The undergraduate ratings explained

How to use the ratings

  • These ratings and rankings give an overview only. Make sure you undertake further careful research before choosing a course and campus.
  • The rankings and ratings show that courses and institutions differ in many ways. Only you can decide which differences really matter to you.
  • Refer to the QILT website for further information about the data sources and methodology used for student experience and graduate outcomes ratings.

Remember that rankings and ratings are indicators only. They help but do not present a full picture. Research your choices carefully!

University ratings

This section provides a series of ratings and insights across a range of indicators. On the premise that no institution is superb at everything, these rankings are high-level indicators and should be used to gain comparative insights into the varying strengths and characteristics of each institution.

Characteristics

This section includes a series of star ratings that detail how a university ranks and compares across a range of indicators. ★★★★★ puts the university in the top 20 per cent of institutions; ★★★★ puts it in the top 40 per cent; and so on.

Student demand

This rating looks at where high-achieving domestic students choose to study by comparing the proportion of commencing students with high ATAR scores at each university. It works on the logic that universities that attract a high proportion of high-ATAR students are in popular demand, as students who achieve a high entrance score are usually eligible to enrol in a wider range of institutions than students with lower scores.

It is based on the mean decile ATAR of commencing students at each university in 2014. The rating is indicative of school leavers enrolled on the basis of an entrance score only and does not reflect demand from other types of commencing students, such as those with VET qualifications.

Social equity

This rating shows what proportion of domestic students enrolling at each university come from low socioeconomic or disadvantaged backgrounds.

The numbers referenced in this rating are sourced from the Department of Education and Training and refer to the 2014 enrolment year. Students from low socioeconomic backgrounds are defined by the Department of Education and Training ‘Low SES (CD) Measure (d)’ category. This category refers to a combination of factors that determine a student’s social equity background, such as their home address and parents’ occupation.

Staff qualifications

This rating looks at the proportion of staff who hold a masters or doctoral degree.

It is based on the 2014 full-time equivalent (FTE) of full-time and fractional full-time academic staff, as published by the Department of Education and Training in 2016.

Student-staff ratio

This rating looks at the number of students per teaching staff member. A five-star rating indicates that for every teacher at the university there are relatively few students — a potential sign of small class sizes and more one-on-one interaction.

It is based on data for 2014 full-time equivalent of teaching academic staff (including actual casual staff) and equivalent full-time onshore student enrolments for 2014.

Student retention

This rating looks at a university’s retention of domestic students through to a second year of study, when compared to a national retention average for students in comparable fields of study with similar ATAR scores.

It is derived from an enrolment dataset supplied by the Department of Education and Training. This dataset indicates the total number of domestic students admitted to universities on the basis of secondary school education in 2013 who were still enrolled at the same institution in 2014.

Student experience

These ratings compare the performance of universities across six student experience categories. For each category, the percentage of students who were satisfied with the university’s performance in the area is noted. Institutions are awarded five stars if they fall within the top 20 per cent of all universities.

Data has been sourced from the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) and is based on the results of the Student Experience Survey. Please note that the QILT website provides confidence intervals that reflect the accuracy of these estimated values, which have not been included on this website.

Learner Engagement

This rating looks at the proportion of students who felt they were engaged with learning at their institution. It is based on the extent to which students felt prepared for study, had a sense of belonging at their institution, participated in discussions online or face to face, worked with other students, interacted with students outside of study and interacted with students different to them (including local students for international respondents).

Learning Resources

This rating looks at the proportion of students who were satisfied with the learning resources provided by their institution. It is based on students’ average ratings of teaching spaces (including lecture theatres, laboratories and tutorial rooms), student spaces and common areas, online learning materials, computing and IT resources, assigned books and notes, laboratory or studio equipment and library facilities.

Overall Experience

This rating looks at the proportion of students who were satisfied with the overall quality of their educational experience.

Skills Development

This rating looks at the proportion of students who were satisfied with the skill development they experienced through their studies. It is based on the extent to which students felt their course developed their critical-thinking skills, ability to solve complex problems, ability to work with others, confidence to work independently, written communication skills, verbal communication skills, knowledge of the field they are studying, and work-related knowledge and skills.

Student Support

This rating looks at the proportion of students who were satisfied with the support they received from their institution. It is based on the extent to which students felt they received support to settle into study; experienced efficient enrolment and admissions processes; felt orientation activities were helpful; and found administrative staff and services, career advisers, academic or learning advisers, counsellors, financial advisers and health services to be available and helpful.

Teaching Quality

This rating looks at the proportion of students who were satisfied with the quality of teaching they experienced. It is based on students’ ratings of their overall educational experience; the quality of teaching they received; and the extent to which they felt lecturers and tutors actively engaged them in and demonstrated concern for learning, provided clear explanations of coursework and assessment, inspired them intellectually, seemed helpful and approachable and provided useful feedback on work, among various other factors.

Graduate outcomes

This section looks at the employment outcomes of graduates from each university. Universities are awarded five stars for a category if they fall within the top 20 per cent of all universities. Data has been sourced from the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) and is based on the results of the Graduate Destination Survey.

Overall salary

This rating compares the median salary of graduates from different universities.

Overall employment

This rating compares the employment rates of graduates from different universities. It looks at the proportion of graduates who were employed full time four months after completing their course.

Field of study ratings

Throughout the website, all majors (or specialisations) that can be undertaken within a course or program are classified as belonging to a field of study. The ‘Field of study ratings’ are designed to allow high-level comparison of each of the fields of study employed within the website.

This section shows the proportion of students in a given field of study who were satisfied with their institution’s performance in six student experience categories: Overall Quality of Educational Experience, Teaching Quality, Learner Engagement, Learning Resources, Student Support and Skills Development (see above). It also looks at the employment outcomes, including the proportion of graduates who gained full-time employment and the median salaries of graduates, for each given field.

A star indicates that the university has achieved the top result in the given category and field of study.

Data has been sourced from the Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching (QILT) and is based on the results from the Student Experience Survey and Graduate Destination Survey.