The Federal Government has launched MyUniversity, the first online service that allows potential students to compare and contrast different universities and the courses they offer.


Ranked by criteria such as course content, student satisfaction and post-study employability of its students, the service has been described as a ‘valuable tool’ by Minister for Tertiary Education Senator Chris Evans.


"We've provided for students to choose where they want to go without restrictions, to choose the courses they want to study, and part of empowering them is to give them good information about what their options are,"  Senator Evans said.


"We've got 39 public universities and other private institutions and we want to make sure that prospective students understand the choices available to them."


Although cautious of the accuracy of the data, the service has been welcomed by Universities Australia.


"Prospective students, making one of the biggest decisions of their lives, must have confidence that the information available to them presents an accurate and complete picture of the options they are considering," CEO of Universities Australia Belinda Robinson said.


"Getting it right is also essential for the reputation of universities operating in an increasingly competitive market brought on by the demand-driven enrolment system.

"We don't believe the MyUniversity website is there yet, particularly in relation to attrition rates, staff: student ratios, the entry score cut-of search function, course mapping and searchability.


However, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has slammed the service, accusing the Government of failing to learn from the short comings of the MySchool website, which was universally condemned.


“While the Minister claims the MyUniversity website is intended to lift performance and quality, the reality is that the information it is based on is at best limited, and at worst inaccurate and misleading,” said  NTEU President, Jeannie Rea.


“The use of indicators, including cost of library photocopying, whether your university has a swimming pool and the number of car parking spaces on campus, fails to address the real quality issues in higher education, such as insufficient government funding and a highly casualised workforce.”



The site can be found here