4 things to look for in uni rankings

What do university rankings mean to you? Here’s what to look for and why you should care.

When choosing a university or a degree, rankings can give you insights to help with your decision-making. But it can be confusing, with all the different rankings systems, including domestic and international ones. Depending on what’s most important to you, these are the four things you should look for:

1. How does your uni rate in Australia?

One way to find out is to explore the bigger, reputable international rankings systems, such as the QS World University Rankings, which rank UOW among Australia’s top 10 universities. This system looks at things such as:

  • Employer reputation: What your potential future boss probably thinks of the uni.
  • Student/staff ratio: How accessible your teachers will be.
  • Academic reputation: Or how good the teaching and research is. A better rank means you can be sure you’ll learn the latest knowledge, from world-leading academics.
  • Citations per faculty: How often academics (your teachers) are publishing in research papers. This is a measure of research output and is especially useful for those considering a career in research.

If you’re a fan of genuine customer reviews, take a look at prominent Australian-based rankings systems such as QILT and Good Universities Guide, which ask students to rate their university on things such as student support, teaching quality, learning resources and more. Here, you can compare by university or study area.

For instance, UOW students gave their overall educational experience at UOW the maximum rating of 5+ stars in the 2021 Good Universities Guide (apparently five stars wasn’t enough!). This included five stars for things like overall educational experience, student support and teaching quality.


2. Will you get a job?

There are many ways to find out which unis are producing job-ready graduates which, in turn, should increase your job prospects. Places to look include:

QS Graduate Employability Rankings: In 2021, this ranking showed UOW grads to be some of the most employable in the world.

QILT (Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching): Compiled by the Federal Government, the latest data shows UOW grads are above the national average when it comes to landing full-time work within four months of finishing uni.

QILT also does an Employer Satisfaction Survey, where UOW graduates received an overall satisfaction rating of 91.7 per cent, above the national average of 84.7 per cent. This places UOW graduates first in NSW and equal first in Australia for public universities.


3. What impact does your uni have on the world?

If you’re constantly seeking ways to have a positive impact on the world and put a lot of thought into the effect your decisions will have on the planet and society, there’s a ranking for that too.

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 UOW is currently ranked equal 70th in the world in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2022, recognising our impact on the SDGs.


 4. Where does your uni sit on a global scale?

 Finally, if you like the big picture and want to know how domestic unis stack up on the world stage, there are plenty of rankings for this also. As the world and workplace become more globalised, earning your degree from a uni with a good global ranking will mean you graduate with a qualification that is recognised and respected by global employers.

Unis ranked among the top 1% in the world are highly sought-after, and for good reason. Unis in top 1% of QS World University Rankings include the likes of Oxford, Harvard and UOW.


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