Best-Rated Universities in Queensland (2023)



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Although it’s most famous for its pristine beaches and tropical islands, Queensland is also home to some prestigious universities that are renowned for their academic reputation, cultural diversity, and student experience. Queensland universities are known to focus on practical and applied teaching and so are often top ranked in various listings for post-graduation employment outcomes.

When choosing a university, many prospective students look for a balance between those important employment outcomes and the quality of their university experience. The majority of students surveyed by Canstar Blue (76%) said their university degree was vital for their future career prospects, while 56% said university was the best time of their life from a social perspective. So, it’s clear that where you choose to study matters.

How we rate universities (QLD)

Canstar Blue surveyed more than 402 current students and graduates of the past 10 years to identify the universities students rated the best in Queensland. There are a lot of university ratings out there, but we wanted to take a different approach by asking students to rate their university on a range of factors that were important to them and to understand how satisfied they were overall with their university experience. Please see our methodology here.

Respondents rate their satisfaction with their university from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. University satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:
  • Overall student satisfaction: measures student satisfaction with a university as an individual score, NOT a combined total of all criteria.
  • Quality of education received: the uni/course provided high-quality academic education and skills development, as well as adequate learning structures, educational materials, resources, etc.
  • Opportunities & career prospects after graduation: the uni/course supported the transition from study to work and provided suitable employment outcomes or postgraduate study opportunities.
  • Learning resources: the university provided sufficient learning resources such as libraries, online portals, and laboratories, while courses had flexible learning options and suitable materials for the chosen field of study.
  • Teaching staff: the uni/course administrators, lecturers, and tutors were approachable and fair in their assessments, had effective teaching styles/abilities, and provided sufficient learning support.
  • Campus amenities: the university campus featured a good range of amenities, including access to public transport, adequate parking, lockers, libraries, cafeterias, Wi-Fi, on-campus accommodation options, etc.
  • Student support available: the uni/course provided sufficient administrative, learning, and technical support, with access to lecturers, tutors, counsellors, administrators, and student services.
  • Social aspects: the uni/course provided sufficient networking opportunities, social events, and extra-curricular activities (i.e. clubs, societies, sporting and volunteering options, etc.).

The winning university is the one that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.

  • Overall satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The university with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award. If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

Universities must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all universities available in Queensland have been compared in this survey. In our 2023 student satisfaction review, we collected sufficient data for six universities (assessed by domestic and international students) to be included in our ratings. So, which are the highest-rated universities in Queensland for student satisfaction?

Which QLD universities were included in our 2023 ratings?

Here are the universities in Queensland that were included in Canstar Blue’s 2023 student satisfaction survey, listed below in alphabetical order.

University Locations
Central Queensland University (CQU) Brisbane & Australia-wide
Griffith University Brisbane & Gold Coast
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Brisbane & Caboolture
University of Queensland (UQ) Brisbane, Gatton & regional centres
University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Toowoomba, Springfield, Ipswich, Stanthorpe
University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Fraser Coast, Gympie, Sunshine Coast, Caboolture, Moreton Bay

Most Satisfied Students | Central Queensland University


Central Queensland University was rated five stars for quality of education received, opportunities & career prospects after graduation, learning resources, teaching stuff, student support available and overall satisfaction.

What is Central Queensland University known for?

Central Queensland University is Australia’s largest regional university (by footprint) with a campus presence in every mainland state. It offers a comprehensive range of courses and degrees for all study levels, including undergraduate, postgraduate, and research higher degree courses, as well as TAFE certificates, diplomas, and short courses. CQU’s sunshine state campus locations include Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, and Townsville.

CQU placed in the top five public universities nationally for student experience in the 2021 Student Experience Survey (SES), conducted by Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT). CQUniversity is also known for its remote and online resources, as it caters to areas and students who live outside of capital cities. Additionally, CQUniversity was also rated as the top Queensland University in Canstar Blue’s 2022 ratings, indicating student satisfaction.

Does Central Queensland University offer online learning?

Central Queensland University is a leading distance education provider with more than 200 flexible, mixed-mode study programs spanning dozens of disciplines including allied health, nursing, education, information technology (IT), business, accounting, law and criminology, science, and agriculture. There are also English-language and other study pathways for international students. Students can choose to study online, on-campus or via a combination of both.

Australian & State University Ratings 2023

Interested in finding out how students rated other top universities from around Australia? Click on the links below to read more about the top-rated universities in the country.

How many universities are there in Queensland?

There are over 10 major universities in Queensland, with the majority in the capital city Brisbane, along with other major cities and rural areas. These institutions include Australian Catholic University, Bond University, CQ University, Griffith University, James Cook University, Queensland University of Technology, Southern Cross University, University of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland and University of Sunshine Coast. Queensland has other tertiary education providers such as Technical and Further Education (TAFE), along with other vocational education and training providers.

What to consider when choosing a university

Current and past students surveyed by Canstar Blue were asked to name the key reasons for choosing their university. The main factors identified included the reputation of the university, acceptance of enrolment from the university, and the physical location of the campuses. These are the reasons students and graduates cited for choosing their university:

  • The reputation of the university and courses: 41%
  • Application to study was accepted: 40%
  • Location: 39%
  • Facilities (i.e. campus facilities, technology in library, classrooms, etc.): 22%
  • Friends or family went to the same university: 15%
  • Cost/fees were more affordable than other universities: 14%
  • Received a scholarship to attend: 9%
  • Extra-curricular activities (i.e. colleges, sporting and social opportunities, clubs, etc.): 7%

Learn more about university in Australia

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About our consumer experts

Dean Heckscher: Site Editor

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Site Editor, Dean Heckscher. He’s our resident expert on all things automotive, health & fitness, streaming and more. Dean is also one of Canstar Blue’s customer research report producers, helping to turn complicated subjects into easily-digestible information for our readers. He’s passionate about helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services.


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Samantha Howse: Consumer Research Specialist

Sam Howse Research Specialist

Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.



Meet the Research Team