Choosing were to study in Australia: Do Rankings Matter?

Choosing were to study in Australia: Do Rankings Matter?

So you want your son or daughter to head off to Australia to study.  Good choice!
But what University do you choose?  How do they compare?

Rankings of Universities do matter: for example, future employers are more likely to offer a job to a Business graduate from a high ranking university.  So it helps to know something about how the Universities rank.

But some provisos first:

  1. Rankings are about the overall performance of the University.  Some “low ranking” universities have a few specialist courses which are top quality courses, with good reputations.  Even high ranking universities have areas that they are especially good in, and others where they are not so strong.  Its good to get expert advice to learn some of these details.
  2. Rankings are based a lot on research reputation of the universities.  A great research university will rank highly.  This should be a good foundation for a good experience for students, and good job opportunities at the end – it can be inspiring to be taught by the world leaders in your field.  But it doesn’t always work that way. A University or Faculty full of international research stars can sometimes neglect teaching, seeing it as less important.

So, its good to do your homework: for example, ask others you know who have taken the course.  Ask about their experience, and about how they and their friends went in finding a job at the end.

Okay, enough provisos. Here’s the best place to look for a range of different rankings of Universities in Australia:

This website includes overall rankings using various methodologies.  Plus they have some information about rankings in different disciplines / subject areas.

This is a good place to start in getting a sense of the reputation of the university you are considering sending your son or daughter to.  Don’t stop here – there’s much more to consider with your choice – but this is a good starting point.  More on choices another time.

Prof Brett, Australian University Professor

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