Universities in Brisbane - QS Best Student Cities Ranking | Top Universities

Study in Brisbane

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Craig OCallaghan

Updated Aug 08, 2023



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QS Best Student Cities ranking: =22nd

With three major universities in a city of just over 2.5 million, the Australian metropolis places in the top 25 worldwide. The city boasts three leading universities featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2024, with the University of Queensland coming out on top, ranked 43rd worldwide.

An up-and-coming city that has seen rapid growth in recent years following the Australian ‘resources boom’, Brisbane is the third-largest city in Australia and the largest economy between Sydney and Singapore. It’s also a popular tourist destination, due in part to its location by the Gold Coast, which features some of the world’s most famous beaches.

Like many Australian cities, Brisbane is a great setting for students seeking a balance between urban and outdoor lifestyles. Stunning beaches, a sunny climate and a sporting culture coexist with a cosmopolitan down-town area offering a trendy nightlife and arts scene.

This appealing environment is reflected in very high scores for both student mix and desirability, with its highest score being the student mix indicator, where it's now ranked fifth in the world.  On the other hand, as is the case for other Australian cities, high international tuition fees mean Brisbane has a relatively low score for affordability.

In the survey used to compile this year’s results, students praised Brisbane for its laid-back feel, friendly people and convenient public transport system – with the weather conditions also attracting favourable reviews!

Would Brisbane get your vote? Tell us why.

Internationally ranked universities in Brisbane

More about Brisbane 

Brisbane has climbed two places in this year's ranking. This is likely due to a combination of great weather, high-quality educational institutions and a student-friendly lifestyle full of personal and professional opportunities.

To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Queensland (43rd)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student Voice rank


Why study in Brisbane?

Study in the Sunshine State

What a better place to study than Queensland? Brisbane is ideally located in Australia's Sunshine State, with subtropical summers and mild winters. The region offers a plethora of natural and man-made amenities that make daily life exciting during any season, such as the South Bank Parklands, Surfers Paradise and Sunshine Coast. 

It's cheaper 

Brisbane is more affordable than the other Australian cities ranked in the QS Best Cities ranking, Sydney and Melbourne. From rent to transport and food and drink, the city is friendlier to those with a lower student budget.

A multicultural city

Brisbane ranked fifth for student mix, a placement that showcases just how multicultural it is. In fact, the city hosts several cultural festivals for citizens from all over the world, such as the Greek festivals Paniyiri, Oktoberfest, BrisAsia festival and the Festitalia.

Cost of living in Brisbane

Brisbane ranked 99th in the world for affordability. While the city doesn't place among the cheapest in the world, it's still cheaper than other Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, making it a friendlier destination for students.

Life & culture in Brisbane

Brisbane is an extremely friendly and safe city for students. Thanks to great infrastructure, transportation systems and weather all-year-round, students can enjoy a dynamic lifestyle with a great balance between the indoors and outdoors.

For those passionate about the outdoors, Brisbane is in an ideal location. Surfers and swimmers can visit some of the world's most incredible beaches by public transport in just 10 minutes outside the city. The Great Barrier Reef - one of the natural wonders of the world - is also close by, as well as Surfers Paradise in the neighbouring city of Gold Coast.

For those with a flair for indoor activities, Brisbane has a lot to offer. Aside from great local food and drink spots, students can visit a plethora of historical sights and museums, such as the Queensland Art Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Museum of Brisbane and the Queensland Museum. The Queensland Performing Arts Centre is a great location for any indoor events, such as theatre production and concerts.

Careers in Brisbane

Thanks to high quality educational institutions, graduates can expect to find jobs across several sectors after finishing their degree. Some of the top industries for employability in the city include tourism, healthcare, tech, education and construction.

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