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Top Universities in Australia by City

Top Universities in Australia by City

Australia is a popular study destination for both domestic and international students alike, with the latter lured by the generally warm weather, excellent quality of life and world-renowned universities.

In the QS World University Rankings® 2020, published earlier this year, 35 Australian institutions made it into the top 1,000 in the world. Read on to discover which universities dominated in Australia this year, according to the city their home campus is based in.

Top Universities in Australia by City

City

University

Adelaide

Armidale

Brisbane

Cairns

Canberra

Darwin

Gold Coast

Hobart

Lismore

Melbourne

Newcastle

Perth

Rockhampton

Sydney

Toowoomba

Wollongong

 

Adelaide: The University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide

Located in the capital of South Australia is the University of Adelaide, ranked eighth in Australia and 106th in the world. It is also ranked joint 26th in the world for mineral and mining engineering, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject.

The third-oldest university in Australia attracts a diverse portfolio of staff and students alike, scoring very highly for the international faculty and international students ranking indicators.

Runner-up: University of South Australia, ranked 17th in Australia and joint 274th in the world.

Armidale: University of New England Australia

In the Northern Tablelands of Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, is the University of New England Australia, in the city of Armidale.

Ranked at 801-1000 in the world, it nevertheless gains a respectable ranking of 101-150 for agriculture and forestry, taking advantage of the heavily forested areas surrounding the city.

Runner-up: None

Brisbane: The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland

The top university in Brisbane is the University of Queensland, ranked fifth in Australia and 47th in the world. The university achieved particularly good scores in the academic reputation and international students ranking indicators, plus a perfect score for international faculty.

Additionally, it is the second-best university in the world for sports-related subjects.

Runner-up: Queensland University of Technology (QUT), ranked 12th in Australia and 224th in the world. It’s also joint 16th in the subject rankings for communication and media studies.

Cairns: James Cook University

Cairns is often described as the ‘gateway to the Great Barrier Reef’, and this tropical city is home to James Cook University, ranked 20th in Australia and joint 377th in the world.

The university achieved high scores in the international faculty and international students ranking indicators.

Runner-up: None

Canberra: The Australian National University

The Australian National University

Australia’s capital Canberra hosts the highest-ranked university in Australia, The Australian National University, which takes joint 29th place in the world rankings. The university achieved a perfect score for international faculty, plus exceptional scores for international students and academic reputation.

It is also the fifth best university in the world for philosophy degrees.

Runner-up: University of Canberra, ranked 26th in Australia and joint 484th in the world.

Darwin: Charles Darwin University

The best university in the city of Darwin is the appropriately named Charles Darwin University, which is ranked 651-700 in the world.

While the original campus is in Darwin, the university has a presence across Australia, with campuses in nine locations including Alice Springs, Melbourne, Sydney and Palmerston.

Runner-up: None

Gold Coast: Bond University

Bond University

Gold Coast is a coastal city in the state of Queensland, and is renowned for its booming tourist industry, surfing beaches, theme parks and nightlife.

The only Gold Coast university in the rankings is Bond University, ranked at joint 442nd in the world, scoring particularly high for international faculty and international students.  

Runner-up: None

Hobart: University of Tasmania

The University of Tasmania

The sole entrant in the rankings for the island state of Tasmania is the University of Tasmania in Hobart. It’s ranked 18th in Australia and joint 291st in the world, with high scores in the international faculty and international students ranking indicators.

The university also ranks 42nd in the world for earth and marine sciences.

Runner-up: None

Lismore: Southern Cross University

The small city of Lismore in north-eastern New South Wales is home to Southern Cross University, ranked 751-800 in the world. The university is only 23 years old and has additional campuses in Gold Coast and Coffs Harbor, as well as operating The Hotel School Melbourne and The Hotel School Sydney in partnership with Mulpha Australia.

Runner-up: None

Melbourne: The University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne

Melbourne has seven universities in the world rankings, but top of the pile is the University of Melbourne, ranked second in Australia and 38th in the world.

It is also the highest-ranked university in Australia for both academic and employer reputation. In the subject rankings, it is sixth in the world for law and legal studies and comes seventh in the world in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings.

Runner-up: Monash University, ranked sixth in Australia and joint 58th in the world. It also ranks third in the world for pharmacy and pharmacology.

Newcastle: The University of Newcastle Australia (UON)

Ranked 10th in Australia and joint 207th in the world is the University of Newcastle Australia (UON), which achieved a perfect score for the international faculty ranking indicator.

As well as main campuses in Newcastle, the university also has bases in Central Coast, Sydney, Port Macquarie and Singapore.

Runner-up: None

Perth: The University of Western Australia

The University of Western Australia

Located in the capital of Western Australia, Perth, the University of Western Australia is ranked 86th in the world and seventh in Australia.

It gained a perfect score for international faculty and a near-perfect score for the international students ranking indicator. The university is also ranked fourth in the world for mineral and mining engineering.

Runner-up: Curtin University, ranked 13th in Australia and 230th in the world. It also ranks second globally for mineral and mining engineering – so clearly Perth is the place to be for this subject!

Rockhampton: Central Queensland University (CQ University Australia)

One of the industrial and agricultural centers of the north of Australia, Rockhampton is home to Central Queensland University (CQ University Australia).

The university ranks 601-650th in the world, achieving high scores for the international students and faculty ranking indicators.

Runner-up: None

Sydney: The University of Sydney

The University of Sydney

Possibly the most iconic city in Australia, Sydney is home to six ranked institutions, with the University of Sydney taking the gold medal position. The university is ranked third in Australia and 42nd in the world, achieving the joint highest score for international students, and the second highest scores for employer reputation and academic reputation.

It’s also ranked fourth in the world for both sports-related subjects and graduate employability.

Runner-up: The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), just misses out on the number one spot, having been ranked fourth in Australia and 43rd in the world.

Toowoomba: University of Southern Queensland

Toowoomba, nicknamed the ‘Garden City’, is home to the University of Southern Queensland, ranked 751-800 in the world.

While the main campus is in Toowoomba, the university also has campuses in Springfield and Ipswich. Around 75 percent of students at the university complete their studies online.

Runner-up: None

Wollongong: University of Wollongong

University of Wollongong

Ranked 11th in Australia and joint 212th in the world is the University of Wollongong on the east coast, which scores particularly highly for the international student and international faculty ranking indicators.

The university is also ranked 17th in the world for mineral and mining engineering.

Runner-up: None

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Written by Julia Gilmore
Julia is the Assistant Editor for TopUniversities, publishing articles for students and graduates across the world. A native Londoner, she holds an MSc in Marketing Strategy & Innovation from Cass Business School and a BA in Classical Studies & English from Newcastle University.

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