The best-rated universities in Victoria

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Besides being home to Melbourne, often described as Australia’s cultural capital, and the famous Goulburn Valley, the state of Victoria also has more than 50 university campuses across its metro areas and regional centres. Universities in Victoria have a strong academic reputation and are often ranked highly in various rankings of graduate outcomes and student experience.

With more than half of students surveyed by Canstar Blue (64%) acknowledging that their university degree was vital for their future career prospects and 51% also saying that university was the best time of their life from a social perspective, making the right decision on which university to attend is clearly important.

That’s why Canstar Blue surveyed more than 490 current students and graduates of the past 10 years to find which universities they rated the best in Victoria. There are many 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, including how satisfied they were overall with their experience.

In our 2021 student satisfaction review, we collected enough data from seven public and private universities (assessed by domestic students) in eight categories: quality of education received, learning resources, student support available, teaching staff, career opportunities and prospects after graduation, campus amenities, social aspects and overall satisfaction. Please see our methodology here.

So, which are the highest-rated universities in Victoria for student satisfaction?

Which VIC universities were included in our 2021 ratings?

Here are the universities in Victoria that were included in Canstar Blue’s 2021 student satisfaction survey, listed below in alphabetical order.

University Locations
Deakin University Melbourne, Geelong & Warrnambool
La Trobe University Melbourne & regional centres
Monash University Melbourne
RMIT University Melbourne & regional centres
Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne
University of Melbourne Melbourne & regional centres
Victoria University (VU) Melbourne

Most Satisfied Students – Deakin University

Best universities in Victoria

Deakin University topped our review of universities for Victoria, rating best for overall student satisfaction. The public university, named after Alfred Deakin, Australia’s second prime minister, also received a five-star rating in each survey category: quality of education, learning resources, student support available, teaching staff, career opportunities and prospects after graduation, campus amenities and social aspects. Deakin University was also rated the best university in Australia for overall student satisfaction.

Our ratings saw several other universities receive five-star ratings, including the University of Melbourne for career opportunities and prospects after graduation and its campus amenities. RMIT University received five stars for social aspects, as did the Swinburne University of Technology for student support available.

What is Deakin University known for?

Deakin University is one of the largest universities in Australia by student population and boasts some of the best facilities and technology, as well as research, learning and work placement programs in Australia and overseas. The public university has campuses in Melbourne, Geelong and Warrnambool, as well as an online ‘Cloud Campus’.

Deakin University has a string of accolades under its belt. It previously placed in the top 1% of universities globally in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and for its arts and humanities subjects, communication and media studies, computer science and information systems, to name just a few, in the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject. Deakin University has also been chosen as the number one university in Victoria in the Graduate Outcomes Survey by Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT). In 2020, the Student Experience Survey, conducted by QILT for the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment, rated Deakin University number one for student experience, student support and teaching quality.

Does Deakin University offer online learning?

Deakin University offers online units and courses through its Cloud Campus. The platform allows students to study online undergraduate and postgraduate courses, watch lectures, submit assessments, participate in discussions online and set up meetings in real time with their peers and teaching staff. The Cloud Campus also has 24/7 access to Deakin University’s online library, lectures and presentations, and IT assistance with Australia’s top-rated tech support, according to the Voice Project IT Service Quality Support Benchmark Survey.

Deakin University also offers DeakinSync, a personalised dashboard for students to access their study units, learning resources, the library, timetables, university news and events, campus maps and other relevant information. DeakinSync can be connected to via smartphones or tablets.

Australian & State University Ratings 2021

Uni students in classroom

How many universities are there in Victoria?

There are nine public universities in Victoria, many of which have campuses in Melbourne metro as well as in regional centres to provide physical access to university education to remote populations. Several of these institutions, including Deakin University, the University of Melbourne, RMIT University and Monash University, have also appeared in well-known world university rankings, including the QS World University Rankings and the ARWU. Victoria also has several tertiary education providers such as Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and vocational education and training providers.

Is Melbourne University better than Monash University?

The University of Melbourne and Monash University are both public research universities and equally reputed for their quality of education, teaching standards, learning resources and facilities and technology. Both also feature in the QS World University Rankings and The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE). The University of Melbourne is, however, known for having more accessible locations, with campuses in the Melbourne CBD (the main campus is in Parkville) and surrounding towns, while the main Monash University campus is in Clayton, which is 18 kilometres south-east of the Melbourne CBD.

Whichever university you may pick will likely depend on your study discipline. For example, Monash University is best known for its social sciences, humanities and arts programs and the Monash Law Faculty is one of the largest and most dynamic law schools in Australia. Meanwhile, the University of Melbourne is popular for its business, commerce, finance and specialised science degrees.

What is the best-rated university in Melbourne?

Melbourne CBD

Our university ratings saw Deakin University place number one for overall student satisfaction. The University of Melbourne, RMIT University and Swinburne University of Technology were also rated five stars in key areas.

Just remember, though, that these institutions form part of a bigger university network in Melbourne and Victoria, so be sure to check out how other universities rank in terms of education excellence, graduate outcomes and student experience. Some world rankings to look at include the QS World University Rankings, the ARWU and the THE.

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 reputation of university, acceptance of enrolment and physical location.

  • Reputation of university & courses: 47%
  • Application to study was accepted: 47%
  • Location: 43%
  • Facilities (i.e. campus facilities, technology in library, classrooms, etc.): 26%
  • Friends or family went to the same university: 21%
  • Received a scholarship to attend: 12%
  • Extra-curricular activities (i.e. colleges, sporting and social opportunities, clubs, etc.): 10%

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