Sydney University (USYD) has come up trumps in a survey released this week that analyses the quality of student life at Australian universities.
The survey from the National Union of Students (NUS) found that overall there was a "huge variation" in the quality of student life at Australian universities and that the study experience had typically been deteriorated on campuses due to the introduction of voluntary student unionism.
But it did find that the University of Western Australia, Melbourne University, Edith Cowan University, Central Queensland University, the University of Canberra, and the Australian National University had each improved the quality of their student's experience since NUS last conducted the survey in 2007. USYD was singled out as the best university for student life
But NUS specifically noted Charles Sturt University Bathurst and Southern Cross University Lismore as campuses that needed to improve.
The study found that in South Australia all campuses had serious issues concerning student independence.
NUS said it conducted the survey in a bid to see how universities had responded to the 2009 introduction of voluntary student unionism. From there, NUS rated each university based on its support of the student experience on their campuses. Universities received one of five NUS ratings, including fail, condemned, concerned, room to improve and NUS approved.
President of NUS David Barrow said the categories should prove a benchmark for current and prospective students in understanding what the student experience is really going to be like at the universities they choose. "Many of the official write-ups and rankings ignore the vital student experience and campus culture parts of universities that students value," he said in a statement released online.
The full report can be downloaded here