THE University of Newcastle has been awarded by an independent guide the highest ranking possible for its student retention and social equity, but only two out of five stars for its staff to student ratio.
The 2017 edition of the Good Universities Guide, published by the Good Education Group, said its rankings were “high level indicators and should be used to gain comparative insights into the varying strengths and characteristics of each institution”.
The University of Newcastle (UON) received five stars for its social equity, meaning its proportion of commencing domestic students from a low socioeconomic background was high enough to put it in top 20 per cent.
It also received five stars for its student retention, meaning its retention of domestic students through to a second year of study – when compared to the national average for students in comparable field of study with comparable ATAR scores – was high enough to put it in the top 20 per cent.
The university received four stars for staff qualifications, three stars for student demand and two stars for staff to student ratio.
UON graduates were reported to have an average starting salary of $56,000, which was $7000 below graduates of the list-topping University of Western Australia.
But it was still higher than $55,000 at the University of Sydney and University of Wollongong and $54,000 from the University of Technology.
The guide said 67.4 per cent of UON graduates found a job within four months of graduation.
This number was the 24th on a list of 39 universities across the country and slightly higher than the proportion of University of Sydney graduates, at 67.1 per cent.
UON received a rating of 82.6 per cent for its overall quality of educational experience, which was the 11th highest rating across the country.
It received a rating of 88.4 per cent for learning resources, the 10th highest rating in the country, and 83.3 per cent for teaching quality, the 12th highest rating in the country.
It also received a rating of 82.1 per cent for skills development, 76.2 per cent for student support and 59 per cent for learner engagement.
Professor Andrew Parfitt, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) said UON was “committed to delivering positive outcomes for our graduates”.
“We are pleased that our graduates continue to rate highly their experience at university and the skills they develop during their studies.”