Sydney, February 8 : A survey of overseas pupils has projected Australia as the third best country in the world in terms of university education.
As many as 11,000 prospective students from 143 countries participated in the survey.
The surveyors found that after Britain and the US, Australia was the third preferred study destination among the subjects.
The International Graduate Insight Group, which conducted the survey, has also discovered that the prospective pupils considered Australia to be a safe country.
The students thought that Australia had universities with a good reputation, and was an easy place to find employment after graduation, showed the survey.
Kevin Brett, a spokesman for the International Graduate Insight Group Australia, said that study also revealed the areas Australia needed to improve to compete with the world's leading countries.
"The study suggests that Australia is lagging behind its main competitors when it comes to the reputation of Australian university qualifications," the Australian quoted Brett as saying.
"The UK has benefited from its five-year prime minister's initiative to secure leadership and sustain managed growth of UK international education," he added.
Brett further said: "The next challenge for the sector is to strengthen its reputation worldwide. This invites an Australian prime minister's initiative - one that should be on the agenda of the Australian 2020 Summit."
Scott Sheppard, Queensland University of Technology deputy vice-chancellor (international), welcomed the findings of the study as a positive reflection on Australian education.
"The survey was pretty spot on. In general, the stereotype is the US is the top choice and the UK will always run number two. The fact that Australia is number three is fair and is supported by the data," he said.
He, however, insisted that the surveyors would have found Australia to be even more popular had they looked at student interest on an individual country level.
"In China, Australia is considered number two rather than the UK because of the increased support and protection of students by the ESOS (Education Services for Overseas Students) Act," he said.