The most in-demand university isn’t necessarily the best for students, this year’s Good Universities Guide has revealed. While UniMelb tops prospective students’ lists, Bond placed first for ‘overall student experience’.
The results from the Good Education Group’s flagship publication were mostly mixed, with no clear ‘winner’ and generally little divide between university types. This contrasts with international rankings, where the Group of Eight invariably predominate over other Australian universities.
The independent education rating and information agency showed Bond also prevailed in terms of teacher to student proportions, with a ratio of 1:10, and student retention, with a rate of 15 per cent.
But having more teachers doesn’t always equate with having better qualified teachers. In this respect, ANU and RMIT scored equally highest, followed by UTS, Monash and UQ.
Perhaps most importantly, however, the Guide provided graduate outcomes. ANU didn’t make the top five in either full-time graduate employment or starting salary. CSU topped the former, while USQ led the latter.
Murdoch tied with RMIT for the largest proportion of international students (45 per cent), whereas CSU had the most non-school leavers (a whopping 91 per cent).
Unlike the broader international rankings, the Guide gives smaller universities a chance to be recognised. ECU, for example, noted that for the eleventh consecutive year its teaching quality was rated ‘five stars’, meaning it placed in the top 20 per cent of all Australian universities.
UOW was the only publicly funded university to obtain five stars across all student experience criteria: overall experience, skills development, student support, teaching quality, learning resources and learner engagement.
Ballarat’s FedUni was proud of its five star ratings for student support, social equity and skills development.
The Group, which used government-gathered data to reach its conclusions, remarked on the gulf between student satisfaction and job outcomes. Despite students generally being content with their university experiences, only around 70 per cent of graduates were employed full-time within four months of graduating.
They additionally commented that the average university graduate starting salary of $56,000 is the same as that of a VET graduate.
Overall student experience
- Notre Dame
Full-time employment (percentage)
- CSU – 83.9
- USQ – 82.5
- CDU – 82.3
- CQU – 80.6
- Notre Dame – 79.6
Median Starting salary
- USQ – $61,000
- UWA – $60,900
- CDU – $60,500
- CSU – $60,000
- UNE – $60,000
This article originally appeared on Campus Review – Good Universities Guide 2018 delivers variegated results
Read Campus Review’s one-on-one interview with Ross White – Head of Data and Analytics for Good Education Group.