Universities in Perth

A skyline of modern high-rise buildings in Perth, Australia

Perth has a very modern skyline, seen here from the banks of the Swan River

Perth is the capital of Western Australia, and is a popular university destination for international students. In fact, its nickname is Australia’s ‘Education City’. Located in the south west of Australia, Perth has a population of over 2 million people today, a large chunk of whom are immigrants from many parts of the world.

Aside from being a regional centre for arts & entertainment programs, Perth offers international students well-priced accommodation, food and transport costs when compared to the rest of Australia and other popular international study destinations like the USA and the United Kingdom. With a rich history and beautiful surrounding regions, Perth is a dream study destination for international students.

Top Universities in Perth

Perth boasts 5 world-class universities for international students, in addition to many other specialist universities which offer high-quality programs in a range of subject areas.

Curtin University

International students interested in a multicultural education as part of their Australian university degree will be especially interested in Curtin University. With satellite campuses in Dubai, Mauritius, Singapore & Malaysia, Curtin University offers a world-class education in both Perth and abroad. 

Curtin University has been a major Australian research centre since its founding in 1967 as the Western Australian Institute of Technology. There are currently 60,000 students enrolled at Curtin University’s 290-acre campus in Perth, of which nearly 20,000 or a third are international students. This indicates a high degree of comfort for international students at Curtin University, which will allow you to utilise the top-ranked research facilities and multiple research collaborations with institutes such as Innovation Central Perth. 

Curtin University has also set up ‘real-world’ workplaces for international students to train in various professions while you pursue a university degree. Undergraduate and Postgraduate programs for international students are offered in the following ten departments at Curtin University:

  • Agriculture, Environment & Sustainability
  • Architecture & Construction
  • Arts & Creative Industries
  • Business, Management and Law
  • Culture, Society and Indigenous
  • Education
  • Engineering, Mining and Surveying
  • Health
  • Information Technology
  • Physical Sciences, Geoscience and Mathematics

Edith Cowan University

Despite being Perth’s newest top-ranked university, Edith Cowan University has quickly become a world-class study option, with nearly 7,000 international students from over 100 countries currently enrolled. Established in 1991 and named after Australia’s first elected female parliament member, Edith Cowan University has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s best young universities by the Times Higher Education (THE) Group.

Edith Cowan University currently has three campuses in the region surrounding Perth, with a fourth campus in downtown Perth under construction and expected to be operational by 2025. Over 250 courses are offered to international students at Edith Cowan University in the following eight departments:

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Business & Law
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Medical & Health Sciences
  • Nursing & Midwifery
  • Science
  • Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

International students searching for excellent university facilities and a happy academic journey should be especially interested in Edith Cowan University, as it was named the top public university in Australia for ‘most satisfied students’ in the QILT (Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching) survey 2017.

Murdoch University

Murdoch University is another top-ranked Perth university for international students which has been ranked in the top 100 worldwide young universities by THE. Established in 1975 on a 570-acre plot that is Australia’s largest university campus to date, Murdoch University places special importance on educating domestic and international students to become ‘free thinkers’ through its world-class research and innovation offerings.

Most of Murdoch University’s students are performing cutting-edge research at one of the many Murdoch institutes such as the Food Futures Institute, the Health Futures Institute and the Harry Butler Institute for Sustainable Development. The 25,000 students enrolled at Murdoch University are pursuing degrees at one of its two primary colleges:

  • College of Arts, Business, Law and Social Sciences
  • College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education

University of Notre Dame Australia

As the only major private university for international students in Perth, the University of Notre Dame is a more expensive but top-ranked study option. The university’s largest campus is in Perth and hosts about 7,000 students, with additional campuses in Sydney and the small Australian town of Broome.

All undergraduate international students at the University of Notre Dame must undertake courses in theology, philosophy and ethics as part of their degree. The University of Notre Dame offers courses in the following departments:

  • School of Arts and Sciences 
  • School of Business 
  • School of Education
  • School of Health Sciences 
  • School of Law 
  • School of Medicine 
  • School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • School of Philosophy and Theology
  • School of Physiotherapy

University of Western Australia

Perth’s best university for international students was founded in 1911 as Western Australia’s first university. The University of Western Australia is Perth’s only member of the Group of Eight (Go8), a prestigious group of eight Australian universities with a shared focus on providing world-class faculty and research facilities.

