QS Best Student Cities ranking: 26

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With three major universities in a city of just over two million, Brisbane has one of the highest student ratios of any city in the QS Best Student Cities, but this doesn’t mean it is just a student bubble.

An up-and-coming city that has seen rapid growth in the past decade as a result of the Australian ‘resources boom’, Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia and the largest economy between Sydney and Singapore.

It is also a popular tourist destination, due in part to its location next to the Gold Coast, which includes some of the world’s most famous beaches.

Brisbane offers an ideal mix for students seeking a compromise between urban and outdoor lifestyles. Stunning beaches, a sunny climate and a sporting culture coexist with a cosmopolitan down-town area with a trendy nightlife and arts scene.

This student-friendly environment is reflected in high scores for student mix and quality of living, though as with the nation’s other cities, the strong Australian dollar and high international tuition fees mean Brisbane has a relatively low score for affordability.

With the University of Queensland ranking among the top 50 universities in the world, and two other universities in the top 500, Brisbane also offers a top-notch education in a wide range of disciplines.

Read more about studying in Australia >

QS ranked universities*:

University of Queensland (UQ); Queensland University of Technology (QUT); Griffith University

More about Brisbane

Number of universities ranked by QS*


Top ranked institution

University of Queensland (43rd in the world)



Average university fees


Mercer Quality of Living rank


Mercer Cost of Living rank


Cost of a Big Mac**


Cost of an IPad***


*Universities assessed within the QS World University Rankings®.

**Based on the Big Mac Index, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

*** Based on the iPad Index, published by Commsec.

See the full methodology of the QS Best Student Cities here >