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What is the Group of Eight?
The Go8 was formed to address the development of research policy and sustainable higher education in Australia. With a strong track record for being research-intensive, the member universities are continually ranked the highest among all Australian universities. Since its inception in 1999, the coalition makes up some of the largest and most established universities in the continent.
What to know about Go8 universities
The Group of Eight provides students with the opportunity to attain professional qualifications and learn from researchers who are the best in their field. Each university is ranked competitively in a wide range of subject areas.
The Go8 Bachelor’s degree completion rates are also higher than any other national universities, with all 8 in the top 11. At the postgraduate level, the Go8 welcomes one-third of all postgraduate students in Australia.
1. Australian National University
The prestigious Australian National University (ANU) takes top spot in the Go8 and the entire region of Oceania. It is situated in the lively Australian capital of Canberra.
According to the QS World University Rankings 2020, the university is ranked 29th. It currently holds one of the highest country scores for research impact (citations per faculty member), as well as percentage of international students. Due to its vibrant student population, ANU was presented the title of most international university in a 2017 study by Times Higher Education.
Those who are keen to pursue an arts-related field will be interested to learn that the university is also highly recognised for its arts and social sciences programme. Globally, ANU scores the best for several disciplines, including geography, social policy, politics and international relations. In 2017, it respectively ranked 6th in the world for Political Science, 8th for Social Policy and Administration, and 11th for Development Studies.
2. Monash University
The next member of Go8 is Monash University, a public research university based in Melbourne. In the Times Higher Education Golden Age university ranking 2019, Monash was ranked 6th worldwide. What is unique about Monash is that it has two courses available: comprehensive and specialist. The former takes you through five broad areas: arts, science, information technology, business, and commerce, with the option to choose your major later on. Alternatively, the specialist path allows you to commit to a specific major immediately.
Students who want to pursue a future in pharmaceutical sciences can potentially consider Monash University for their rigorous research methods. In the QS Subject rankings for 2019, Monash came 3rd in the world for pharmacy and pharmacology. More specifically, Monash ranked 1st in Australia and 7th in the world for Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2019. It is also the best university in Australia to study engineering and technology, as reported by Times Higher Education from 2017 to 2018.
3. The University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne (UniMelb) is the second oldest university in Australia. There are about 10 separate academic institutions within its premises, with affiliations to well-known research institutes and centres. Undergraduates will receive the opportunity to explore different subjects before declaring their field of study.
For those who are seeking a more international experience abroad, the university boasts an extremely diverse community—out of 50,720 students who are enrolled, nearly 40 percent of them are from around the world.
In the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019, the University of Melbourne ranked 6th worldwide. The school even offers an Accelerator Program whereby students can hone their skillsets for the job market and be exposed to different professional networks. The program features public events, workshops, feeder programs and access to start-up founders. According to the University Business Incubator Index, the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) has been named as one of the top 25 university incubators.
4. The University of New South Wales
As a founding member of the Go8, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) ranks 6th in Australia and 43rd in the QS World University Rankings 2020. Home to over 320 undergraduate programs for students, the university is located in the energetic suburb of Kensington, a short drive from downtown Sydney. Students and faculty members with the university can enjoy international exchange and research partnerships with more than 200 universities around the globe.
In comparison to any other Australian university, UNSW has more subjects ranked in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, with 39 in the top 100 list. While these subjects are all ranked first in Australia, they also hold the following positions in the world: Water Resources (7th), Civil Engineering (9th), Remote Sensing (13th), and Finance (18th). These accolades, paired with their recent A$215 million redevelopment, set new standards for the university to provide the most conducive and beneficial learning environment for its students.
5. The University of Queensland
The University of Queensland (UQ) ranks at 47th in the QS World University Rankings 2020. The Brisbane-based university is one of only three Australian members of the acclaimed Universitas 21 network, on top of being a founding member of the Group of Eight. Its three modern campuses in South East Queensland host over 52,000 students, and of those are 15,400 international students who make up UQ’s diverse and inclusive environment.
UQ has also received more Australian Awards for University Teaching than any other Australian University. The university is first in Australia for business administration, life sciences, and veterinary medicine. Their Mineral and Mining Engineering program has risen to 5th place worldwide from last year, in line with UQ’s continued excellence in research and teaching.
Most recently, the University of Queensland pioneered several notable achievements, including the invention of the vaccine that prevents cervical cancer.
6. The University of Sydney
Located in the heart of the city, the University of Sydney is one of the world’s top 25 reputable universities, with their graduates being the most employable in Australia. It currently ranks 42nd in the QS World University Rankings 2020, consistent with their yearly top 50 placement.
The university’s flexible curricula also allow students to choose majors and minors outside of their primary degree. Across the top 50 broad subject areas, QS ranked Sydney for the following: Social Sciences and Management (14th), Arts and Humanities (15th), and Life Sciences and Medicine (15th).
Beyond academic standing, Sydney’s Camperdown-Darlington campus has been hailed as part of the world’s top 10 most beautiful universities. Whether it’s spending time on campus, visiting the famous Opera House or the iconic Bondi beach, undergraduates can enjoy a balanced and fulfilling student life.
7. The University of Western Australia
Situated in Perth and Albany, the University of Western Australia (UWA) is the only Western Australian university in the Group of Eight. As a truly globalized institute for tertiary education, UWA was awarded the best score out of the 10 best universities in Australia, for its percentage of international faculty members. Students can look forward to broadening their discipline and doing meaningful research with global impact.
UWA’s programs are ranked competitively in the QS World Subject Rankings as well. It secured 7th place for Mineral and Mining Engineering, while Performing Arts, Agriculture and Forestry, Anatomy and Physiology are all ranked within the world's top 50. Along with the University of Queensland, UWA is recognised as the joint best university in Australia in the fields of clinical medicine and pregnancy.
8. The University of Adelaide
The final member of the Group of Eight is none other than The University of Adelaide. The university has steadily ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide, according to the latest from Times Higher Education, QS World University Rankings, and Academic Ranking of World Universities. It is also the only South Australian university to enter the top 250.
With proven academic standing, it is little wonder why Adelaide is considered a leading research-intensive hub. Five Nobel laureates and 109 Rhodes scholars form part of the school’s alumni, many of whom have made exceptional contributions to the world. These important innovations include the discovery and development of the drug penicillin, the development of space exploration, sunscreen, and Wi-Fi. Students can be sure to find themselves challenged and heavily involved in stimulating new projects.