When you think of the best colleges in the world, you probably think of the United States, the United Kingdom, or even France. Over the years, a new student destination has made a strong name for itself in the fields of education and research: Australia.

The Australian education system, and perhaps the country as a whole, is known for appreciating hard work. And so it is with Australian universities. Colleges in Australia are known for their comparatively easy-going demeanor, but the results they have produced over the years are astounding.

Getting into an Australian university is relatively easy when compared to the likes of Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford, but the rigorous training that students go through during their tenure in the colleges makes them one of the most employable individuals in the world.

The list below includes some of the finest places to study in Australia and around the world. Since Australian universities do not publicly announce their acceptance rates like other colleges in the US, the percentages below could vary a bit from reality. The acceptance rate is usually different for each course—undergraduate and postgraduate courses and even individual courses. The numbers mentioned below are averages of all these.

Universities in Australia with Low Rates of Acceptance

1. University of Sydney

The University of Sydney is Australia’s first university founded in the year 1850 as a member of the Group of Eight. Its almost 200-year-old rich history has made it one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world. Its campus is ranked among the top 10 most beautiful university properties in the world by the Daily Telegraph and The Huffington Post.

The university has 9 faculties in academics and a very rich body of alumni; 5 Nobel Laureates and 7 Australian Prime Ministers. Over 61000 students house its nine schools. With a campus worth any tourist spot, replete with museums of arts and academics, the institute has been ranked 25th globally by academic reputation. Graduates from the University of Sydney are highly sought after by companies from across the globe, making them the 4th most employable pool of individuals in the world.

2. University of New South Wales

Also known as UNSW Sydney, the University of New South Wales is a premier research institution that is located in the heart of Sydney. Due to their renown in research, UNSW Sydney has played a major role in founding the Group of Eight, which is an alliance of Australian research-oriented universities. 

When it comes to academic rankings, UNSW Sydney has placed 44th in the QS World University Rankings (2021). In Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2021), this research institution has ranked 67th among all the institutions in the world. The low admission rate is probably due to high academic rankings and prestigious academic programs offered by the University of New South Wales. 

Feel Free to Check: 5 Universities in Australia Without Application Fees

3. Australian National University

Australian National University is the first university to be created by the Parliament of Australia in the year 1946. Located with its main campus in Canberra, ANU has been consistently ranked as the best university in the country and 24th in the world by QS World University Rankings.

Spread across seven schools of arts & social sciences, Asia and Pacific, business and economics, law, engineering, and computer science, medicine & biology, and physical and mathematical sciences, ANU provides undergraduate, postgraduate, and Ph.D. levels of education to over 20,000 students. Its vast body of alumni includes 6 Nobel Laureates and several Rhodes Scholars.

4. University of Western Australia

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is a public research institution that is located in Perth, which is the state capital. Located in the heart of Western Australia, UWA is the sixth-oldest university that was established in Australia, and it proudly holds the title of being the oldest institution in the entire state. 

Offering a large selection of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, the University of Western Australia has ranked consistently among the top 100 universities in the world, and the majority of its academic programs have been ranked as world-class by many peer reviews. 

5. University of Melbourne

The city of Melbourne was ranked the most liveable city in the world from 2011 to 2017, and it won’t be a surprise if a lot of students think of studying in Melbourne. The city is home to Australia’s second oldest and one of the finest educational institutes, the University of Melbourne

Founded in the year 1853 primarily as a research university, the institute today has expanded its wings into 10 different schools of study for over 50,000 students. A remarkable 42% of these individuals are international students from over 140 countries. 7 of the university’s alumni have been Nobel Prize recipients.

International students aspiring to study at the university need to submit their English language proficiency certificate; TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson Test of English, or Cambridge English Certificate. The university also provides financial assistance to international as well as domestic students. Every year, $6.5 million is given as scholarships.

6. Monash University

Monash University is a public research university and a part of the Group of Eight, which is a coalition of 8 leading research universities in Australia. The university is based in Victoria and is the most popular one in the region. The acceptance rate in this university in Australia is pretty competitive, with an acceptance rate of 40%.

The university operates 4 campuses in Victoria and one in each, Malaysia, India, China, and Italy. The institute houses over 78,000 students with 38% of them being from all around the world. According to the QS World University Ranking, the university was rated 58 on an overall basis worldwide, and its Pharmacy and Pharmacology course was the 2nd best globally.  Students can apply to its 10 different colleges, which comprise world-class faculties, hence giving individuals a diverse and rich environment to hone their skills.

7. University of Queensland

Situated in Brisbane with its main campus in St. Lucia, the University of Queensland is the last institute on this list. It was founded in 1909 and forms a part of the Group of Eight. Majorly established as a research institution, the University of Queensland also offers courses in the fields of law, engineering, IT, architecture, health, medicine, sciences, and humanities.

The university is also known for being a pioneer in IVF and HPV vaccines, which prevent cervical cancer. Currently, more than 50,000 students receive in-depth practical knowledge in their respective fields from a group of elite academicians. Its MBA has been ranked the best in Asia-Pacific and the course in mining engineering was adjudged the 10th best in the world.

Check Also: How to Apply to Australian Universities

FAQs about Studying in Australia

Which University in Australia Has the Lowest Acceptance Rate?

Both the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales have the lowest acceptance rate of 30%. The reasons behind low acceptance rates could be due to high academic rankings, renowned academic programs, or research-intensive environments. 

Which University in Australia Has the Highest Acceptance Rate?

The University of Newcastle has the highest acceptance rate among universities in Australia with an estimated admission rate of 85%. This university might tend to accept much more applicants than usual to boost its international student body. 


All the above-mentioned universities are part of the eight most prestigious academic institutions in Australia; hence, it’s no surprise that they make this list. They all attract international students in abundance, thereby making admission very competitive.

Students from non-English backgrounds are required to submit their English proficiency certificates to be eligible for admission to any of the above-mentioned universities.

Despite not being as renowned as US universities, the Australian education system has its own way of carrying out its work quietly and producing a large body of highly skilled individuals every year. If you are interested in studying at a well-established institution, feel free to check the Australian National University acceptance rates.



We hope that this article on universities in Australia with low acceptance rates was helpful. If you are interested in studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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