Charles Sturt University is a favourite among non-school leavers and first-generation students and its graduates are more employable.
Those are among the facts revealed by The Good Universities Guide 2019 annual report.
CSU has campuses in Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Albury-Wodonga, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga.
The Good Universities Guide 2019 showed almost 85 per cent of CSU graduates found full-time employment – the highest across all universities in Australia.
CSU students were offered a starting salary of $62,000 a year, which is the fourth-highest after the University of Southern Queensland ($63,800), the Northern Territory’s Charles Darwin University ($62,600), CQUniversity ($62,600), based in Central Queensland, and Tasmania University ($62,600).
Christopher Colter, the director at advertising agency UM, said he believed hiring someone from CSU was a guaranteed safe bet.
“CSU is a priority hunting ground for UM for we know that graduates are not only intelligent and driven, but they’ve been given the real-world practice needed to hit the ground running when they start,” he said.
CSU vice-chancellor Andrew Vann said the results are recognition of CSU’s commitment to students and strong industry connections.
“As a university, we are focused on excellence in education and pride ourselves on providing our students with a strong sense of belonging,” he said.
The report found that 90 per cent of students at CSU were non-school leavers: those who don’t go to a university straight after Year 12.
It is also possible that such students may have completed or attempted another qualification, entered the workforce, taken time off after school or are mature-age students.
Western Sydney University had the highest (91 per cent) proportion of non-school leavers in the country.
CSU, however, was among the universities with the smallest proportion of undergraduate students studying full-time and on-campus.
About 20 per cent of students were pursuing full-time on-campus study at CSU.
Queensland’s Bond University had the highest (89 per cent) and University of New England had the least (eight per cent) proportion of such students in the country.
CSU received a five-star ranking for its first-generation students, whose parents’ education is known and did not exceed Year 12 schooling.
CSU has 34 per cent first-generation students and it was placed only after the University of New England (35 per cent), University of South Australia (37 per cent), Charles Darwin University (39 per cent), Victoria University (39 per cent), CQUniversity (40 per cent), University of Southern Queensland (40 per cent) and Victoria’s Federation University (44 per cent).
CSU, however, was not in the reckoning among students with high entrance scores.
Students with high entrance scores (the top 20 per cent) mostly preferred Melbourne University, the University of New South Wales and University of Western Australia.
CSU got preference from students with medium scores (the middle 60 per cent).
CSU was among the last three ranked universities in terms of staff qualification (which is the proportion of academic staff who hold a Ph.D, doctorate by research or doctorate by coursework).
CSU was also among the last 10 universities in the category of overall experience.