Highlights of the 2012 edition of The Good Universities Guide
New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory
Between New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, there are a large number of universities and higher education providers offering degrees, not to mention that the area hosts a campus from at least one university from almost every other Australian state. Given the size and diversity of universities and course offerings available across NSW and the ACT, it goes without saying that outcomes and assessment of experience are varied. Nevertheless, the Guide reveals that eight NSW/ACT universities have attained a 4 STAR and above rating for ‘Graduate Starting Salaries’, suggesting that these university graduates are among the best earners in the country.
The Guide has revealed that six out of the seven Queensland universities are at or above average rates of graduate employment nationally, begging the question: ‘is employment everything?’ James Cook University (JCU), the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) all rated 5 STARS for ‘Getting a Full-Time Job’. The high proportion of institutions attaining these ratings indicates that Queensland’s graduate employment prospects are worthy of note. As a point of comparison, no single Victorian university has an equivalent rating of more than 4 STARS.
The Guide has revealed some strong ratings for South Australian universities across a number of different categories, including 5 STAR ratings for the University of Adelaide in ‘Student Demand’, ‘Research Grants’ and ‘Research Intensivity’; the University of South Australia (UniSA) for ‘Cultural Diversity’ and ‘Access By Equity Group’; and Flinders University for ‘Staff-Student Ratio’.
Tasmania’s only university — the University of Tasmania (UTAS) — impressed in a number of ratings categories in the Guide, which is now available for purchase. It attained 5 STAR ratings for ‘Staff-Student Ratio’ and ‘Access By Equity Group’, in addition to 4 STAR ratings in areas such as ‘Teaching Quality’ and ‘Student Demand’.
The latest ratings released in the Guide have uncovered some interesting trends and characteristics among Victorian universities. The Guide indicates that, while high-achieving high school graduates consistently gravitate towards a select few universities, institutions that enjoy continued patronage from the state’s best and brightest (and command some of the toughest ATAR entry scores) are not always counted amongst the top performers in key areas such as ‘Teaching Quality’ and ‘Overall Student Satisfaction’.
Perth might be Australia’s most isolated city and, with universities and campuses dotted around Western Australia in places like Kalgoorlie and Albany, there’s no doubt that the higher education providers in Western Australia operate in a far different environment to east coast metropolitan universities. Nevertheless, Western Australians have never really suffered for their isolation. While results in the 2012 edition of the Guide are as mixed for Western Australian universities as they are for New South Wales or Victorian universities, ratings indicate that some Western Australian universities are capitalising on their setting to attain success in the fields of study most relevant to their unique surrounds, most notably within the engineering and technology sector. The five Western Australian universities all rated quite strongly across a variety of categories. ‘Teaching Quality’, in particular, proved to be a successful area for each of the institutions, with the University of Notre Dame and Edith Cowan University (ECU) rating 5 STARS, and Curtin University, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia (UWA) not far behind, each attaining scores comparable to or above the national average.
Ross White, Education Data Coordinator
Ph: 03 9627 4839
Davorin Vrdoljak, General Manager — Publishing
Ph: 03 9627 4859
The Good Universities Guide will be available to the public through newsagents and online at www.isubscribe.com.au/hobsons or by contacting Hobsons on Freecall 1800 682 133.