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To advance and promote the value of excellence in business education and research through engagement across Australian universities, industry, the government and the community.

Australian Business Deans Council

ABDC Key Facts

The Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) represents the collective voice of pro vice-chancellors, deans and heads of all business faculties and schools in Australian universities. Our mission is to advance and promote the value of excellence in business education and research through engagement across Australian universities, industry, the government and the community.

  1. Business PeopleAustralian business schools are a significant part of the Australian university sector

    • Australian business schools graduate one-third of Australia's university students. [1]
  2. Australian business schools contribute significantly to the third largest export industry (and largest export service industry) in Australia.[4] 

    • Australian business schools graduate three-fifths of international university students at Australian onshore and offshore campuses. [2] 
    • Australian business school students contribute an estimated $5.4 billion in export earnings to the Australian economy per annum [3]  – equal to Australia’s eleventh largest export.[4]
    • Australian business schools will be a vital part of one of the five key sectors – international education - as identified by Deloitte as crucial for Australia’s future economic growth to 2035. [5]
  3. Australian business school graduates are in demand.

    • Australian MBA graduates have the second highest average salary world-wide at US$115,600. [6]
    • Australian business postgraduate students, compared to other postgraduate students, are more likely to gain full-time employment and earn the highest starting salaries four months after graduation. [7]
    • Australian business and accounting students, compared to other students, are more likely to have secured full-time employment before graduating with a bachelors degree (at 23 and 30 per cent respectively compared to 17 per cent for all graduates). [8]
  4. Australian business school graduates greatly contribute to Australian leadership and economic growth.

    • Over two-thirds of Australia’s top 50 CEOs have a business qualification with:
      • Two in five holding an undergraduate business degree.
      • One in five holding an MBA. [9]
  5. Australian business schools rank among the world’s best.

    • One-in-five Australian business schools are listed in the top 200 (or two percent) of universities worldwide in economics and business - the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). [10]
    • Australian business schools are ranked as among the world’s best for accounting, finance, economics, econometrics and management [11]

Number of business schools in QS top 50 world rankings in 2015 by subject. [12]






Accounting & Finance





Economics & Econometrics





Business & Management





Population size ratio to Australia [13]





For a country with less than one per cent of the world's population, our rankings are a testament to the quality of the academic endeavour within Australian business schools. The subject rankings draw on indicators such as academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty productivity and impact, research citations, and specialist knowledge to form an international ranking of higher education institutions. 

[1] Department of Education and Training, ‘Completion Count by ‘Management and Commerce’ Field of Education’  Higher Education Statistics Data Cube (uCube) plus economics completion count data’provided on request 2013. 33 per cent of all university completions in 2013 were from a management, commerce or economics discipline.
 [2] Calculated from Department of Education and Training, ‘Completion Count by ‘Management and Commerce’ Field of Education' , Higher Education Statistics Data Cube (uCube) plus economics completion data provided on request 2013 & 'Research Snapshot: Transnational education in the higher education sector', 2013 enrolment figures for management and commerce, Oct 2014. 58 per cent of all university completions by overseas students in 2013 were from a management, commerce or economics discipline. 
[3] Calculated from Department of Education and Training, 'Management and Commerce International Student Load Count (EFTSL)’, Higher Education Statistics Data Cube (uCube) plus Economics EFTSL data provided on request 2013 and 'Australia's International Education Industry - Analysis of Strategic Trends,' February 2013, by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), p. 14, Each international higher education student contributes an average USD44,000 to the Australian economy (fees plus living costs). Exchange rate from on 29 August 2013.
[4] Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), 'Australia's top 25 exports, goods and services, 2015.' In 2015 education-related travel services were Australia’s third largest export at $18.6 billion and included secondary, VET, ELICOS and pathways.
[5] Deloitte Australia, 'Positioning for Prosperity? Catching the next wave', October 2013 
[6] QS Intelligence Unit, QS Jobs & Salary Trends Report 2014/15, October 2014, p.44.
[7] Graduate Careers Australia (GCA), Beyond Graduation 2015, p.19 and p.21. (Calculations are for four months after graduation and for ‘management and commerce’ versus the median for all disciplines at postgraduate level, equating to $18,000 more at $92,000 and increasing to $110,000 three years later).
[8] Graduate Careers Australia, Graduate Destinations 2014, July 2015, p 12.
[9] Suncorp Bank, 'Power Index' , August 2012. Survey of the CEOs of the 50 largest ASX-listed companies. 68 per cent have a business qualification; 40 per cent have an undergraduate business degree and 22 per cent hold an MBA.
[10] Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities - Economics and Business.
[11]  US News Best Global Universities Ranking 2014 - In the US News Best Global Universities ranking, Australian business schools represent seven out of the top 100 universities for economics and business. In the 2016-2017 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, six Australian business schools in the top 100 universities for business and economics.
[12] Quaquarelli Symonds (QS), 'QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015'
[13] United Nations Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 'The World Population Prospect: the 2012 Revision' (released on June 13, 2013).




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