Get to Know Your Australian Universities — By State

Australian universities are one of the most popular destinations for international students. While its close proximity attracts many students from Asia, its reputable academic programs also attract students worldwide. Just like how the west coast and the east coast of the U.S. differ in atmosphere and culture, each region in Australia has its own specialties. Here you will be able to find quick facts about each region and renowned universities in the area.

New South Wales

Australian National University, Acton, Canberra. Photo: ANU

New South Wales is where Sydney is located, and that alone speaks volumes for the quality of life in the region. Although Canberra, the capital city of Australia, is located within the same geographical region, Sydney is the largest city in the country by population. Accordingly, it attracts millions of international tourists — at least before the pandemic — each year. Two of the most notable tourist attractions in the region are the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach. With its international popularity and reputation, the state of New South Wales has its fair share of prestigious universities. To name a few, the Australian National University (ANU), the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and the University of Sydney are all among the top 40 universities worldwide, ranked by QS Top Universities. ANU is especially noteworthy among the other reputable Australian colleges, for it was ranked as the 27th best university in the world in 2022.

Other universities in the region are…


University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria. Photo: Geoff Penaluna / Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Victoria is the second most populous state. Of 6.6 million people living in the region, 5.1 million of them are Melbourne residents, making it the most densely populated city in Australia. Melbourne is also one of the largest coastal cities in the country with modern architecture such as Australia 108 — the second tallest building in Australia. The region is also home to a world-class higher education institution: the University of Melbourne. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 25th, and QS Top Universities ranks it as the 37th best university in the world.

Other universities in the region are…


The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland. Photo: UQ

Queensland is the second-largest state by area and the third-most populous state in the country.  Due to its vast size, it has diverse geographical features and climates within its jurisdiction, ranging from humid tropical rainforests to arid savanna and deserts. The state’s tropical and sub-tropical regions with numerous beaches especially attract many tourists, gaining a nickname as the “Sunshine State.” As the third-largest economy among the nation’s states, Queensland is home to numerous universities. The most prestigious higher education institution in the state is The University of Queensland (UQ), ranked as the 36th best university in the world by U.S. News. Located in and around Brisbane, the capital of the state, the school is a member of the Group of Eight (Go8) universities — the Australian version of the Ivy League. Just like many other Australian universities, the institution allows its undergraduate students to earn an honors degree by completing an additional year or two of research-focused study.

Other higher education institutions in the state are…

Western Australia

University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia. Photo: Calistemon / Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Western Australia is the largest state in Australia by area. Even though it covers over one-third of the country’s land, two-thirds of the central area is arid with a small population spread across. In return, the region has a vastly undisturbed landscape with a variety of indigenous wild animals. As only a small portion of the land is habitable due to its geography and climate, 2.1 million out of its 2.6 million people live in Perth. That being said, most of the universities in the region are located in the city. The most reputable university in the region is the University of Western Australia (UWA), ranked as the 78th best university in the world in 2022 by U.S. News.

Other universities in the region are…

South Australia

The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia. Photo: The University of Adelaide

South Australia is in the southern central part of Australia. Though the state is as large as the entire country of Egypt by total area, it has only 1.7 million inhabitants. Adelaide, the largest city and the capital of the state, is where The University of Adelaide is located. Even though it is not as highly ranked as the other previously mentioned universities across Australia, the school has a global reputation for high-quality education with over 100 Rhodes Scholars and five Nobel Laureates as its alumni.

Other universities in the state include…


University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania. Photo: Leigh Woolley / Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Tasmania is the only island state in Australia and the 26th largest island in the world. Located 240 km (150 mi) south of the mainland, it has the smallest population among the country’s states. Even after considering the population size, it is still surprising to find that the state has only one university — the University of Tasmania (UTAS). Though it is not so highly ranked worldwide, it offers quality education for more than 100 undergraduate degrees. The university promotes its active engagement in nature preservation, which extends to the great Southern Ocean and down to the Antarctic.

Northern Territory

Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory. Photo: The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility

The Northern Territory is an Australian territory and the third-largest federal division located in the central and central northern part of the country. Despite its colossal landmass, the territory has a population of only 245,865, about half of that of Tasmania. Accordingly, there is only one university within the region: Charles Darwin University (CDU). Located in Casuarina, Darwin, which best showcases a tropical cosmopolitan lifestyle, the school serves the largest area of the continent.


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