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Brisbane for students

With three major universities in a city of just over two million, this Australian metropolis has dropped one place in the QS Best Student Cities ranking this year, but still places well within the top 25 cities worldwide.

The third-largest city in Australia, Brisbane boasts three leading universities featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2020, with the University of Queensland coming out on top, at 47th worldwide.

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 favorable reviews!

Would Brisbane get your vote? Tell us why.

Best universities in Brisbane - QS Best Student Cities ranking: 22nd

More about Brisbane

Study in Brisbane Overview

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


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

Why study in Brisbane?

Sunny beaches

Brisbane’s coastline offers plenty sandy beaches with a clear blue sea – perfect for surfing. You can also try kayaking and sandboarding if you’re looking to be active in your free time.

Thriving nightlife

Sometimes known as ‘Bris-Vegas’, Brisbane’s nightlife is expansive and packed full of options, from rooftop bars to music venues to nightclubs.

Home to some of Australia’s top universities

Brisbane contains three excellent universities, including the University of Queensland which ranks 46th in the world university rankings this year.

Scores high for desirability

Brisbane is the 25th most desirable city to study in the world, according to students. It also scores well for student view, ranking 26th worldwide.

Cost of studying in Brisbane

As in most Australian cities, Brisbane has high international tuition fees, costing around US$25,600 on average. For this reason, the city earns a relatively low score for affordability, placing 102nd in the world.

A one-bedroom apartment in Brisbane will cost around AU$1,684.77 (approximately US$1,206).

Life and culture in Brisbane

Brisbane is 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 downtown area offering a trendy nightlife and arts scene.

The city earns very high scores for both student mix and desirability, with its highest score being the desirability indicator, where it climbed by seven places to reach 25th worldwide.  

Careers in Brisbane

An up-and-coming city that has seen rapid growth in recent years following the Australian ‘resources boom’, Brisbane has the largest economy between Sydney and Singapore.

Most Australian student visas allow international students to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during term time and an unlimited number of work hours during holidays.

Brisbane also has plenty of career opportunities for graduates. You can find out more about the options available to graduates wishing to stay on in Brisbane here

GradAustralia helps students look for graduate opportunities in Australia at some of Australia’s biggest graduate employers.

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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