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The Australian Financial Review releases inaugural Best University Ranking

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How do Australian universities fare in the AFR’s newly launched university ranking system?

The Australian Financial Review’s Best University Ranking, launched on 22 November 2023, puts a new spin on university rankings.

Focusing on five pillars, including equity and access, research performance, student satisfaction, global reputation and career impact, students can review the rankings for each category to help inform their decision when choosing a university to apply to.

The AFR Best University Ranking provides a balanced overview using public data with inclusions that have yet to be covered in global ranking systems such as the QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education rankings. These inclusions incorporate domestic data components such as Australian Tax Office data on salaries after graduation and Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) government-endorsed surveys for higher education students.

The overall top 10 rankings list features universities across multiple states and territories, including Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia, with the top spot going to The University of Queensland.

The broad set of categories allows students to see which universities align with their goals. Notably, many universities listed in the top 10 for the reputation and research categories are not featured in the student-focused categories, such as student satisfaction and career impact.

The comprehensive ranking system highlights Australian universities in a new light, providing better visibility of the university landscape for students looking to enrol in higher education.

Top-ranking universities in the AFR’s Best University Ranking


  1. The University of Queensland
  2. University of New South Wales
  3. The Australian National University
  4. Monash University
  5. The University of Adelaide
  6. Edith Cowan University
  7. University of Wollongong
  8. Deakin University
  9. The University of Melbourne
  10. University of Technology Sydney


  1. The University of Melbourne
  2. University of New South Wales
  3. The University of Queensland
  4. The University of Sydney
  5. Monash University
  6. The Australian National University
  7. The University of Western Australia
  8. The University of Adelaide
  9. University of Technology Sydney
  10. Macquarie University


  1. The University of Melbourne
  2. University of New South Wales
  3. Monash University
  4. The University of Queensland
  5. The Australian National University
  6. The University of Sydney
  7. The University of Adelaide
  8. University of Technology Sydney
  9. The University of Western Australia
  10. Deakin University

Student satisfaction

  1. Bond University
  2. Edith Cowan University
  3. University of the Sunshine Coast
  4. The University of Notre Dame Australia
  5. Deakin University
  6. The University of South Australia
  7. Flinders University
  8. The University of Adelaide
  9. Griffith University
  10. Central Queensland University

Career impact

  1. University of New South Wales
  2. The Australian National University
  3. Central Queensland University
  4. Charles Sturt University
  5. The University of Sydney
  6. James Cook University
  7. University of South Queensland
  8. The University of Notre Dame Australia
  9. University of New England
  10. University of Newcastle


  1. Central Queensland University
  2. Federation University Australia
  3. James Cook University
  4. University of Wollongong
  5. University of New England
  6. Southern Cross University
  7. University of Southern Queensland
  8. University of Tasmania
  9. Charles Darwin University
  10. Western Sydney University