There are currently 24,000 students enrolled at the University of Western Australia’s primary campus in Perth, which is conveniently located only 10-15 minutes away from downtown Perth and the central business district. With nearly 8,000 international students or a third of the total student body, you will always feel comfortable at the University of Western Australia as you pursue a world-class education. 

The University of Western Australia is especially well-known for its top-quality courses in Agriculture, Education, and Earth Sciences. Courses at the University of Western Australia are offered to international students in nine departments:

  • Architecture 
  • Landscape and Visual Arts 
  • Arts 
  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Computing and Mathematics 
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry and Health Sciences
  • Indigenous Studies and Science

Rankings of Perth Universities 2022

Below is a list of the top Melbourne universities in 2022, according to QS world rankings and Times Higher Education:

UniversityQS World Ranking 2022Times Higher Education Ranking 2022QS Rank in AustraliaTHE Rank in Australia
University of Western Australia93=13278
Curtin University=194251-3001118
Murdoch University581-590501-6002732
Edith Cowan University651-700401-5003027
University of Notre Dame1201+N/A38N/A

The University of Western Australia and Curtin University stand out as the top-ranked Perth universities for international students. Meanwhile, it must be noted that the University of Notre Dame does not feature on THE Rankings for 2022. Murdoch University and Edith Cowan University are similarly ranked, and can be great options for international students.

Perth TAFE institutes

TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutes, an Australian government initiative, are Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). TAFE institutes offer vocationally-oriented degrees that train you for semi-skilled as well as skilled industrial occupations through collaborations with employers across Australia.

TAFE qualifications range from certificates to diplomas and advanced diplomas. TAFE programs in Perth are offered to international students at the following TAFE institutes:

  • Central Regional TAFE
  • North Metropolitan TAFE
  • North Regional TAFE
  • South Metropolitan TAFE
  • TAFE Western Australia

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Perth

In addition to the top-ranked Perth universities for international students, the city also offers many specialised institutes providing high-quality degrees and certificate programs. Some of them are:

  • Engineering Institute of Perth
  • Australian School of Management
  • Australian College of Applied Education
  • Polytechnic West
  • Skills Australia Institute – Perth College
  • Sterling Business College

Public versus Private Universities in Perth

Australian private universities are run by privately-owned organisations, while public colleges & universities receive funding from the Australian government. Private universities such as the University of Notre Dame are generally ‘for-profit’ and charge higher tuition fees, whereas public universities such as Murdoch University, University of Western Australia and Curtin University have more affordable fees for domestic and international students. Due to the well-funded educational infrastructure in Australia, most of the top-ranked Australian universities for international students are public institutions.

Tuition and Living Costs in Perth

As is the case with most Australian top-ranked universities, tuition costs for international students in Perth are decided by the volume and level of courses taken towards a degree. The average tuition fee is usually about 25,000 US Dollars per year for an international student pursuing an undergraduate degree in Perth, and this figure is slightly higher at 27,000 US Dollars per year for post-graduate programs.

Perth offers international students a relatively inexpensive and enjoyable city life; the city was selected as one of Australia’s most affordable capital cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Campus accommodation will set you back about 100-300 US Dollars every week, whereas private shared accommodation will cost you around 150-400 US Dollars per week, without the benefits of staying close to campus or eating at campus restaurants. Additionally, transport and utilities will cost between 50-125 US Dollars every week; don’t forget your international student ID when using public transport as it provides you with a 40% discount on fares, and some universities provide free transport, such as bus services, to students.

You must also keep in mind various extra expenses such as compulsory insurance costs and emergency home issues. On average, you should budget for between 500-1,500 US Dollars each month, depending on where you choose to live and how you spend your money.

With a range of public and private universities offering unique facilities and educational curriculums for international students, Perth offers an exciting choice for enjoying the typical Australian experience as an international student while benefiting from Australia’s top-ranked universities and their focus on providing you with the best quality of faculty, campus facilities, research and innovation opportunities, graduate employability and overall development.

See our Studying in Australia directory for more information about being an international student in the country, as well as other cities, tuition fees and a full list of courses/subjects available.

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