University of Newcastle tops Australia in student retention and equity rankings

Good Universities Guide

28 August 2013

University of Newcastle tops Australia in student retention and equity rankings 

The Good Universities Guide 2014, published today by Hobsons, has given the University of Newcastle its highest possible ranking - five stars – for student retention and socioeconomic equity. 

The proportion of students from low SES backgrounds enrolled at the University of Newcastle is 27.9 percent, well above the national average of 17.1 percent, and its student retention rate is above 80 percent.

University of Newcastle Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Academic, Professor Andrew Parfitt, said the University played a critical role in increasing social mobility and improving outcomes for communities traditionally under-represented in higher education.

"However, widening access does not mean compromising on quality.  Our high retention ranking of greater than 80 percent means we are not just encouraging students from all walks of life to aspire to tertiary education, we are doing a better job than most other universities at keeping them engaged in study," he said.

Analysis at the University of Newcastle indicates that for low SES groups there is just a 0.7 percent difference in success rates compared to all students, and negligible differences in retention rates, attrition rates and grade point average as measures of academic performance.

Newcastle's successful model of equity and excellence is built on supporting people with ability and determination, regardless of their background, to succeed in higher education without compromising on the quality and rigour of our programs.

"Preparation is key to this success. To ensure widening access leads to success, we have developed an approach of enhanced support for students at every step of their studies. An important element of our successful model is our suite of enabling programs to help students to prepare for entry to tertiary study," said Professor Parfitt.

Contact: Sharon Buckland, Media and Public Relations
Contact Phone: 4985 4049 or 0452 642 766.
Contact Email: media@newcastle.edu.au