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Australia Ranked Third-Best Higher Education System

Australia has been ranked as the world’s third-best higher education system in the 2023 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

These rankings evaluate universities based on four key performance indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations per paper and the H index (which measures research productivity and impact). The combined achievements of 39 Australian universities, evaluated across 747 programs, secured Australia’s third-place ranking.

If you’re considering Australia as your study destination, here are the key insights from the rankings that you should know.

A diverse range of world-class institutions

Australia’s higher education system is the fourth-best-represented country for the overall number of entries, demonstrating the breadth and diversity of its institutions. This achievement indicates that international students will have a myriad of world-class institutions to choose from when embarking on their study abroad journey.

Top-performing universities

Two of Australia’s top-performing universities, the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney, are ranked within the top 50 globally across 48 disciplines. Additionally, the results cemented the University of Queensland and Monash University as exemplary representatives of the high academic standards that Australian institutions consistently maintain.

Excellence in research

Research is a significant strength for Australia, as it ranks fourth globally for citations per paper and third for the H index. Notably, the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney, the University of Queensland and Monash University consistently demonstrate research excellence across various disciplines, including Engineering, Environmental Sciences and Social Sciences. By choosing to study in Australia, international students will join a community committed to research productivity and impact. 

Leading disciplines

Australia’s higher education system is globally recognised for its excellence in various disciplines, including Environmental Sciences, Medicine, Agriculture & Forestry and Biological Sciences. Notably, Monash University is ranked number 2 in Pharmacy and Pharmacology, after Harvard University and before the University of Oxford. Curtin University achieved its highest recognition in Engineering – Mineral & Mining, ranking second in the world.

A testament to Australia’s higher education excellence

QS Senior Vice President Ben Sowter highlights Australia’s higher education achievements, stating, “Australia is home to 7% of the world’s top 50 and top 100 ranked subjects, the third-highest proportion among locations ranked, thanks in large part to the exceptional breadth of quality boasted by its universities.” Sowter adds, “It is no surprise that Australia is home to two of the world’s most-ranked universities, nor that these universities are home to an exceptionally high volume of top-tier subjects.”

Read more: What’s Actually Behind University Rankings?