1 in 3 uni students not finishing studies

Peter Terlato 18 January 2017

disappointed bad fail student

Figures released ahead of UAC main round offers.

The latest statistics released by the federal government reveal a staggering one-third of university students fail to complete their studies.

The Department of Education and Training's Completion Rates of Higher Education Students Cohort Analysis 2005-2014 found six year completion rates for bachelor students at Australian universities were just 66.8%, meaning one third (33.2%) of commencing students didn't graduate from their initial course.

The figures were released ahead of the Universities Admissions Centre's (UAC) main round offers, available online from 6pm (AEST) tonight.

These admissions represent about 44% of the total offers made by NSW and ACT universities for 2017.

Students graduating from the University of Melbourne held the highest course completion rate (88%).

Graduation rates at the University of Sydney (81.9%), the Australian National University (81%) in Canberra, Victoria's Monash University (79.3%) and the University of New South Wales (78.1%) were also high.

Less than half of the commencing students at the Northern Territory's Charles Darwin University (41.8%), Central Queensland University (42.5%), the University of Southern Queensland (44.4%), Victoria's University of Divinity (45.9%) and Western Australia's Murdoch University (49.6%) finished their courses.

Completion rates were lowest at the NT's Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (36.9%).

Federal education and training minister Simon Birmingham advised students to make informed choices.

"Students should be looking for feedback on the reputation of the university they want to attend, how well-known they are for particular courses, how satisfied current students are with the resources and teachers and the employment outcomes of graduates from those universities and courses," he said.

Most school leavers struggle to decide which course they want to take and at which institution, but these days aspiring undergraduates also need to determine whether they'll study online or on-campus.

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