THE University of the Sunshine Coast has scored top marks from the Good Universities Guide for the educational experience it provides students, and has moved quickly up the rankings for its graduates finding full-time work.
This annual independent guide, produced by Hobsons, has once again given USC five stars for teaching quality, overall graduate satisfaction, and graduates' satisfaction with the generic skills they gained while at university.
It also awarded four stars for a new "socioeconomic equality" rating - in recognition of USC's efforts in providing students with strong support services and equity bursaries - and three stars for "getting a full-time job", two higher than in 2011.
The University has also improved in the category for "student demand", indicating that more high school students are selecting USC as their first choice for tertiary education.
The 2014 Good Universities Guide bases its star ratings on data from the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, Graduate Careers Australia's Course Experience Questionnaire and other sources.
USC's Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the University was proud of its continued success as a five-star achiever and excited about its improvements in student demand and graduate outcomes.
"We have been the highest-ranked public university in Queensland in the key areas of educational experience for quite a few years," he said.
"It is gratifying to see that our recently introduced professional programs - like Engineering, Nursing Science, Psychology, Paramedic Science and Occupational Therapy - are starting to boost our ratings for student demand and graduates finding work.
"This has been achieved by the University maintaining close contact with industries across the region, so as to determine which study programs can help provide graduates."
Next year, the University will introduce new degrees in Law and in Creative Industries.
Professor Hill said USC would continue working to improve in areas like gaining research grants and student retention, categories in which it is more difficult for smaller, regional universities to stand out.