In 2020, 5,000 current and former students from the Oceania region identified Australia’s University of New England (UNE) as one of the best universities for real-world student experiences in the Studocu World University Ranking.
The university, located in New South Wales, boasts an extensive array of disciplines, including a comprehensive arts program that allows students to choose from majors such as music, theatre and performance, arts, writing, and more.
These courses are tailored to guide students to hone and future-proof their skill set in their preferred craft, opening them up to more opportunities for career development and a better understanding of the world.
Students also praised the university for its wide range of social and personal services, high-quality teaching staff, and accommodations for students all over the world.
Figuring out the rankings
The survey reached out to respondents worldwide to evaluate their experience in their universities for the Studocu World University Ranking.
Marnix Broer, co-founder and CEO of Studocu, noted that students didn’t often have a say in typical university rankings, which led to the creation of this list that placed students and their experiences at its core.
He stated that traditional rankings were often based on metrics such as employer reputation, research citations per faculty member, or research and awards of staff and alums, but they didn’t take students’ views into account.
For this ranking, an average of 60 respondents – current or former students – per university evaluated their school based on 15 categories, including dating scene, sports culture, facilities and accommodations, and food available on campus, on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest.
Top Oceania universities
UNE topped the ranks in the Oceania region with a score of 88, but other notable universities also achieved close scores. The edtech platform and online student community Studocu also named the University of Canberra as one of the top schools in terms of real-world student experiences, alongside the Federation University Australia.
The latter achieved a score of 86, and the former placed third with 82. They are also included in the platform’s list of 21,000 global institutions, where students contribute and aid 25,000 users worldwide by sharing study notes and documents. Students can also enhance their learning by asking questions to which fellow university and college learners may answer.
Notably, the University of Canberra’s arts program offers a variety of courses such as arts, built environment, communications and media, and design. They also offer other art courses that aren’t limited to undergraduates, such as the Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork, and Skills program.
ARRTS guides individuals such as veterans with mental health diagnoses to transition back into civilian life through its four-week program. Federation University Australia recently made a controversial move to axe their Bachelor of Arts programs due to falling student volumes but reversed the decision after listening to experts, faculty, and students.
Beyond the academic aspects, the overall student experience within these universities is integral to education and student formation. For instance, for those studying under creative degrees, access to industry and community-based learning experiences is beneficial for professional development.
Research from the Australia Council for the Arts and the Queensland University of Technology note that these learning opportunities are paramount to adapting to 21st-century workplaces in creative fields.
It’s clear that, in taking into account the lives and interests of students in developing courses, campuses, and culture, universities will be able to take advantage of these offerings to further their lives beyond the classroom.
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