Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ranking Australia's Universities

I have been concerned for some time in my writings on Australian higher education about what I see as a growing gap between the way that University pecking orders are presented and the realities of the student experience.

Take the so called Gang of Eight as an example. Faced with growing competition for funds and students, this group of leading Australian universities is attempting to argue for structural change that will reinforce their position. Part of this involves limiting the role of other universities. Yet the reality, at least as I see it, is that these universities do not necessarily offer leading edge undergraduate education as measured by student experiences.

I thought that it might be interesting to test this by building a student centric index based on undergraduate student experience. I have done so on the Regional Living Australia blog using ranking tables created by the Good Universities Guide 2007. Based on this, Australia's top eleven universities follow. The R and M simply refer to location, m for metro, r for regional.
  • 1 University of Wollongong 40 points (R)
  • 2= University of Queensland 35 points (M)
  • 2= University of New England 35 points (R)
  • 4 = Australian National University 33 points (R)
  • 4= University of the Sunshine Coast 33 (R)
  • 6 = University of Melbourne 32 points (M)
  • 6= University of Sydney 32 points (M)
  • 6= University of Southern Queensland 32 points (R)
  • 6= University of Western Australia 32 points (M)
  • 10= Charles Sturt University 31 points (R)
  • 10= Murdoch University 31 points (M)

This pecking order is rather different from that given by conventional measurements.

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