Australian Graduate Survey

The Australian Graduate Survey (AGS) was the national census of newly qualified higher education graduates. Conducted annually between 1972 and 2015, the AGS surveyed new graduates from all Australian universities, and a number of higher education institutes and colleges, approximately four months after they complete the requirements for their awards. The survey response rate for domestic graduates—the primary focus of the AGS—typically ranged from 60 to 65 per cent.

Over thirty years, the AGS grew to play an ever more significant role in shaping Australian higher education, with AGS results representing the only nationally consistent measure of graduate outcomes in Australian higher education.

The AGS comprised the Graduate Destination Survey (GDS) and, depending on the graduate, either the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) or Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire (PREQ).

  • The Graduate Destination Survey (GDS) collected information regarding graduates’ employment and salary outcomes, continuing study and labour market status, job search behaviour, previous education history and other key respondent characteristics.
  • The Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) probed key elements of the higher education experience relevant to coursework graduates, focusing largely on their perceptions of course quality, their self-rated skill levels, and their overall satisfaction with their course.
  • The Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire (PREQ) probed key elements of the higher education experience relevant to research degree graduates.

Who is it of interest to?

AGS data provided valuable insights for higher education policy makers, workforce planners and researchers, academics and administrators, and, of course, the graduates themselves. Findings from the GDS also assisted prospective higher education students to make informed course and career decisions, and careers advisors integrated these findings into their career counselling practices.

Where can I see the findings?

GCA publishes a range of annual research reports based on AGS data. Summary findings from the AGS are available for free download in GradFiles and GradStats, while more detailed findings are presented in our series of detailed research reports.