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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 index – 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 very high scores in the “student mix” and “desirability” categories of the QS Best Student Cities index, though, as is the case for the nation’s other cities, 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 more universities ranked within the top 325, Brisbane offers a top-notch education in a wide range of disciplines. You can search for business-related programs at universities in Brisbane using

QS ranked universities

More about Brisbane

Number of universities ranked by QS


Top ranked institution

The University of Queensland (43rd in the world)



Students (% of total population)

4.4% (based on ranked institutions)

International students

22.0% (of students at ranked institutions)

Average tuition fees


Global Liveability Ranking

20th  (out of 140)

Mercer Cost of Living rank

52nd  (out of 214)

Cost of a Big Mac


Cost of an iPad


Numbeo safety rank

129th  (out of 372)

Numbeo pollution rank

268th  (out of 299)

Transparency International score

9th  (out of 177)

Sources: QS World University RankingsGlobal Liveability Ranking (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); Big Mac Index (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); iPad Index (Commsec); Cost of Living Survey (Mercer);Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency International).

Written by Laura Bridgestock

The editor of, Laura oversees the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edits the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributes to market research reports including Students Online: Global Trends.

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