The latest edition of The Good Universities Guide reveals universities that top employment outcomes are often characterised by a non-traditional student cohort. However, measures of student experience among these institutions do not stand out when compared to other universities.
Conversely, institutions with strong results in student experience are typically characterised by a more traditional student cohort and do not achieve the highest graduate earnings or employment rates.
Ross White, Head of Product at the Good Education Media explains.
“Five of the eight universities that achieved five stars for graduate employment this year were characterised by a very high proportion of mature-age, part-time and/or distance education students, and none of these universities achieved five stars in all student experience ratings.
“On the other hand, three universities with a more traditional student cohort achieved a clean sweep of five-star ratings across all measures of student experience. However, none of these achieved five stars for graduate employment.”
A close reading of the Guide suggests that it’s a hard act to combine excellent student experience ratings with top graduate employment rates. The University of New England, (UNE) in regional New South Wales comes closer than most to striking the balance.
UNE is characterised by a non-traditional student cohort, where 80 per cent of students are non-school leavers and only 10 per cent of undergraduates study full time and on campus. Its five-star results in graduate employment and median salary are a fit for universities with similar student populations. However, UNE also achieved five stars across five key measures of student satisfaction, which makes them one of only two universities to combine a strong performance in graduate employment outcomes with a highly rated student experience.
Chris Lester, Chief Executive Officer of Good Education Media explains.
“Measures of student experience are complex but generally speaking, the really impressive results in student experience seem to come from universities where most students study full time and on campus. UNE is serving a very high proportion of students who study off campus using online course delivery and still achieves rates of student satisfaction comparable to students studying on campus and face-to-face. It’s an exceptional result.”
The University of Notre Dame, which is characterised by a more traditional cohort of students studying full time and on campus was the only other university to match UNE. They achieved for five star results in graduate employment, median graduate salary and outstanding results across five key measures of student experience.
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Notes: Shading denotes that a university has a high proportion of mature age, part-time or distance education students. Universities are awarded five stars if they fall within the top 20 per cent of all universities in each given category.
About the ratings
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.
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.
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 www.gooduniversitiesguide.com.au for more information or purchase a copy of the Guide at www.goodeducationbookshop.com.
Makayla Daglish | E firstname.lastname@example.org