The top universities in Canberra and ACT for 2022


As the nation’s capital, it’s not surprising that the ACT offers study options in areas such as international relations, politics, law, journalism, security and public policy. UNSW Australia also provides specialised defence education and training through the Australian Defence Force Academy. In saying that, there’s a good range of undergraduate courses across all fields of study, from the traditional professions to specialties like aviation, design and sports management.  

Canberra is a friendly, liveable city within easy reach of the mountains, the coast and the bustling metropolis of Sydney. As the seat of government and home to Australia’s public service, it combines the sophistication and cultural variety of bigger cities with a relaxed pace you’d find in a smaller town. As you’d expect, Canberra is full of museums, monuments and memorials, including Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and the National Gallery of Australia.  

There is no one university that is best for all students, since different things matter to different people. The Good Universities Guide ratings provide a series of insights on Australian universities, helping those in the process of deciding where to study. 

Courses and institutions differ in many ways and only the student can decide which differences really matter to them. Check out the ratings for universities in the ACT and filter by study level (undergraduate or postgraduate). Some ratings are also available to filter further by field of study.  

In the tables below, we’ve listed the university that ranked highest in each rating category for the ACT in the 2022 edition of The Good Universities Guide ratings. 


Rating Type DefinitionTop university (undergraduate)
Social Equity  The proportion of domestic students enrolling at each university from low socioeconomic or disadvantaged backgrounds Charles Sturt University – 23%  
Staff Qualification 
The proportion of staff who hold a masters or doctoral degree  Australian National University (ANU) — 87% 
Student Demand 
Where high-achieving students choose to study — compares the proportion of commencing students with high ATAR scores at each university 
Australian National University (ANU) — Low: 0.35 Medium: 0.6 High: 0.05
Student – Teacher Ratio
The number of students per teaching staff member 
Australian National University (ANU)— 13:1 
First Generation 
The proportion of domestic students commencing a bachelor degree whose parents’ education is known and did not exceed Year 12 

Charles Sturt University — 44%

The Student Experience 

Rating Type Definition

Top university (undergraduate)

Top university (postgraduate)
Learner Engagement The proportion of students who felt they were engaged with learning in their institutionAustralian Catholic University (ACU) — 59.8%   University of Canberra — 58.2%  
Learning ResourcesThe proportion of students who were satisfied with the learning resources provided by their institution Australian Catholic University (ACU) — 83.7% University of Canberra — 79.8%  
Overall ExperienceThe proportion of students who were satisfied with the overall quality of their educational experience Australian Catholic University (ACU)   — 75.2% Charles Sturt University — 77.3%
Skills Development The proportion of students who were satisfied with the skill development they experienced through their studies Australian Catholic University (ACU)  — 83.9%  University of Canberra — 81% 
Student Support The proportion of students who were satisfied with the support they received from their institution Charles Sturt University — 74.7%  Charles Sturt University — 77.9% 
Teaching Quality 
The proportion of students who were satisfied with the quality of teaching they experiencedUniversity of Canberra — 80.8%  Charles Sturt University — 82.1% 

Graduate Outcomes

Rating Type DefinitionTop university (undergraduate)Top university 
Graduate Salary 
The median salary of graduates from different universities Charles Sturt University —$66,800   Charles Sturt University—$95,000 
Full-time employmentThe employment rates of graduates from different universities Charles Sturt University — 86.3%

Australian Catholic University (ACU) — 91.8%

Head to the Ratings tab to view our most recent ratings for ACT universities —filter by subject and level of study to find the one that suits. 

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