The University of Melbourne was founded in 1853, making it the second oldest in the country (keep reading to find out the oldest).
It is home to 42,000 students and 6,500 members of staff, and has 280,000 alumni around the world (some 15 per cent of whom live outside Australia).
There are more than 12,000 international students enrolled at the University of Melbourne, and if you do get a place there, you will be joining students from 130 different countries.
You will also be rubbing shoulders with some pretty famous scholars. Nobel prizewinner Peter Doherty (physiology and medicine) and fellows of the Royal Society David Solomon and David Boger all teach or research at Melbourne.
Established in 1946, Australian National University (ANU) was originally created as a postgraduate research university by the Parliament of Australia.
It counts six Nobel prizewinners among its faculty and alumni, and is even run by a Nobel laureate. Brian Schmidt, who won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics (with Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess) for providing evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, is the institution’s vice-chancellor.
The University of Queensland’s (UQ) motto is Scientia ac Labore, which is Latin for “by means of knowledge and hard work” – so be prepared to do some grafting!
UQ has about 38,000 students enrolled, including 12,000 international students from 141 countries. It also has one of Australia’s largest PhD cohorts with about 13,800 postgraduate students registered.
Famous former students include a Nobel laureate, two Fortune 500 company CEOs, Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush and poet Bronwyn Lea.
The university’s main campus is located in the green and leafy inner Brisbane suburb of St Lucia – one of the most affluent areas of the city.
Monash University in Melbourne, Victoria, is named after engineer and military leader Sir John Monash, and it was the first university in Australia to be named after a person rather than a place.
The university, which has about 44,000 undergraduates and a further 20,000 graduate students, has five bases in Victoria, as well as one in Malaysia. Monash also has a research and teaching centre in the Italian town of Prato, a research school in Mumbai, India, and a grad school in Jiangsu Province, China.
Famous alumni include musician Nick Cave, Booker Prize-winning novelist Peter Carey, and playwright David Williamson.