Australian Capital Territory (Canberra)

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is home to one major city - Canberra - a young, contemporary city with a welcoming and inclusive community. As Australia's capital, Canberra boasts some of the country’s preeminent educational and cultural institutions, as well as being the nation’s seat of Government and a focal point for ideas, innovation and decision making.

Australian Captial Territory in brief
  • One of the world's most liveable cities and global top 25 student city
  • The ACT is Australia's smallest self-governed territory
  • Home to some of Australia's highest ranked universities
  • Australia’s lowest unemployment and highest average wages
  • The most on-campus accommodation in Australia (per capita)
  • Five universities and one major TAFE
  • 19,000 international students
  • 425,000 population

Since its establishment as the nation’s capital just over 100 years ago Canberra’s growth has been fuelled by attracting people from across Australia and around the world, with students accounting for much of this diversity.

While the business of government historically has been the city’s focus, more recently Canberra has developed a reputation as a dynamic place of learning, arts and culture, food and wine, sport and innovation.

In fact, Lonely Planet, the respected travel authority, named Canberra the third best place in the world to visit in 2018. The medium-sized city, known for its beautifully planned open areas and easy lifestyle, is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities.

The city is a leader in the renewable energy sector, and by 2020, plans to be completely powered by renewable energy. Canberra is also one of the cleanest, safest and healthiest capital cities in the world. In 2017, the World Health Organisation named Canberra in the top three capital cities for air quality. For anyone studying in Canberra it’s obvious why this city is ranked in the world's top 25 best student cities.

Australia's education capital

Close to 50 percent of Canberra residents hold a Bachelor degree, well above the national average, and one in six people either work or study at a tertiary institution. The city has a knowledge-based economy, with many residents employed in the public and professional services, and the education and training industries.

Many global companies have offices in Canberra and its strong economy, including Australia's lowest unemployment and highest incomes, Canberra's graduates enjoy strong employment outcomes both during study and after graduation.

Canberra also offers the highest proportion of on-campus student accommodation in Australia, with over 90 percent of new undergraduates offered guaranteed accommodation.

A centre for innovation and exploration

Canberra’s unique environment for collaboration is unrivalled, providing easy access to government and industry leaders in science, research and education. This reputation as a hotbed for innovation and business growth has led to the emergence of several support organisations such as the Canberra Innovation Network, Renewables Innovation Hub and Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology.

The city’s focus on knowledge attracts an eclectic mix of leaders, innovative thinkers, Nobel Prize winners, artists and researchers, as well as strong representation from multi-national corporations keen to establish and grow their presence in Australia. In fact, more than 60 per cent of employment is with the private sector across more than 25,000 businesses. Many of Australia’s leading government agencies are headquartered in Canberra and enjoy strong connections with the institutions. The unique mix of prominent public and private organisations result in unparalleled internship and work experience opportunities for students, and with Australia’s lowest unemployment and highest average incomes, Canberra’s graduates enjoy strong employment outcomes.

A short drive from Canberra you’ll find the CSIRO’s Deep Space Communication Complex which is operated on behalf of NASA and offers the chance for students to gain incredible hands-on experience as part of the country’s leading space and spatial sciences degrees. Canberra is also a hub for students studying health and sports sciences. Conveniently located between the city’s two largest universities is the Australian Institute of Sport where many of our current and future star athletes train to compete on the world stage.

Young at heart

Canberra is a young city having only celebrated its centenary in 2013. It’s one of only a few planned cities in the world, with a unique mix of unspoilt nature reserves, contemporary and dynamic urban spaces, and bustling precincts with a seamless integration of developed and natural elements.

With students making up approximately 25 per cent of the population, Canberra has a lower median age than many other Australian cities. Its youthful identity has seen Canberra blossom as a creative hub with first-rate cultural, social and gourmet experiences on offer.

The city’s events calendar is packed with world-class sporting events, concerts and festivals which give Canberra a level of vibrancy and sophistication seen in bigger cities - but on a smaller scale.

An exploration of Canberra’s national attractions, galleries and museums helps to tell a story that is uniquely Australian. Collectively they offer something to appeal to everyone – from dinosaurs to sculptures; animals to sport; and the ever changing line up of national and international blockbuster exhibitions.

Room to breathe

No matter where you are in Canberra, it’s just a short walk or bike ride to unspoilt parkland or stunning nature reserves. That’s why it’s known as Australia’s Bush Capital.

Canberrans are very active people who take advantage of the amazing recreational activities available and the 246 days of sunshine each year. The city’s hilly landscape offers a great range of bush walks and biking trails with spectacular views and all levels of experience are well catered for.

Hike or cycle around beautiful Lake Burley Griffin and stop in at the National Arboretum, home to 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world.

As a planned city Canberra has less congestion and boasts an average commute time by car of just 25 minutes. Many students choose to make use of over 400km of dedicated cycle ways or the discounted student fares available on buses and light rail.

Canberra is also perfectly placed as a gateway to the surrounding region, just a short two hour drive from pristine beaches and beautiful snow-capped mountains, and three hours from Sydney.

Find a course, institution or scholarship

Rate this page

  • Rate as Helpful2 Helpful votes
  • Rate as Not helpful0 Not helpful votes

Discover more of Australia