Following are the top Australian universities with 'five-star' performance ratings in The Good Universities Guide, an independent guide which provides ratings, rankings, comment and information about Australian higher education institutions.

Bond University - It is Queensland’s highest rating university earning the most five star ratings of any university in the state. The 2011 Good Universities Guide rated Bond University five stars for: Student:staff ratio, Positive Graduate Outcomes, Graduate Starting Salaries, Overall Satisfaction, Teaching Quality, Staff Qualifications, Generic Skills, Non-government Earnings.

University of Wollongong - It is one of the country’s leading research institutions. UOW received five stars in seven key areas (where only the top 20 per cent of universities in Australia can be awarded five stars in any one category): Getting a Job, Positive Graduate Outcomes, Staff Qualifications, Research Intensity, Graduate Satisfaction, Generic Skills, Staff to Student Ratio (2011).

Murdoch University - It achieved the top (five-star) rating for graduate satisfaction in the 2009 Good Universities Guide. Murdoch is the only university in Australia to achieve this honour for an extraordinary 13 times in 14 years. It also received five stars for teaching quality and achieved above average results in employment prospects, entry flexibility, staff to student ratios and Indigenous participation.

The University of Queensland - In the 2007 Guide, UQ was the only Queensland university to receive the highest rating for research grants and research intensivity. It was one of only three Queensland universities (the others are Bond and Central Queensland University) to receive the highest rating for positive graduate outcomes. In the 2011 Guide, UQ received the maximum five-star rating for student demand, student-staff ratios, research grants and research intensivity – and a further five stars for toughness to get in (St Lucia campus).

University of Southern Queensland - With a five-star rating being the very best, USQ was ranked among the top performers in the country for staff qualifications, the number of its graduates who find employment or continue on to higher degree studies, its flexible entry pathways, access by equity groups, Indigenous participation initiatives, international enrolments, gender balance, and the academic services given to students through its support, counselling and study skills programs (2011).

* Suggested Reading: Top 10 Universities in Australia

World University Ranking Tables

America - US News & World Report, The Princeton Review, BusinessWeek
Canada - Maclean's, Gourman Report Ranking of Canadian Universities
UK - Sunday Times, Guardian, Times Good University Guide, Daily Telegraph
World - Shanghai Jiao Tong ARWU Rankings, Webometrics, Newsweek
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