Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the two national surveys released today by the Australian Government illustrate the resilience of students, staff and the sector during a very tough year.
“These results are a powerful endorsement from employers that Australia’s universities are preparing career-ready graduates who are resilient even in the most challenging circumstances,” Ms Jackson said.
“They also show a sector which has worked hard to support students during in one of the toughest learning environments we’ve ever seen.”
The 2020 Employer Satisfaction Survey finds 84.7 per cent of direct supervisors say they are satisfied with their new graduate employees – an increase on last year and consistent with the high satisfaction rates since the survey began. A record 86.8 per cent of employers were satisfied with the employability skills of graduates.
Universities Australia’s Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the employer results – collected partially during last year’s pandemic – highlight universities’ consistent ability to educate graduates who are well rounded and ready for a career.
“Universities are ensuring the next generation of graduates is equipped to contribute to Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery.”
Meanwhile, the 2020 Student Experience Survey (SES) found 74 per cent of undergraduates were satisfied with the help and support provided by their institutions in the midst of COVID lockdowns and online learning.
Student satisfaction with teaching quality also held up during the pandemic, dipping just three percentage points on pre-COVID levels.
There was, however, a downturn in student satisfaction with the overall educational experience – from 78 per cent in 2019 to 69 per cent in 2020.
Ms Jackson said the transition to study and work from home has been challenging for the whole community.
“I would like to pay tribute to students and staff who showed extraordinary resilience as tens of thousands of courses moved online overnight. Universities have been – and will continue to – support students in whatever way they can.”
“The pandemic meant that students did miss out on the normal face-to-face contact in class and socially. It makes sense that in this climate there would be a drop in satisfaction with the overall educational experience.”
The employer satisfaction survey also found:
- 87.9 per cent of graduates and 94 per cent of supervisors said the graduate’s qualification prepared them ‘very well’ or ‘well’ for their current employment
- 93.7 per cent of employers were satisfied with graduates’ general literacy, numeracy and communication skills, as well as the ability to investigate and integrate knowledge;
- 90.1 per cent of employers were satisfied with graduates’ ability to apply skills or knowledge and work independently
- 88.1 per cent of employers were satisfied with graduates’ teamwork and collaborative skills;
- 93.8 per cent of employers were satisfied with graduates’ application of professional and technical knowledge and standards; and
- 86.8 per cent employer of employers were satisfied with graduates’ ability to perform and innovate in the workplace.
The student satisfaction also survey found:
- 84 per cent of students are satisfied with the quality of their online learning platform
- 78 per cent of students are satisfied with skills development
- 69 per cent of students are satisfied with the overall educational experience