List of Top Regional Universities in Australia 2023

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Top Regional Universities in Australia

Are you thinking about studying at one of Australia‘s remote universities and pursuing a path to permanent residency? Studying at a recognised regional institution for additional migration benefits has become a hot topic in recent years. Some of the common complaints we hear from international students are that the shopping district closes as early as 4 p.m. and that there isn’t much to do daily. The exciting thing is that animals such as Kangaroos and Koalas can sometimes be seen in residential or university settings. Continue reading to find everything about the regional universities in Australia.


Regional Universities in Australia: Overview

First and foremost, let us clear this up. The Australian Government coined the term “regional Australia” to promote specific places in the country that are recognised to be less inhibited. These are often located outside of Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. Students who study in regional locations may find it easier to migrate to Australia after graduation. 

Given that the bulk of Australia is generally designated a ‘regional area,’ it may come as no surprise that some of the country’s greatest universities are located there. Charles Sturt University (CSU) is an example of such a university. CSU, which is spread across New South Wales, provides international students with a one-of-a-kind taste of regional life. 

Must Read: Study in Australia: Comprehensive 2023 Guide

Top Regional Universities in Australia

Here are the top regional universities in Australia. Check the list below:

UniversitiesQS World Rankings
Charles Darwin University 701-750
University of Tasmania =293
Edith Cowan University601-650
Murdoch University 561-570
Southern Cross University 701-750
University of Adelaide109
James Cook University =461
University of Southern Queensland651-700
University of South Australia =363
Griffith University=300

The following universities offer some unique programmes that are not usually seen anyplace else.

University of TasmaniaMarine and Antarctic Science, Music
James Cook UniversityEnvironmental Sciences, Linguistics, Internet of Things sponsored by Huawei, Geology, Marine Science
University of AdelaideAerospace Engineering, Criminology, Space Science & Astrophysics
Edith Cowan UniversityTechnology, Cybersecurity
Murdoch UniversityVeterinary Sciences, Physiotherapy

Must Read: Top PR Courses in Australia

Regional Area Classifications and Benefits

Here is the classification of the locations that come under the regional areas of Australia and the benefits that you’re offered there.

Major CitiesSydney
No access to any regional area incentives
Cities and major regional centresPerth
Gold Coast
Sunshine Coast
Newcastle/Lake Macquarie
-There are 25,000 regional places available, and regional visas will be processed more quickly.- Comprises the Regional Occupations List, which has a greater number of jobs than non-regional lists.- A post-study employment visa allows students at rural university campuses to remain in Australia for an additional year.
Regional areas and other regional areasAll other locations– There are 25,000 regional places available, and regional visas will be processed more quickly.- accessibility to the Regional Occupations List, which has a larger selection of employment than non-regional lists.- On a post-study employment visa, international students at rural campuses are permitted to stay in Australia for an additional two years.
Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs) are given priority processing for certain regions.

Pros and Cons of Studying in Regional Australia

Just like in every other country, studying at regional universities in Australia has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Check them below:


  • Lifestyle: Live in a city with less noise and more people for a higher quality of life.  You can enjoy hobbies, shopping, and eating out in a more relaxed manner because there is less traffic and no waiting in line to get where you need to go.
  • Improved sense of connection: Enjoy a stronger sensation of connection. The locals are friendly and interested in getting to know one another. This can help you develop a strong network abroad, have a deeper understanding of the culture, and improve your English.
  • Lower living costs: Living expenses in a regional city are lower, including the cost of renting an apartment and eating out.  Profit from the opportunity to put money aside for your future in Australia.
  • Get outside and enjoy the great outdoors: Enjoy being close to nature.  On the weekends, you can go trekking, explore the outdoors, and visit nearby beaches.
  • Reduced class sizes: International students gain from smaller classes since they can develop close relationships with professors and fellow students. The individualised attention and the chance to make more in-depth questions about job prospects are both beneficial.

Must Read: How to Find Cheap Accommodation in Australia?


