Words || Tess Connery
The Good Universities Guide has released its 2018 Institutions Rating Report, ranking Australian universities on criteria such as graduate employment, starting salaries of graduates, and overall student satisfaction.
Overall, Macquarie University performed quite well, ranking 10th in the country for graduate employment, with 69.7% of students finding full time employment within four months of graduation – just a tad above the national average of 69.5%. Macquarie University also has the highest rate in Australia of full time employment for students who studied in the creative arts field.
Macquarie University scored five stars in a few areas, including the Architecture and Building, Health Services and Support, and Science and Mathematics categories. Five stars were also scored in the Student Demand and Learning Resources categories at an institutional level.
There were other areas Macquarie didn’t perform quite as well in. Starting salaries saw Macquarie graduates starting at an average of $53 500 per year, this time coming in under the national average of $56 000 per year. Macquarie came in under the national average in both the Skills Development and Overall Experience categories – two of the most important categories for graduates looking back at their degrees.
Another concerning statistic is the student: teacher ratio. Ideally, the Good Universities Guide recommends having no more than 19 students for every teacher. Currently, Macquarie University has 27 students for every teacher.
The report comes out yearly, and is primarily used as a tool for people who are looking to enter tertiary education, helping them to compare and choose a university to attend. This includes high school students, international students,
and mature aged students – amongst others.
A major point made about this year’s report is that the universities with the highest entry scores don’t necessarily have the best student experiences or employment outcomes. According to the guide, the universities with the highest average entry scores are the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Melbourne, and the University of Western Australia. None of these universities cracked a top 10 ranking in the overall experience field, and only UNSW managed to place in the top 10 for students finding full time work after graduation.
Chief Executive of the Good Universities Group, Chris Lester, put this discrepancy down to the fact that the universities with the highest entrance scores have a higher population of students entering tertiary education straight out of high school, rather than mature aged students. “People [coming to university] straight out of school are finding it difficult to get a job,” Mr Lester said.