Best-Rated Universities in
South Australia (2023)



Fact Checked Fact Checked

South Australia may be best known for its rolling hills, food and wine, but it’s also home to some globally recognised universities. Adelaide in particular, as the state’s business centre and home to many government and financial institutions, is a popular study destination for students seeking good career outcomes.

The majority of students surveyed nationally 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, making the right choice from the start is important.

How we rate universities (SA)

Canstar Blue surveyed more than 191 current students and graduates of the past 10 years to identify the universities students rated the best in South Australia. 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.
  • 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.
  • Student support available: the uni/course provided sufficient administrative, learning, and technical support, with access to lecturers, tutors, counsellors, administrators, and student services.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 South Australia have been compared in this survey. In our 2023 student satisfaction review, we collected sufficient data for three universities (assessed by domestic and international students) to be included in our ratings. So, which are the highest-rated universities in South Australia for student satisfaction?

Which South Australian universities were included in our 2023 ratings?

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

University Locations
Flinders University Adelaide, regionals centres & Northern Territory
University of Adelaide Adelaide, Roseworthy, Waite & regional centres
University of South Australia (UniSA) Adelaide, Mount Gambier & regional centres

Most Satisfied Students | University of Adelaide


The University of Adelaide was rated five stars for teaching staff, quality of education received, learning resources and overall satisfaction.

What is the University of Adelaide known for?

One of the largest universities in the state, the University of Adelaide offers a wide variety of undergraduate degrees, along with postgraduate studies and research, in addition to a number of short courses and PACE (Professional and Continuing Education) offerings. The University of Adelaide was ranked in the top 100 of the 2024 QS World University Rankings, with a number of subjects rated in the top 100, and is also a member of the Group of Eight (Go8), which comprises of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities.

Does the University of Adelaide offer online learning?

The University of Adelaide does offer online learning, but only for select fields and courses. Areas of study include psychology, data science, cybersecurity and business administration, meaning it may not have the range as some universities, although if you’re interested in learning online, you can always contact the university to see if there’s any hybrid offerings for the coursework. As an offset, the University of Adelaide also offers online short courses and micro-credentials, as well as offers Massive Open Online Course (MOOCS) which allow you to learn at your own pace, and for free.

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 South Australia?

There are three major universities in South Australia, all of which have campuses in Adelaide, with some also have regional centres. These institutions include Flinders University, University of South Australia and University of Adelaide. South Australia has other tertiary education providers such as Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and 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.


Meet the Editorial Team


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