Canberra universities gain top marks for student experience and recruitment

The latest edition of The Good Universities Guide reveals that whilst ACT universities perform well in areas of ‘student experience’ and ‘graduate outcomes’, they face heavy competition from interstate rivals. 

Overall median graduate salaries at the University of Canberra and ANU were both strong, at $56,000 and $59,400 respectively. Graduates from the University of Western Australia fared best for median salaries, with an impressive $63,000.

Graduate employment rates in the ACT were also strong — 71 per cent at ANU and 70 per cent at the University of Canberra. Charles Sturt University in regional NSW and the University of Southern Queensland topped the employment chart with a rate of 84 per cent.

While ANU and the University of Canberra did not achieve outright honours for graduate employment or median graduate salaries, falling just outside the five-star range, The Good Universities Guide shows that for students interested in specific courses, the ACT is delivering the best outcomes in the country.

For example, graduates from creative arts and medicine will typically achieve very different employment outcomes at graduation, but in the ACT these graduates enjoy the best that their fields have to offer. Creative arts graduates from the University of Canberra reported the highest median salary for their field in the country at $53,000 — well ahead of their colleagues from the University of Sydney, Monash, Deakin, Griffith and Western Sydney University who all reported $40,000 or less.

ANU was one of four universities to achieve a 100 per cent employment rate for medicine graduates, placing it ahead of Flinders University (88 per cent) and the University of Sydney (90 per cent).

Chris Lester, Chief Executive Officer of the Good Education Media, said that while Australian students are known for their tendency to study close to home, particularly in comparison to their overseas peers, the ACT bucks this trend, seeing a high level of both inbound and outbound student traffic.

“As many as half of the domestic students from the ACT who go on to undergraduate study choose to study outside of the Territory, but interestingly, as many as half of domestic undergraduates who commence a degree in the ACT come from interstate.

“The ACT is a crossroad for domestic students coming and leaving to pursue their studies. This may suggest that while the University of Canberra and ANU can attract more than the usual number of students from outside their home state, they also face stiff competition from interstate rivals”

The Good Universities Guide 2017 provides the only independent five-star performance ratings of Australian undergraduate courses and their providers.

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Top performers

GUG17 ACT ratings table

Note: Universities are awarded five stars if they fall within the top 20 per cent of all universities


About the ratings

Quality of educational experience

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

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


About The Good Universities Guide

Australia’s most trusted resource on higher education, The Good Universities Guide allows students to compare all undergraduate degrees and institutions against one another based on relevant criteria. Visit for more information.

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