THERE'S no need to move to the big city to go to one of the best universities on the planet - CQUniversity has been named in the world's top 2%.

The uni, which has a campus at Bundaberg, has claimed a spot on the top 500 list of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

It is a dramatic improvement to its ranking from last year, which saw it placed in the top 600.

Professor Andy Bridges, CQUniversity's Bundaberg associate vice-chancellor, said it was a great achievement for not only the teaching facility but also for the community as a whole.

"That's pretty impression when you consider there are 22,000 universities around the world so it put as in the top 2%," Prof Bridges said.

"With 23 sites in total - not all being big campuses - it was good to see it recognised."

Prof Bridges said it was a reflection of the uni's learning environment and showed the best was in reach for all of Bundaberg.

"It's a great credit to the work the staff have done over the last few years in terms of improving quality," he said.

"We have grown the number of courses we have available here in Bundaberg; really strong research and graduate outcomes."

Prof Bridges said expansion of the university was one of the main reasons was able to rank along the best in the world.

"And a key part is being inclusive here and having programs like STEPS," he said.

CQUniversity interim vice-chancellor Professor Hilary Winchester said this result was a fantastic achievement for the university and was a direct result of a strong focus on excellence, engagement and equity.

"In recent years, CQUniversity has set in place a solid agenda when it comes to the student experience, learning and teaching, research, and engagement, and because of this we have been able to continuously improve our reputation, not just locally but on an international scale," she said.

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