FINDING the right university can be a tedious process of discerning reality from marketing spin.
Sites like Study In Australia provide a wealth of data helpful to students, such as courses provided, study costs, even scholarship information at different universities.
But quite often, there is a disconnect between expectation and experience.
The Rate Your Uni website was launched last August to give university students from across Australia a chance to have their say about their university’s performance, and to give future students a reality check about what they can expect.
Students rate their universities on a scale of one to five stars, in areas such as quality of teaching, accessibility to public transport and meeting student expectations.
Its creators, from Hobsons, are the same guys behind the Good Universities Guide.
Hobsons’ online marketing coordinator Kate Rohde said the Good Universities Guide did feature independent ratings, but “what emerged [from feedback] was there wasn’t any way for future students to hear what current students were [experiencing].”
Ms Rohde said around 400 new ratings are recorded each month, and the website has attracted some 5000 visitors, a quarter of which are from overseas.
While many students find the website useful, others feel there could be more opportunities for students to comment.
Aaron Wong, 21, who is planning to study in Melbourne, said it was good to gain a student’s perspective “rather than just looking at the school’s website”.
“Although I’d like to hear the reasons behind their ratings,” he said.
Kathryn Chin, 19, from Melbourne University felt student insights, shared via the comments box on the website, were just as, if not more important than the ratings itself.
Ms Rohde said the website was a constant work-in-progress to make it more relevant and interactive for students.
“We’re really excited it’s getting more attention… and we can provide information for students from students,” Ms Rohde said.