Often grouped in the same region as Asia, Australia’s business schools outperform many of the country’s closest neighbors in the various MBA rankings and ratings.

In fact, in the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2012, 11 of the 36 business schools in the Asia and Australasia region were Australian. It’s closest rival (in terms of numbers), India took six of the top 36 places.

Considering the country’s smaller population size compared to the US and some European countries, plus its geographical isolation with many western countries, Australia’s business schools certainly perform well on a global scale, with applicants attracted to the country as a result of lax visa controls and close proximity to the rising business and financial power houses in Asia.

The highest rated business school in Australia according to the QS Global 200 Top Business Schools Report, Melbourne Business School was actually the first institution to offer an MBA in Australia, back in 1963. This was roughly the same time that MBA programs first started to appear in Europe.

In terms of MBA salaries, those graduating from MBA programs in Australia can look forward to figures that rival many MBA programs in North America and Europe. According to the QS Top MBA Jobs and Salary Trends Report 2011/12, average MBA salaries in Australia were US$109,100 for local-, and US$117,800 for international-employers. For comparison, QS’ report shows the next highest MBA salary in the Asia Pacific region to be Japan, which stood at US$77,200 for local-, and US$92,000 for international-employers.

Further, according to Mercer’s 2010 Quality of Living survey, Australia can boast some of the top cities in the world for living standards, with Sydney (ranked 10th), Melbourne (18th) and Perth (20th).

This, plus the country’s attraction for learning the international business language, being one of the few English speaking countries in the region, is most likely why Australia is the sixth most popular MBA destination globally.