South Australia in danger of brain drain despite exceptional student satisfaction

South Australian universities are providing students with a high-quality education according to the latest edition of The Good Universities Guide.

The Good Universities Guide 2018, released today by Good Education Media, awarded Flinders University, University of Adelaide and University of South Australia multiple five-star ratings across a broad range of fields.

But with South Australia’s unemployment rate increasing to 7.3 per cent, despite the national unemployment rate falling from 5.9 per cent to 5.7 per cent, graduates are struggling to find work.

Despite impressive student experience results, no university in South Australia received a five-star rating for The Good Universities Guide’s graduate outcome measures – Graduate Employment and Graduate Starting Salary.

Ross While, Head of Data and Analytics for Good Education Media, said across the country, the story has been predominantly the same and that universities are working hard to provide the best for their students.

“South Australia’s universities offer a good education across a range demographics, however the trouble graduates have finding work four months out of university may mean that they find work elsewhere, whether interstate or overseas,” says White.

Flinders University performed the strongest in the 2018 edition, with the most five-star ratings at a field of study level. The University of South Australia topped the country for Learning Resources in law and paralegal studies and Learner Engagement in agriculture and environmental studies.

Dentistry students at the University of Adelaide are more satisfied with Learner Engagement than at any other university in the country, while the university is also number one for Overall Experience and Teaching Quality in veterinary science.

As a whole, the state’s standout education field is law and paralegal studies, with a combined eight five-star results across the six key measures of Student Experience.

“We are delighted to have been recognised as offering a high-quality student experience,” says Professor Mike Brooks, Interim Vice-Chancellor at the University of Adelaide.

“We are ‘future-proofing’ our students, setting them up for longer-term career success. We have a focus on graduate attributes including career and leadership readiness, critical thinking and problem solving, and self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Since 2013, our Careers Service has been named annually in the top four University Careers Services in Australia.”

The Good Universities Guide is produced by Good Education Media and is available online via the Good Education Bookshop and through selected newsagents. For more information visit

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Learner Engagement Learner
Flinders University 81% 83% 66% * 88% 75% * 83%
University of Adelaide 80% 82% 64% 85% 75% 80%
UniSA 80% 82% 65% * 88% 72% * 83%
National average 80% 82% 64% 85% 72% 81%

Five-star rating

Source: The Good Universities Guide 2018


Media enquiries:

Makayla Paterson
Head of Marketing | Good Education Media

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