Top Universities in Australia by State | Top Universities

Top Universities in Australia by State

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Julia Gilmore

Updated Apr 29, 2024



Australian National University (ANU)

There are 36 Australian universities featured in the recently released QS World University Rankings 2022. The Australian National University (ANU) is once again the top university in Australia this year, rising four places in the rankings.

On a state-by-state basis, New South Wales has the most universities featured (10), followed by Queensland and Victoria (both 7), Western Australia (4), South Australia (3), Australian Capital Territory (2), whilst Northern Territory and Tasmania claim one university each in the rankings.

The rankings are based on a methodology which assesses each university on its academic and employer reputations, research impact and more.

Read on for a closer look at the country’s top universities by state…

Top 10 Universities in Australia According to the QS World University Rankings 2022

Australia Ranking

World Ranking





The Australian National University

Australian Capital Territory



The University of Melbourne




The University of Sydney

New South Wales



The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney)

New South Wales



The University of Queensland




Monash University




The University of Western Australia

Western Australia



The University of Adelaide

South Australia



University of Technology Sydney

New South Wales



University of Wollongong

New South Wales


Australian Capital Territory

Home to the capital city of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is one of the smallest territories in mainland Australia but is home to many important institutions like the Parliament of Australia and the High Court of Australia.

ACT is also where you’ll find the highest ranked university in the country: The Australian National University. Ranking joint 27th worldwide, the university counts six Nobel laureates and 49 Rhodes Scholars among its faculty and alumni.

Other universities in the ACT include the University of Canberra (ranked 24th in Australia), and Charles Sturt University (joint 34th in Australia, also with campuses in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland).

New South Wales

University of Sydney

The largest state in Australia by population, and home of the internationally renowned city of Sydney, New South Wales is unsurprisingly one of the most well-regarded states for university education in the country, with a total of 10 ranked institutions.

The highest ranked of these is the University of Sydney, placing third in Australia and 38th worldwide. The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) also places highly in the global rankings, at 43rd globally and fourth in Australia.

Outside of the global top 50, seven further universities in New South Wales feature in this year’s rankings: University of Technology Sydney, University of Wollongong, The University of Newcastle, Australia (UON), Macquarie University, Western Sydney University, Southern Cross University, Australian Catholic University, and the University of New England Australia.

Northern Territory

Charles Darwin University

Despite being the second-largest territory in mainland Australia by area, the Northern Territory is only home to around one percent of the population. It also only has one university featured in the QS World University Rankings 2022: Charles Darwin University, named after the celebrated naturalist, is ranked joint 31st in Australia and 701-750 worldwide.


University of Queensland

Nicknamed the ‘Sunshine State’ and including the city of Brisbane and the famed Great Barrier Reef, Queensland is one of the most popular states in Australia with tourists. It’s also a great place for a university education, with seven of the top universities in the country located here.

The highest ranked of these is the University of Queensland, placing fifth in Australia and 47th worldwide. Other Queensland universities found in the rankings are: Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Griffith University, James Cook University, Bond University, Central Queensland University (CQ University Australia) and the University of Southern Queensland.

South Australia

University of Adelaide

South Australia is known as the ‘Festival State’, for its many gastronomic and cultural festivals. It is also one of Australia’s best wine regions, responsible for more than half of the production of all Australian wine.

There are three ranked universities in South Australia, the highest-ranking of which is the University of Adelaide, placing 8th in Australia and 108th in the world. The two other featured universities are the University of South Australia and Flinders University.


University of Tasmania

A large island off the south coast of the Australian mainland, Tasmania is notable for its exceptional biodiversity in both flora and fauna. The only ranked university in the state, the University of Tasmania (18th in Australia, joint 303rd globally) also ranks highly for Geology, where it places 48th in the world in the most recent QS World University Rankings by Subject.


University of Melbourne

Victoria is the second-most populous state in Australia, and its capital, Melbourne, is a vibrant, artsy city, characterised by its fantastic food and drink. It is also the highest-ranked Australian city in the most recent QS Student Cities ranking, with its global third-place finish indicative of how enjoyable this city is for students.

Two universities in Victoria feature in the Australian top 10, The University of Melbourne (second in Australia, 37th globally) and Monash University (sixth in Australia, 58th globally). A further five Victorian institutions feature in the world rankings this year: RMIT University, Deakin University, Swinburne University of Technology, La Trobe University and Victoria University.

Western Australia

University of Western Australia

The largest Australian state by area, Western Australia is mostly made up of the famous Outback, with much of the population living in Perth and the surrounding areas. It is home to four universities in the 2022 rankings, with The University of Western Australia breaking into the world top 100 (ranking 93rd) and ranked seventh in Australia.

The other ranked universities in Western Australia are Curtin University (ranked 11th in the country), Murdoch University and Edith Cowan University.

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