Best Universities in Australia: Group of Eight (Go8)

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Best Universities in Australia: Group of Eight (Go8)

Best universities in Australia are called the Group of Eight (Go8) universities. Out of approximately 45 private and public universities in Australia, the Go8 comprises Australia’s quality leading research-intensive universities, i.e., the University of Melbourne, Monash University, Australian National University (ANU), University of New South Wales (UNSW), University of Sydney, University of Western Australia, University of Adelaide, and University of Queensland (UQ). Many students from all over the world are interested in applying for postgraduate positions at these universities. They are the most popular universities in Australia due to the following reasons:

1) Research impact of best universities in Australia

Approximately, 75% of Governmental Competitive Grant funding is granted to these best universities in Australia. They had the largest proportion of research areas and categories rated as above or above the world standard in the latest Excellence for Research Australia (ERA) exercise. 99% of the Go8 research activities are world-class or above. Most research supervisors located at these top Australian universities are working on hot topics like cancer treatment, artificial intelligence, wastewater purification, etc. These top-ranked Australian universities spend around 6 billion AUD per annum on research. More than 2 billion AUD is spent on the Medical and Health Services research field.

2) Among the best universities in the world

According to the famous international university ranking report websites, i.e., Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) Rankings, etc. group of 8 universities are among the best universities in the world. Table 1 lists the latest ranking of the top Australian universities in the world in the years 2021 and 2022. It demonstrates the competition between the University of Melbourne and ANU to be the best university in Australia.

Table 1. The ranking of top Australian universities in the world.

No. University Name Location THE Rankings (2022) QS Rankings (2022) ARWU Rankings (2022) U.S. News Rankings (2022)
1 University of Melbourne Melbourne 33 37 32 25
2 Monash University Melbourne 57 58 75 40
3 ANU Canberra 54 27 79 56
4 UNSW Sydney 70 43 64 41
5 University of Sydney Sydney 58 38 60 28
6 University of Western Australia Perth 132 93 99 78
7 University of Adelaide Adelaide 111 108 101-150 66
8 UQ Brisbane 54 47 47 36

3) Top 8 Australian universities

Regarding the Go8 universities ranking, they are considered the top 8 Australian universities. Table 2 reports the latest ranking of these top 8 universities in Australia in the years 2021 and 2022. By comparison, the University of Melbourne is probably the top university in Australia, followed by ANU. Monash University possesses the third place.

Table 2. Top-ranked universities in Australia.

No. University Name Location THE Rankings (2022) QS
ARWU Rankings (2022) U.S. News Rankings (2022)
1 University of Melbourne Melbourne 1 2 1 1
2 Monash University Melbourne 3 6 5 4
3 ANU Canberra 2 1 6 6
4 UNSW Sydney 5 4 4 5
5 University of Sydney Sydney 4 3 3 2
6 University of Western Australia Perth 7 7 7 8
7 University of Adelaide Adelaide 6 8 8 7
8 UQ Brisbane 2 5 2 3

4) International connections

The top 8 Australian universities have numerous international alliances, collaborators, and agreements with research institutes/organizations and universities, for instance, China (with the C9), Brazil, France, Chile, and Germany. Likewise, they work actively and closely with university groups in the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, and the United States of America. They are also a signatory to the prestigious Hefei statement linking it to elite university groups around the world.

Best Universities in Australia - ApplyindexTop Australian universities have a close connection with many universities worldwide due to their reputation for high-quality research activities.

5) Economic impact of best universities in Australia

These best universities in Australia contribute significantly to its economy. As shown in a report by London Economics in the year 2018 the Go8 had an economic impact on the Australian economy with 66.4 billion AUD contribution each year, 37%, 29%, 27%, and 7% of which were coming from research, university expenditure, educational exports, and teaching sectors, respectively. London Economics was commissioned by the Go8 universities to analyze the group’s economic contribution to the Australian economy.

The analysis focused on the 2016 academic year and estimated the impact associated with the universities’ world-class research, the direct, indirect, and induced impacts of the institutions’ expenditures, educational exports, and the impact of teaching activities. They reported that every 1 AUD of Go8 research income delivers almost 10 AUD in benefits to the wider community. Moreover, the Go8 directly supports more than 50,000 jobs. The Go8 international student market contributes 17.98 billion AUD each year to the Australian economy. The international students who graduated from the top 8 Australian universities support approximately 73,000 jobs throughout the Australian economy.

6) Competitive scholarships

Scholarships in Australia are one the most popular financial support when it comes to applying for higher education programs. They pay for universities’ tuition fees and living costs. The top universities in Australia provide a wide range of scholarships for candidates in Engineering, Science, Medicine, etc. fields. These best universities in Australia excel in a broad range of research areas and fields of study. It means that whatever fields or areas students are interested in, they will most likely find it there. 

All things considered, make these top-ranking universities in Australia favorable destinations for international students. Are you interested in joining one of the best Australian universities for your master’s or PhD studies? You may visit the research supervisors page to find your potential academic supervisor in Australia:

Supervisors in Australia - Applyindex


Which university in Australia do you intend to go to?


Do the best universities in Australia provide PhD scholarships?

Yes, they provide a variety of PhD scholarships in Australia in a wide range of fields and majors.

Do the top 8 Australian universities provide scholarships for master’s students?

Yes, however, there is a limited number of scholarships for master’s applicants.

Can international candidates apply for the best universities in Australia?

Yes, international and domestic students can apply for all levels, e.g., undergraduate, master’s, etc.

Do they have an age limit for PhD applicants?


Should PhD applicants contact supervisors before officially applying to these universities?

Yes, it’s highly recommended to applicants find a research supervisor to support their applications.

Tags: Oceania
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Amin Reyhani

Author Since: September 7, 2021


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