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QS Best Student Cities ranking: 35th

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With an enviable lifestyle and globally esteemed universities, it’s little surprise that Perth has one of the world’s most internationally diverse student bodies, as well as a relatively high proportion of students among its overall population. Ranked 35th in the Best Student Cities 2016, Perth is the capital of Western Australia, and Australia’s fourth largest city.

Lying way out on the western coast of the country – more than 2,000 miles from the likes of Sydney and Melbourne – Perth has also been described as one of the world’s most isolated cities. It’s a good job, then, that it is also one of the world’s most desirable places to live, getting high scores in the “desirability” category of the index, as well as the “student mix” category.

Offering all the cultural, culinary and recreational attractions that you would expect of a state capital with a population of over 2 million, Perth also promises an idyllic climate and access to some of the most stunning beaches and parkland you will ever see.

The downside to Perth’s isolation comes in a lower score than other Australian cities for “employer activity”, perhaps reflecting the sheer distance that separates it from many of the country’s graduate recruiters. However, as a living environment in which to spend your student years, Perth takes some beating.

Three universities in Perth are featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16, the highest ranked of which is the University of Western Australia (UWA) at 98th in the world. 

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QS ranked universities


More about Perth

Number of universities ranked by QS


Top ranked institution



Students (% of total population)

2.8% (based on ranked institutions)

International students

20.0% (of students at ranked institutions)

Average tuition fees


Global Liveability Ranking

8th (out of 140)

Mercer Cost of Living rank

48th (out of 214)

Cost of a Big Mac


Cost of an iPad


Numbeo safety rank

224th (out of 446)

Numbeo pollution rank

253rd (out of 300)

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).

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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Perth is not the most isolated city. We are in fact the gateaway to Asia, providing students with exciting opportunities for combining travelling while studying.
Calling Perth isolated perpetuates a misconception and does not make justice to WA proximity to Asia.