The Australian government has launched a new website that will assist international students to compare the countries’ tertiary education institutions on course satisfaction levels,staff numbers,drop-out rates and subsequent employment and make an informed choice.
Launching the ‘MyUniversity website’,Education Minister Chris Evans said it is a valuable tool,now that the government has uncapped university places.
“We’ve provided for students to choose where they want to go without restrictions,to choose the courses they want to study,and part of empowering them is to give them good information about what their options are,” he said.
“We’ve got 39 public universities and other private institutions and we want to make sure that prospective students understand the choices available to them.”
According to apex university body,Universities Australia,the site could be potentially useful.
The universities have been ranked on criteria like student satisfaction,demographics and subsequent employment.
However,chief executive Belinda Robinson has raised concerns about the accuracy and reliability of the data.
“The information comes from a variety of sources,including from universities,but a great deal of that information has been collected for other purposes,” she said adding “Data on attrition rates,for example,is used to assist universities in their own internal planning.”
“When it’s used for this purpose,it somehow gives the impression that the higher attrition,the worse the university.
“But of course this is not the case,because we know that attrition is often a consequence of students choosing to change courses,students choosing to change universities.
“I think we all know of someone who perhaps started in science and later moved to medicine.
“She said parents and students should not see the MyUniversity website as a substitute for other information.
“This is a supplement to information that’s already available,and of course the best information you can get is from the universities themselves,” she said.