QS Staff Writer

Updated July 29, 2021 Updated July 29

QS Best Student Cities ranking: 3rd

In third place once again in this year’s Best Student Cities ranking is Melbourne. Melbourne is a highly attractive destination for international students and is home to one of the world’s most diverse student communities. Therefore it’s no surprise it achieves the ranking’s highest score for student mix for another year in a row.

Seven universities in Melbourne are featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2020, the highest-ranked of which is the University of Melbourne at 39th in the world – second only to Australian National University on the Australian leaderboard, at 24th.

Known as Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne regularly tops lists of the world’s most livable cities, and is full of all the attractions that make the Australian lifestyle so appealing – including beautiful beaches, nightlife and a fair proportion of sunny days. The city’s cultural calendar is packed year-round – spanning arts, comedy, music, film, fashion, and a host of multicultural celebrations.

As well as boasting the highest score for student mix, Melbourne also scores particularly well for desirability – reflecting both the overall quality of life in the city, and its status as an in-demand student destination.

Like other Australian cities, it stumbles only when it comes to affordability, with both fees and living costs on the high side in global terms. But, for high standards of living and incredible natural surroundings, Melbourne remains a tough city to beat. It is also up three places to seventh in the employer activity indicator this year, demonstrating the amount of opportunities for graduates.

Melbourne ranks third in the student view indicator, and it receives a whole host of compliments in our student survey. One student said: “Melbourne is very internationally diverse and student-friendly. It is very easy to move around the city and there is always something interesting happening at any given time” while another loved the “friendliness of locals and the vibrant culture” on offer.

Have you studied in Melbourne? Share your experience.

Internationally ranked universities in Melbourne

University of MelbourneMonash UniversityRoyal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)Deakin UniversityLa Trobe UniversitySwinburne University of TechnologyVictoria University

More about Melbourne

Number of institutions ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Melbourne (38th in the world)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank



 To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

This article was originally published in December 2015 . It was last updated in January 2020

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