Three Australian Universities In Global Top 20

Melbourne Business School / University of Melbourne

Three Australian universities have either improved or maintained their spot in the top 20 of the latest global ranking, and nine local universities have secured a place in the top 100.

The 2025 QS World University Rankings feature over 1,500 universities across 105 higher education systems. The United States is the most represented country or territory, with 197 ranked institutions, followed by the United Kingdom with 90 and mainland China with 71.

The QS ranking, which is one of three most recognised in the world,  showed three universities – Melbourne, Sydney and UNSW – had retained their place in the world’s top 20 in the 2025.


Melbourne has moved one place higher to 13th in the world, Sydney has also moved up a place to 18th, and UNSW has remained steady at 19th.

Other universities in the top 100 are the Australian National University at 30th, Monash at 37th, Queensland at 40th, Western Australia at 77th, Adelaide at 82nd and UTS at 88th.

For the 13th consecutive year, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) maintains its reign at the top. Imperial College London jumps four places to take second and the University of Oxford and Harvard University are in third and fourth place respectively. The University of Cambridge rounds out the top five.

Warning for Australia

QS chief executive Jessica Turner warned that the Australian government’s tough clampdown on international student visas in response to migration concerns was putting at risk the future competitiveness of Australian universities in the global rankings.

“These measures may prompt several thousands of prospective students to look beyond Australia, impacting a $48bn export ­sector that relies heavily on international student fees to fund ­research and maintain its cutting-edge status,” Ms Turner said.

“It is important to balance regulatory measures with the need to support the international education sector and the opportunities it provides.

“We hope that a thoughtful approach will be taken to avoid unintended negative impacts on students, universities, and Australia’s global competitiveness.”

Melbourne Welcomes Result

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell said he was proud to see the university’s continued rise in global rankings.

“It’s terrific to see the University of Melbourne continue to improve and be globally recognised for its high-quality education and research,” Prof Maskell said.

“The University of Melbourne aspires to be a world-leading and globally connected Australian university with students at the heart of everything we do. This means prioritising deep research collaborations, a globally minded curriculum, and the best possible student experience for our diverse community.”

Universities to dramatically improve their position in this year’s QS world rankings include: RMIT, up 17 places to 123rd; Deakin, up 36 places to 197th; La Trobe, up 25 places to 217th; Flinders, up 44 places to 336th; CQUniversity, up 95 places to 495th; and Southern Cross University, up 80 places to 576th.

Who are the top ten universities in the QS World University Rankings 2025?

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US

2. Imperial College London, UK

3. University of Oxford, UK

4. Harvard University, US

5. University of Cambridge, UK

6. Stanford University, US

7. ETH Zürich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland

8. National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore

9. University College London, UK

10. California Institute of Technology (Caltech), US

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (