Starting with student demand, the market mechanism that determines UAis or University Admission Indexes. Here we find:
- Newcastle two stars
- Southern Cross and the University of New England one star.
- Avondale is not listed.
So places in New England's universities are not in great demand. Now compare this with some of the key performance indicators.
Taking research first:
- Newcastle gets fours stars for the total of research grants, three stars for research intensity and ranks in the big category for the number of higher education students.
- The University of New England gets two stars for research grants, two stars for research intensity and ranks in the big category for the number of higher education students.
- Southern Cross University gets two stars for research grants, three stars for research intensity and ranks as average for the number of higher education students.
- Again, Avndale is not ranked.
So looking at research, New England's universities do not rank in the top group but do rank in front of their student demand rankings. The gap widens enormously when we look at student rankings.
Looking first at entry flexibility, a ranking affected by demand: both UNE and Southern Cross get five stars, Newcastle three stars and Avondale one.
Look now at satisfaction rankings:
- Avondale and UNE get five stars for the overall education experience, Southern Cross four stars, Newcastle two stars. The Sydney figures are Sydney University and UTS three stars, UNSW two stars, Macquarie and the University of Western Sydney(UWS) one star.
- Avondale and UNE get five stars for teaching quality, Southern Cross three stars, Newcastle two stars. The Sydney figures are Sydney University three stars, UTS two stars, Macquarie and and UWS one star.
- Avondale gets five stars for acquisition of generic skills, Southern Cross, Newcastle and UNE four stars. The Sydney rankings are Sydney four stars, UTS three stars and UNSW and UWS one star.
- In terms of overall satisfaction with the educational experience, Avondale and UNE get five stars, Southern Cross four stars, Newcastle one star. The Sydney figures are Sydney University and UTS three stars, UNSW and Macquarie two stars, UWS one star.
So in terms of the overall student experience, New England's universities are in front of those in Sydney. The position is less clear cut when it comes to career issues.
- In graduate starting salaries, UNE and Newcastle get four stars, Southern Cross one, while Avondale is not mentioned. The Sydney equivalents are Macquarie, UTS and UNSW five stars, Sydney and UWS four stars.
- In getting a job, Southern Cross gets two stars, while UNE and Newcastle get one star. Macquarie, UTS and UNSW get four stars, UTS three stars, UWS one star.
Both these rankings are affected by varying course composition. But it is fair to say that while Sydney's universities rank poorly on the educational experience offered, their location gives them a short term career advantage. I say short term, because in the longer term their is a much stronger correlation between the value of the educational experience and career success.