CHARLES Sturt University (CSU) graduates might find a job quicker than those at other universities, but it is among the lowest ranked institutions when it comes to student satisfaction with their overall educational experience.
The Good Universities Guide released on Tuesday ranks Australia's 39 institutions on a range of areas including graduate salaries, teacher quality, first generation students, and student to staff ratios.
CSU topped the national ranking for students who find full-time work after their studies at 86.3 per cent.
However, the university's vice chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said those jobs were not necessarily in the area of study.
"It's a minority of people who go into something unrelated," he said.
Prof Vann said the curriculum studied and industry engagement during those studies were the reasons why CSU ranked well for graduates who find work after their course.
There are some biases depending on your student demographic and typically universities that have people studying online tend to rate less well on that than universities where there all face-to-face.Charles Sturt University vice chancellor Professor Andrew Vann
"Leading the country is a fantastic validation of what we do at Charles Sturt and we work really hard on that," he said.
"Most of our courses are geared towards industry so it's higher for us than the average."
CSU, however, fell into the bottom sector of the country for student ratings on: teacher quality (29th); overall quality of their educational experience (31st); student to staff ratios (among the highest in Australia).
The @GoodUniGuide 2020 results are in and we're proud to remain number one for graduate employment for the 5th year in a row! It's true - our grads get jobs. In fact, 86% of students are in full-time work within 4 months of graduating. #CharlesSturtUni#CharlesSturtGradspic.twitter.com/znbB0rFfQO— Charles Sturt Uni (@CharlesSturtUni) September 30, 2019
Prof Vann said the number of students studying by distance (online) had a significant impact on these rankings and around two-thirds of CSU's students study online.
"There are some biases depending on your student demographic and typically universities that have people studying online tend to rate less well on that than universities where there all face-to-face," he said.
"Typically the questions that get asked, they seem to work better for people who are sitting in a classroom with teachers than people studying online.
"Having said that, are we trying to improve it - absolutely yes we are, we're working hard on that."
The average starting salary for a CSU graduate is $3400 above the national mean and sits at $63,400.
CSU ranked ninth for the per cent of first generation students who commence a bachelor degree.
"We are a university that gives opportunities to people that they otherwise wouldn't get," Prof Vann said.
He said courses were structured so that they were "welcoming" to first generation and Indigenous students.
"Very frequently we'll talk to graduates and they'll say 'this changed our lives and it's made a big difference to our family'," he said.
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