Universities in Gold Coast - QS Best Student Cities Ranking | Top Universities

Gold Coast

By Sabrina Collier

Updated March 22, 2021 Updated March 22, 2021

Gold Coast for students

The second-largest city in the state of Queensland (and the sixth-largest in Australia), Gold Coast boasts 52km of golden sands and 300 sunny days per year, and even has a suburb named ‘Surfer’s Paradise’.

Indeed, surfers and beach-fans will feel right at home here, and it’s unsurprising that Gold Coast is ranked in the top 50 cities for desirability in the most recent edition of the QS Best Student Cities ranking.

With three universities placing in the QS World University Rankings 2021, Gold Coast has an excellent reputation for its educational institutions. Among the top universities in Gold Coast is Griffith University, ranked joint 320th in the world this year. 

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Best universities in Gold Coast - QS Best Student Cities ranking: 84th

World ranking



Griffith University


Bond University


Southern Cross University

More about Gold Coast

Gold Coast receives its highest score in the student mix indicator in the QS Best Student Cities ranking, thanks to a high percentage (19 percent) of international students at its leading universities. It also scores well for desirability this year, placing in the top 50 worldwide.  

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Griffith University (Joint 303rd)



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 Gold Coast?

The climate 

With an average yearly temperature of 29 degrees Celsius, you can enjoy the sun on Gold Coast’s scenic beaches while exploring its beautiful natural environment.

Strong cultural diversity

The city is well recognized for its multicultural environment and each university has its own diverse community, with 19 percent of the city’s students coming from outside Australia.

The top universities

Gold Coast is home to three universities ranking in the QS World University Rankings 2021, including Griffith University ranking joint 303rd in the world.   

The employment opportunities

By using a Temporary Graduate Visa, graduates are able to work in Gold Coast for up to three years after graduating – plenty of time to explore the diverse employment options on offer.

Cost of studying in Gold Coast

Ranking 89th for affordability, the city places in the mid-range for cost of studying. As an international student, tuition fees will set you back around US$20,600 on average.

According to Numbeo, a single person living on the Gold Coast would need around AU$1,271 (approx. US$956), compared to around AU$1,345 (approx. US$1,012) in Brisbane.

Life and culture in Gold Coast

Gold Coast is one of Australia’s fastest-growing large cities. It has expanded rapidly in recent decades, largely thanks to the area’s flourishing tourism sector. The city annually hosts the Gold Coast 600 car racing event and also hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Away from all the skyscrapers, the surrounding rural hinterland, referred to as the “green behind the gold”, is a lush, subtropical rainforest of three national parks, with numerous mountains, natural rock formations and spectacular waterfalls.

The city’s residents generally enjoy spending as much time as possible outside. With Gold Coast’s beautiful beaches and gorgeous natural environment, it’s not hard to see why. Surfing is also a popular activity for students and residents alike. 

Career in Gold Coast

With a mix of large industries and small business opportunities, Gold Coast has one of the fastest growing economies in Australia, with tourism making up a large portion of this.

Other major industries on Gold Coast include education, IT, technology, sports and the entertainment industry.

Graduates are able to work in Gold Coast for up to three years after graduating by obtaining a Temporary Graduate Visa.

This article was originally published in November 2015 . It was last updated in March 2021

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Written by

The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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