Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city and one of the most livable cities in the world according to the annual Mercer quality of living report, is a truly international place to live, with over 40% of its population coming from overseas.
Historically Melbourne is well established as a hub of cultural innovation, having produced the world’s first feature film in 1906 and played an integral role in the Impressionist movement. This continues today; the city offers myriad museums, galleries and cultural hangouts, including Northcote Social Club, known as the best live music venue in the city. Also of note is the city’s urban art scene and expressive graffiti culture, which can be viewed on solo excursions or as part of a street art tour.
Situated in the western state of Victoria, Melbourne is also known for its changeable weather; it can go from searing heat to tepid downpours in minutes. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the city is a heaven for food lovers and boasts many great restaurants and cafés.
The city’s lively nightlife and packed cultural calendar, along with its beautiful beaches, help make Melbourne a highly attractive destination for international students. Perhaps the only downside would be that the strength of the Australian dollar makes living in the city relatively expensive – but on the other hand, employability prospects after graduation are strong.
Based on the QS World University Rankings®, here are the seven top universities in Melbourne, each with much to offer prospective students.
University of Melbourne
The highest ranked of universities in Melbourne, and Australia’s second oldest university, the University of Melbourne is located in the city’s Parkville suburb and is ranked 31st in the world. The school is in its 160th year and currently enrolls over 38,000 students. The area of Parkville is known for its leafy streets and heritage buildings along with one of Melbourne’s main tourist attractions, Melbourne Zoo. On the doorstep of the city’s central business district, the university boasts many cafés, shops and sports venues as well as good transport links. Parkville was also the site of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games Village and continues to act as an inclusive community environment and the social legacy of the games. The university is a member of the prestigious Group of Eight, an alliance of Australia’s leading research universities.
Just 55 years old, Monash University is a relatively young research institution with a large student community of 63,000. The university in ranked 69= in the world and has six campuses throughout the state of Victoria and two more internationally. The school’s motto ‘Ancora imparo’, translated as ‘I am still learning’, reflects its dedication to innovation and ongoing development. Its main campus neighbors the University of Melbourne in Parkville and is home to the Victorian College of Pharmacy which merged with Monash University in the 1990s, and has led to the school being ranked in the top 10 universities in the world in the fields of pharmacy and pharmacology. Monash is also a part of the Group of Eight.
RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)
Originally founded in 1887 as the Working Men’s College of Melbourne, RMIT University has a strong focus on design and technology and is ranked 291= in the world . Its main campus is in the northern section of the city center on the edge of the central business district. The school prides itself on being one of few universities in Melbourne which is so central, and the fact that it is not enclosed within itself, but forms a key part of the city’s cultural hub. RMIT University has a population of over 57,000 students at its Australian base, and an additional 17,000 enrolled at its international campuses. Among facilities of note at the school is its working wind tunnel, which is used on the automotive design course and by industry partners.
Although located primarily in the neighboring city of Geelong and the suburb of Burwood just outside of Melbourne, Deakin University has a distinctly metropolitan vibe. Starting life in 1974 as a small regional institution, Deakin has since merged with two other schools in the state of Victoria to become a key player in the western side of the state, excelling in a large range of subjects, and becoming one of the top universities in Melbourne. The school now has a population of almost 44,000 across its three campuses and is ranked 380= in the world. The Geelong campus is located on Corio Bay with modern facilities and open spaces.
La Trobe University
Established in 1964, La Trobe University has six campuses across the state of Victoria. Its main campus is situated in the city suburb of Bundoora which is just 16km north of Melbourne’s city center. The school boasts two art museums as well as a sculpture park in Melbourne city. The university is ranked 390= in the world, with its most notable ranking achievements in the arts and humanities subjects. La Trobe University has nearly 35,000 current students and also teaches postgraduate business students in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district.
Swinburne University of Technology
Swinburne University of Technology is located in the suburb of Hawthorn, just 7km outside of the city center. The institution, ranked 481-490 in the world, is a public research center focused on technology and is home to over 60,000 students spread across its six campuses. The university’s Prahran campus, where the faculty of design and the National Institute of Circus Arts are located, is renowned for its creative community in fields of arts and design. This suburb of Melbourne is both vibrant and metropolitan, boasting a popular shopping district and decent nightlife.
Last in our list of top universities in Melbourne is Victoria University, ranked 701+ in the world (towards the end of the range covered by the QS World University Rankings, but still very much within the world’s most elite institutions). Victoria University has much to offer in terms of its wide spectrum of teaching levels, ranging from short courses and apprenticeships to postgraduate degrees. Over 50,000 students are enrolled at Victoria and the Footscray Park campus, 5km outside of Melbourne city center, offers a state-of-the-art sports facility which was built to the handsome tune of US$60 million in 2011.