One of the most interesting things about the data released this week is that it appears to confirm something that I have long suspected, that there is little if no correlation between between institutional prestige and university entrance scores and actual student experiences.
The tables below compare aggregate rankings between NSW’s non-metro universities and the Universities of NSW and Sydney. I'm sorry that the tables are so messy.
Table One shows the percentage of students who rated their experiences positively against various indicators. While there is some variation in the answers to the various questions, the non-metros generally score better than the more prestigious Sydney institutions, with the University of New England ranking first.
Table Three looks at graduate employment. The results are interesting, but need to be interpreted with some care.
There is a considerable range in the proportion of graduates who go onto further full time postgraduate study from just 6.1% at Charles Sturt to 29.9% at the University of Sydney. Excluding these two as outriders, the percentages range from 14.7% at UNE to 17.9% at UNSW.
The figure for full time employment is the % of graduates available for full time work who were in full time work four months after graduation. The median salary figure is the median for those graduates in full time employment. Charles Sturt had the best full time employment record followed by UNE and then UNSW.
The overall employment number includes those in full time employment plus casual and temporary. Some of the second appear to be also included in the full time study category.
Table Three: Graduate Employment - Undergraduate
I have yet to dig into the detail at subject level where the pattern is more varied. Still, the apparent absence of any correlation between between institutional prestige and university entrance scores and actual student experiences remains interesting.