5 Most Prestigious Universities in Australia

With over 40 universities in Australia, there is quite a range of schools to pick from when students are wrapping up primary school. Unlike the United States, most of the best colleges throughout the country are public, with some of those universities ranking in the top 50 of the world. Today we’ll take a look at the best universities that Australia has to offer, breaking down the top five in no particular order. Some of the schools that just missed the list include the University of Adelaide, the University of Western Australia, and the University of New South Wales Sydney.

Australian National University

Located in Canberra, Australian National University is the smallest on the list in terms of student size at around 20,000 but has been ranked by some institutions as being the best school in the country. Some outlets have even gone as far as to say that it’s the best university in the entire southern hemisphere. ANU was founded in 1946 after Canberra was established following years of planning that was halted by the start of World War II.

Upon its establishment, ANU quickly grew into a prestigious university that has seen dozens of Rhodes scholars and a pair of eventual Prime Ministers receive an education there. ANU ranks close to the top 50 on a global scale according to US News with its strongest subject rankings coming from optics and arts & humanities. Other high-ranking subjects include plant & animal science, space science, and geosciences.

The University of Queensland

Founded in 1909, the University of Queensland was a huge risk at the time because many in the area wanted to model their secondary schools after the land-grant-type universities of midwestern America. However, the other side wanted to match the education style of classic colleges like Oxford. For many years, UQ operated under the latter structure until a merger in the 1990s happened with Queensland Agricultural College.

Now, UQ is a massive university that allows students to find a subject that’s right for them. US News ranks the University of Queensland as one of the top 40 universities in the world. This is thanks in large part to its high ranking in environment/ecology, sitting in the top 10 globally. Other high marks for the University of Queensland include microbiology, pharmacology, agricultural sciences, and water resources.

University of Sydney

The oldest university on the list is the University of Sydney, which was founded in 1850. With around 75,000 students, it’s also the second-largest on the list. Eight Prime Ministers are graduates of the University of Sydney, which now boasts an endowment that’s well over $3 billion AUD. Those who attend the school are much more likely to go on to high-paying jobs, and they’re ranked fourth in the world in that category.

The University of Sydney is ranked just within the top 30 worldwide according to US News. While the university doesn’t rank in the top 10 of any particular subject outside of endocrinology and metabolism, it does come close in many other subjects. This includes engineering, artificial intelligence, oncology, social sciences, and arts & humanities.

Monash University

There are a couple of distinctions that make Monash University in Melbourne really stand out. For one, it’s the newest university on the list having been founded in 1958, and secondly, it’s the largest university with more than 86,000 students. Because of its size, there’s a wide range of activities for students and a massive campus that provides plenty of opportunities.

Because of its age, Monash University also has newer buildings that undergo consistent upgrades to keep up with the times. Monash University finds itself within the top 40 of the global rankings according to US News, including two subjects that are ranked within the world’s top 10. Its education and education research program is ranked within the top 10 while the pharmacology and toxicology department is considered one of the three best in the world.

University of Melbourne

The final university on the list is the University of Melbourne, which is the second-oldest on the list after having been founded just three years after the University of Sydney. With over 54,000 students, it’s also one of the largest universities in the country. Like UoS, it also has an incredibly high employability ranking worldwide. There’s a wide range of alumni who have achieved peak success in their fields, including four eventual Prime Ministers.

Of all of the Australian universities, the University of Melbourne received the highest ranking for any Australian school by US News, sitting near the top 25. There is a wide range of subjects in which the University of Melbourne excels, including immunology, infectious diseases, public health, and psychiatry.

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