Regional universities in NSW beat metro again

Once again, regional universities in New South Wales are outperforming their metro peers according to The Good Universities Guide, released today by Good Education Media.

The University of Wollongong was the standout for the state, being awarded five-stars for all six measures for student experience, while also featuring in the top 20 per cent in the country for Student Retention.

Close behind was the University of New England, who received a five-star rating in five student experience measures, as well as five stars for Graduate Employment and Starting Salary. Charles Sturt University was also awarded five stars for Graduate Employment and Starting Salary, including first position in Australia for Full-Time Employment.

“Regional universities offer a very different experience to those in the metro area and students are clearly responding positively,” says Good Education Media’s Head of Data and Analytics Ross White.

Regional institutions also dominated their metro peers at field of study level. Far from playing to the stereotypes of focusing on subjects like agribusiness and horticulture – regional universities like the University of Wollongong, the University of New England and Charles Sturt University excelled at health, services and support, computing and information systems, teacher education, and science and mathematics.

The University of Wollongong was again strongest in the student experience measures, while Charles Sturt and UNE dominate in graduate outcomes.

University of Wollongong Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings CBE, attributed the University’s impressive results to the dedication of staff to providing a personalised experience for students.

“We are proud to be offering a world class education in major regional locations, backed by a close association with industry that helps make our graduates highly sought after by employers.”

“We are very encouraged by this result as we focus on delivering this same personalised student experience in our metropolitan Sydney campuses in the CBD, the Sutherland Shire and in Liverpool in the heart of Sydney’s rapidly growing Great South West,” he said.

The regional/metro divide has been long running in NSW, and despite the city featuring two Group of Eight universities, they have been unable to match their country counterparts in the ratings.

Metro universities have had some successes however, with the University of New South Wales, The University of Sydney and Western Sydney University all achieving five stars across measures of student experience and graduate outcomes in variety of fields, including law and paralegal studies, nursing, medicine and computing and information systems.

The Good Universities Guide is produced by Good Education Media, Australia’s leading provider of independent education ratings and information. For more information visit

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Student Experience Full-Time Employment Graduate Starting Salary
UNE * 83% CSU * 84% CSU * $60,000
Wollongong * 83% UNE * 77% UNE * $60,000
Newcastle * 83% UNSW * 76% UNSW * $60,000
Macquarie 79% Wollongong 73% Southern Cross $57,000
Southern Cross 78% UTS 71% Newcastle $57,000
Western Sydney 78% Sydney 70% Sydney $56,000
CSU 78% Macquarie 70% Wollongong $55,000
Sydney 76% Newcastle 69% UTS $54,000
UNSW 76% Southern Cross 68% Macquarie $53,500
UTS 75% Western Sydney 62% Western Sydney $52,200

* Five-star rating

Source: The Good Universities Guide 2018


Media enquiries:
Makayla Paterson
Head of Marketing | Good Education Media

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