CANBERRA, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Australia's most prestigious universities have poor full-time employment outcomes, a study has found.
The annual Good Universities Guide, released on Tuesday, found that the University of Melbourne, University of Western Australia (UWA), University of New South Wales (UNSW) and University of Sydney were the hardest institutions to gain admission to.
However, the guide found that only UNSW made the top 10 for full-time employment with 76.4 percent of students finding full-time jobs within four months of graduating.
Only 63.6 percent of graduates from the University of Melbourne, rated Australia's best university by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), had entered full-time employment within four months.
All four of the prestigious universities also scored below the national average for staff experience and qualifications with UNSW, UWA and Sydney University ranking in the bottom seven.
Charles Sturt University (CSU) fared the best in employment outcomes with 83.9 percent of graduates finding full-time work followed by Charles Darwin University (CDU) with 82.3 percent and the University of Notre Dame Australia with 79.6 percent.
CDU and CSU also topped the list of starting salaries of graduates with medians of 47,970 U.S. dollars and 47,573 U.S. dollars respectively.
Of the four most prestigious universities, only UWA made the top 10 for median salary after graduation while the University of Melbourne came off worst.
Chris Lester, chief executive of the Good Universities Group which compiles the guide, said that the poor performance of the in-demand universities was due to their high intake of students straight out of school rather than mature-aged students.
"Now, people (coming to university) straight out of school are finding it difficult to get a job," Lester told Australian media on Tuesday.
He said that the high demand for the institutions was linked to reputation rather than outcomes.
"Parents have a big part to play in relation to where students go and when they came out of university 20 or 30 years ago, (things) were very different," Lester said.
"Parents need to be very mindful of the changing landscape. Younger universities are trying different things now."