Melbourne has once again been crowned as the Australia’s best city for international students. The announcement came with the release of global rankings that highlighted the city’s remarkable growth in the sector.
For Arpit Kumar Singh, a student from India who recently moved to Australia for studies, Melbourne’s reputation as a student-friendly and affordable city made it an obvious choice. “I heard from my friends that Melbourne is more student-friendly and cheaper with higher job availability. Therefore, Melbourne was my priority,” Singh told Indian Link.
This reputation has been officially recognized for several years, as Melbourne has consistently topped the QS Best Student City index in Australia since 2015. The city’s recent climb to the fourth position in the world rankings, behind only London, Tokyo, and Seoul, further solidifies its status as a preferred destination for international students.
The international education sector in Australia faced significant challenges during the pandemic when international borders closed. However, with strong support from the Andrews Labor Government, the industry has made a remarkable recovery. According to figures from the Department of Home Affairs, there are now over 140,000 student visa holders currently in Victoria, with numbers doubling since the reopening of borders.
China, India, Vietnam, Nepal, and Colombia are the leading source countries of international students enrolling in Victorian universities and colleges. International education is Victoria’s largest service export, generating a staggering $8.4 billion in revenue last year and providing employment to over 40,000 people across the state. The sector’s economic significance places it just behind food and fibre and manufacturing on the overall export earnings table.
Acting Minister for Trade and Investment Danny Pearson expressed his excitement over Melbourne’s continued success in attracting international students. “Melbourne is Australia’s best city, and it’s fantastic that the official rankings say we’re also number one in the country for international students,” he said. “We welcome international students with open arms – they contribute so much to our community.”
Edward Harcourt, QS Senior Vice President, also lauded Melbourne’s rise in the rankings, attributing its success to various factors that enhance the educational experience for students. “Melbourne’s rise to the fourth position in the QS Best Student Cities is a resounding affirmation of its commitment to enriching the calibre and experience of its educational environment,” he stated. “Melbourne’s impressive outcomes in critical metrics, such as employer activity, desirability, and student mix, play a substantial role in this outstanding achievement.”
The Andrews Labor Government has been actively investing in the education sector, and this year, they allocated $10 million to upgrade the Study Melbourne Hub in Hardware Lane and support newly arrived students. Study Melbourne provides essential services such as free legal advice on employment and accommodation matters, as well as confidential 24-hour, seven-day assistance to international students across Victoria.
Last year, the Government launched the International Education Recovery Plan 2025, with nearly $53 million in funding for various initiatives aimed at enhancing the educational experience for international students. The expansion of Victoria’s Global Education Network to 19 locations, including additional resources in Colombia, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, forms part of this comprehensive plan.
With its student-friendly atmosphere, robust educational opportunities, and continuous government support, Melbourne’s position as a top destination for international students remains unshakable. As more students from around the world choose Melbourne as their number-one choice, the city’s reputation as a global education hub continues to soar.