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Charles Sturt University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann. Picture: Kym Smith / News Corp Australia

Regional universities top key ranking: Good Universities Guide 2020

The Good Universities Guide 2020 has named Charles Sturt University the top-ranked Australian university in graduate employment, with 86 per cent of graduates securing full-time work within four months of completing their courses.

The guide also found that Charles Sturt graduates earn $3400 more than the national average, and it gave the institution a five-star rating for student support and ‘first in family’ admission rates.

Other regional universities also performed well in terms of student employability. Charles Darwin University, with its main campus in the Northern Territory, came in second, followed by CQUniversity, the University of New England and the University of Notre Dame.

‘Sandstone’ universities with more prestigious reputations did not perform as well in this area, with the University of Melbourne scoring only 64 per cent and the University of Western Australia 59.7 per cent.

In graduate starting salary, too, regional universities performed well – the University of Southern Queensland scored equal top position with Charles Darwin University, with graduates from both earning $65,200 per year.

Data from the Good Universities Guide 2020 shows that Charles Sturt has made improvements in several key areas since the 2019 survey. Vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said the improvements are testament to the university’s continued push for educational excellence.

“Our alumni have a proud history of swiftly realising their career goals and contributing to their communities in meaningful ways,” he said.

“Charles Sturt University is dedicated to equipping our students with the skills and know-how required to thrive in the modern workplace and across a broad spectrum of industries.

“The university’s outcomes in the Good Universities Guide indicate that employers across Australia and internationally have no doubts that we are achieving this goal.”

Other notable achievements for Charles Sturt include nation-leading full-time employment rates in pharmacy, business, communications, computing and law, as well as state-leading full-time employment rates in agriculture, veterinary science, environmental science, dental science and teaching.

As well as performing strongly in the above categories, Notre Dame, with campuses in Sydney, Fremantle and Broome, retained its place as Australia’s number one university in terms of overall student experience.

Notre Dame also secured five-star ratings in seven other areas: learner engagement, student support, teaching quality, skills development, full-time employment, median graduate salary and student retention. The university retained all of its five-star ratings from 2019 and picked up another for student retention.

To achieve a five-star rating, universities must fall within the top 20 of all Australian universities. The Good Universities Guide uses a range of indicators to generate ratings and rankings, including the federal government’s Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT), which measure students’ and graduates’ educational experiences and outcomes.


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