Freo canes Perth

UWA’s reputation as the state’s elite higher education facility has taken a pummelling in the latest university rankings.

Freo boutique uni Notre Dame thumped the historic Crawley learnatorium across a range of categories, while  students at Edith Cowan in Mt Lawley – still “Super-Tafe” to some wags – were far more contented with their experience.

Notre Dame was awarded a five-star rating in half of the 14 performance categories in The Good Universities Guide 2019.

• Notre Dame University pro-vice chancellor Selma Alliex. Photo supplied NDU


While UWA scored well for demand, retention and student-teacher ratio, it seems the students who participated in the survey weren’t so thrilled with their experiences in the lecture theatre.

UWA failed to score any five-star ratings in the “education experience” field and finished behind every other uni in Perth.

The guide placed Notre Dame best in the country in the overall experience category and second for student support, skills development, teaching quality and learner engagement.

To achieve a five-star rating in any category, graduates’ ratings need to fall in the top 20 per cent across all universities.

Notre Dame pro vice chancellor Selma Alliex, who heads up the Fremantle campus, says she’s very proud of the university’s achievements and that students rate their experience so highly.

“We can’t get better feedback than that,” Prof Alliex says.

The nursing expert, who completed her PhD at Curtin Uni, attributes the individual attention given to students including free counselling and an open door policy amongst lecturers for the uni’s soaring review.

UWA vice-chancellor Dawn Freshwater wouldn’t be drawn on comparisons with other universities, playing down the importance of the guide’s ranking system.

“We are delighted at these five-star ratings, but our sense of achievement is not about rankings, but in what we seek to make possible for our students,” Prof Freshwater says.


If the “education experience” category were a running race, Notre Dame sprinted ahead, ECU followed not far behind, Curtin crossed the line at a jog midway, Murdoch got lost amongst the masses and UWA went for a stroll.

Notre Dame scored higher than UWA, ECU, Curtin and Murdoch for its graduates’ full time employment rates, scoring 79.1 per cent, above the national average of 70.6 per cent.

ECU ranked third in the country for overall experience, skills development, student support and teaching quality.

Students from both unis needn’t worry about eating carrot sticks and two-minute noodles forever, as each scored above the national average for a graduate’s starting salary of $58,000.


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