio

No. of International Students

Tuition Fees

  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Marine and Freshwater Biology 
  • Water Resources


Over 22,000

A$39,000 - A$45,000 Yearly Fees

The University of Queensland

Monash University 

Named after a prominent World War I general, Sir John Monash, Monash University was established in 1958. This is the second oldest university in the state of Victoria and has four campuses in Melbourne. 

The university has international campuses in Malaysia and China, a research and training center in Italy, and a graduate research school in Mumbai, India. Monash has the most significant number of alumni listed as the CEOs of the 500 largest companies worldwide and ranked on the Ecole des Mines de Paris or popularly known as the Mines ParisTech ranking. 

The university is the home of significant research facilities with 100 research centers. They are currently running the world’s most extensive study on global climate-related mortality. 

Highest Ranking Courses

Student-Faculty Ratio

No.of International Students

Tuition Fees

  • Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals
  • Nursing 
  • English Language and Literature 
  • Education
  • Business and Management Studies


Over 31,000

A$40,000 - A$45,000 Yearly Fees

What are the other Good Universities in Australia?

There are universities in Australia which might not be in the top 100 world ranking but have an outstanding reputation in the country. These universities are pretty good options for international students based on locations, tuition fees, and teaching quality. 

University of Wollongong

It is a public university situated in the south of Sydney, a coastal city of Wollongong. According to QS World University Ranking, the university ranks 196th in the world and can be considered the best 10 universities of Australia. 

Other than in Wollongong, the university has an international campus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Many international students prefer this university because it is affordable and has 7 regional campuses to give students flexibility. 

The university offers over 300 programs across different disciplines. 

Highest Ranking Courses

Student-Faculty Ratio

No.of International Students

Tuition Fees

  • Business 
  • Engineering and Information Science 
  • Law 
  • Social Sciences


Over 5000

A$10,000 - A$30,000 Yearly Fees

Macquarie University 

Macquarie University

Based in Sydney, Macquaries University was founded in 1964 and was established by the New South Wales Government. It is the first university in Australia to own and operate a private medical facility on its campus, Macquarie University Hospital. 

The university is very well known among international students because of its incubator space for research and developing ideas that can be commercialized. Also, the university has two residential colleges inside the campus.

According to QS World University Ranking, it is 214th in the world and the 12th best university in Australia

Highest Ranking Courses

Student-Faculty Ratio

No.of International Students

Tuition Fees

  • Finance and Accounting 
  • Actuarial Studies
  • Linguistics 
  • Education and Teaching 


Over 10,000

A$30,000 - A$40,000 Yearly Fees

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology / RMIT University

Started as a night school in 1887, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) is now a major public research university in Melbourne. It is one of the best universities in Australia for Art and Design and ranked 15th globally, for this subject by the QS World University Rankings. 

The university has international campuses in Vietnam, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Srilanka. It has a research and collaboration center in Barcelona as well. 

Highest Ranking Courses

Student-Faculty Ratio

No.of International Students

Tuition Fees

  • Arts and Design 
  • Architecture 
  • Communication and Media
  • Computer Science and Information System


Over 12,000

A$25,000 - A$40,000 Yearly Fees

The University of Newcastle (UON)

Popularly known as Newcastle University, this university was founded in 1965 and is located in Callaghan, NSW. The university is the 11th best university in Australia and 197th globally by the QS World University Ranking. 

This university first implemented a problem-based learning system for the Bachelor of Medicine program, which the Australian Medical Council later mandated throughout Australia. It has an overseas campus in Singapore as well. 

Newcastle University is also well known for delivering Postgraduate Coursework degrees through an online platform known as UOnline to students worldwide. 

Highest Ranking Courses

Student-Faculty Ratio

No.of International Students

Tuition Fees

  • Arts and Humanities 
  • Clinical Science 
  • Life Science 
  • Social Science


Over 7,000

A$25,000 - A$40,000 Yearly Fees

Griffith University 

Griffith University was officially opened in 1975 and the first university in Australia to offer environmental science and Asian studies degrees. 

Located in South East Queensland, the university has 5 campuses in Australia across Gold Coast and Brisbane. The university was the first to launch a Digital Campus in 2018, which is considered their sixth campus to provide online degrees. 

The university has ranked 303rd globally by the QS World University Ranking and can be listed in the top 20 universities in Australia

Highest Ranking Courses

Student-Faculty Ratio

No.of International Students

Tuition Fees

  • Dentistry and Oral Science 
  • Education 
  • Law
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Geography


Over 7,000

A$25,000 - A$40,000 Yearly Fees

International students are considered an integral part of the Australian community. Australian university ranking is always the best in the world as they maintain education and teaching quality uncompromisingly. 

However, it is a huge task for an international student to choose the best university, especially abroad. The best-ranking university in Australia doesn’t need to be the best suit for you. The choice of university needs to be best as per your desired subject, location, and costs. 

Therefore, before choosing the university, research what subject is right for you and what universities in Australia offer them. Compare the university rankings, location, and fees, globally and you will have the best experience of your life!

Note: Though these documents are for Canadian Study permit application, you can get a gist of possible documents required for your student visa application. Customize these documents based on your own need.
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Cover Letter
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Forwarding Letter
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Student Financial Planning
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Explanation Letter of Source of Fund
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Explanation on previous Visa Rejection
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Source of Fund (For Businessperson as a sponsor)
Nowrin- Blog Author
Postgrad student at Monash University - Major in Marketing.

Worked as a Marketer. I read fiction to escape reality.
I like to call myself an Introvert.

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