UNSW Sydney is Australia’s best university for career outcomes and second overall according to a new ranking published by The Australian Financial Review (AFR) today.

The inaugural Best Universities Ranking from the AFR uses publicly available data across five key categories to assess and recognise the diversity of Australia’s 40 universities. It includes data from traditional international rankings but is also Australia’s first evaluation that takes into account equity and access, and career outcomes.

UNSW ranked first for ‘career outcomes’, second for ‘research’ and for ‘global reputation’ and second university overall in Australia.

UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Attila Brungs acknowledged the University’s performance, which he said is a direct result of its holistic approach to research and teaching.

“These results are emblematic of UNSW’s dedication to excellence and student success, equipping our students to secure employment after graduation and excel in their chosen fields as well as testament to our long track record of world-class research translated into positive societal impact.

“I’m extremely proud of our teaching, research, and professional staff who bring their energy, commitment and world-leading capabilities to work each and every day, dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for our students and the global community.”

New methodology for a more balanced view

The new ranking was created for the AFR by Professor Stephen Parker, former University of Canberra vice-chancellor and KPMG national education lead partner, and statistician Professor Tim Brown, a former director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute. It draws on metrics across five categories: student satisfaction; research performance; global reputation; career impact; and equity and access. It’s hoped that giving equal measure to each pillar will provide future students with a more balanced view of universities’ offerings than traditional rankings methodologies.

Read more: UNSW Sydney rockets into the global top 20 in latest QS Rankings

Professor Nicholas Fisk, UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research & Enterprise, said it's pleasing to see UNSW near the top of the tables in most of the ranking’s five pillars.

“The new AFR ranking is a disruptor in that it assesses each university’s broad-brush impact across all the public good missions, and gives teaching equal weighting to research. As such it aims to tackle the gap between older research intensive institutions and high quality teaching universities and thus give a leg up to regional and younger outfits. In this light, it’s most gratifying to see UNSW leading the nation on career outcomes, and only one point shy of topping the table overall," Prof. Fisk said.

“I trust school leavers considering their options at this time will recognise that UNSW offers them their best career shot. We are hell-bent on offering Australia’s most effective programs to help them realise their potential, including work-integrated-learning, leadership development, coaching and mentoring programs. This is in addition to being taught by academics who are leaders in their fields, often internationally, across a broad range of disciplines including climate change, quantum computing, novel materials manufacturing, and health.

“UNSW’s strategic investment in educating Australia’s future workforce and research in critical areas is reflected in our success in the AFR’s Best Universities Ranking, and reinforces our position among the top research and teaching institutions in Australia.”

The Best Australian Universities ranking full results is available on the AFR website.