  • Public transport: Transportation might not be very accessible in a rural place. Booking accommodations close to public transportation will help you avoid this.
  • Less entertainment will be available: Compared to a major metropolis, a regional city offers less entertainment. There will be fewer pubs, restaurants, and bars to choose from rather than a big number. Additionally, this depends on the city you are visiting.
  • Tips for residing in rural areas: Make sure you can find the programme you wish to enrol in. Although the five benefits of learning locally are alluring, you should make sure that the subject you are studying is pertinent to your long-term career objectives.

Visa Options After Graduating from Regional Universities

There are numerous regional visa options available once you have completed your degree major at a regional university. The options available to you are listed in the table below:

Visa TypeCondition
Temporary Graduate (subclass 485)There are two work streams: graduate work and post-study work.
Allows international students to stay in Australia for a maximum of four years.
You may apply for a second Temporary Graduate visa if your first Temporary Graduate visa was issued under the Post-Study Work stream.
Working Holiday (subclass 417 or 462)Allows anyone aged 18 to 30 to work in Australia for a year. 
StudentThis enables you to continue your education.
Either to obtain another degree or to pursue postgraduate studies.
VisitorAllows you to travel if you do not want to work or study.

Must Read: Australian Visa Types

Part-Time Employment Opportunities

The majority of students are required to work part-time in addition to their studies. While applying for part-time work in a nearby suburb of a regional area can increase your chances of getting recruited, competition for part-time jobs in major cities can be fierce. Regional university students will be given an additional year or two (depending on where the university is located) of employment authorization in Australia. 

TGV holders who completed their first Temporary Graduate Visa while on their first TGV are qualified for a second visa. The sole need is that they stay in a locality throughout the validity of their visa. 

The cities and significant rural areas where international students in Category 2 have studied include Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra, Sunshine Coast, and Hobart. These students are qualified for an extra year. A two-year visa extension is available to international students who finished their studies in rural areas and other regional cities like Wagga Wagga, Dubbo, Ballarat, and Townsville. This is a fantastic chance for students to stay longer in Australia and get important professional experience.

Must Read: Post Study Work Permit in Australia

Scholarship Options

If you are seeking university funds, you should strongly consider attending a regional Australian institution. Scholarships for students in rural areas have been established by the government and the business sector. 

  • Destination Australia is one of the most famous scholarships. It is a government initiative that permits regional universities to fund domestic and international students studying in regional Australia. Participants may be eligible for funding of up to AUD 15,000. 
  • The Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships (RRES) is another initiative that grants up to AUD 18,000. 

Jobs in Demand

To help you decide what major to pursue so that you are well informed and prepared for your future career (and ideally migration! ), the following list has the top ten jobs in demand for migrants in regional areas:

  • Registered Nurses
  • Secondary School Teachers
  • Software & Applications Programmes
  • Electricians
  • Construction Managers
  • Carpenters and Joiners
  • Metal Fitters & Machinists
  • Plumbers
  • Motor Mechanics
  • University Lecturers and Tutors

Must Read: Highest Paying Jobs in Australia

Key Takeaway

Many people associate regional universities in Australia with remoteness, discomfort, and poverty. However, there are several great universities in regional Australia, many of which are fairly close to the city centre. Regional Australian institutions are a preferable choice for overseas students who desire to immigrate to Australia in the future.


Is Deakin University a regional university?

Deakin University tied to Geelong began in 1974, when they established their first campus at Waurn Ponds, establishing Victoria’s first regional university.

Which regional area is best for students in Australia?

Cities such as the Gold Coast, Perth, Canberra, Newcastle, and Wollongong are now deemed regional, and overseas students can earn an extra 5 points by studying in a regional area.

What is the largest regional university in Australia?

Central Queensland University (CQUniversity Australia) is the largest regional university in Australia.

This was all about the regional universities in Australia. If you’re looking to study abroad in Australia or any other country, connect with our experts at 1800 57 2000 and book your 30-minute free counselling session. Connect with us to make your dream a reality!

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  1. I am interested to study a skill based course, online, is it possible? What benefits do i get in case i do so?
    Does it help in getting a PR?

  1. I am interested to study a skill based course, online, is it possible? What benefits do i get in case i do so?
    Does it help in getting a PR?