Australia’s regional universities outrank their capital city counterparts for full-time graduate employment four months after graduation, according to a new report released today (5 October).
Regional education minister, Bridget McKenzie, said the 2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey shows regional universities are performing well and clearly meeting the needs of employers and students.
According to the study, the employment rate for graduates from regional universities is far outpacing the Australian average by achieving 78.6 percent. This is significantly higher than the average of 68.9 percent across all institutions.
Charles Sturt University topped the list with an employment rate of 84.6 percent four months after graduation. Central Queensland University came in next at 83.4 percent, University of New England at 80.9 percent, University of Southern Queensland at 79.2 percent, and James Cook University at 78 percent.
Regional graduates’ skills are in great demand
“Many graduates from regional universities have completed degrees that prepare them for career paths and equip them with the skills that are in high demand by employers,” the Minister said.
“These results also demonstrate that our regional universities have become centres of excellence in specialised fields and as a result are attracting the highest calibre of students.”
The 2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey was conducted across three survey rounds and the graduate full-time employment rate improved substantially from 60.6 percent in November 2020 to 67.9 percent in February 2021, to 72.1 percent in May 2021.
Graduates with strong vocational outcomes include Pharmacy (95.0 percent), Engineering (80.3 percent) and Teacher Education (79.1 percent).
Fewer qualifications among regional Australians
The full 2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey can be found at www.qilt.edu.au.
According to information supplied by the Regional Universities Network, there is a significant differential in higher education attainment between city and regional Australians.
The 2016 Census revealed that 49 percent of people aged 15 years and over living in greater capital city areas held a bachelor degree or above qualification, compared with only 30 percent living outside of the greater capital cities.
In 2017, almost 45 percent of people aged 25-34 years in major cities held bachelor degree or above qualifications, while the proportion for those people living in inner and outer regional areas was 20.5 percent and 20.6 percent respectively.