SYDNEY, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- The University of Melbourne has once again been crowned as the best higher education institution in Australia.
Figures released by Simon Birmingham, the Federal minister for Education, on Wednesday revealed that the University of Melbourne has the highest rate of degree completion in the country at 88 percent between 2009 and 2014.
Margaret Shiel, acting Vice-Chancellor of the university of Melbourne, said the university's completion rate came as a result of the institution imposing strict requirements on incoming students.
Shiel said the model has also given students flexibility to "find their way" which had improved retention rates.
"The curriculum allows them to try different things," she told Fairfax Media on Wednesday.
"Often they find something that is more appealing and more attractive. It opens up more opportunities."
The data also revealed that a third of university students nationwide were not completing their degrees within six years.
Victoria's Federation University recorded the worst completion rate with just 52.5 percent of students who began their degree in 2009 having finished it by 2014.
Marcia Devlin, Federation University's deputy vice-chancellor of learning and quality, said that Federation University being a regional institution meant many students were mature-aged with families and a full-time job.
"They therefore have slower or lower completion rates than traditional students, who are often unencumbered, child-free middle-class school leavers who either live at home free with Mum and Dad or whose family pay for them to live on campus in college. These are the typical Melbourne university students," Devlin said.
"Regional universities do the 'heavy lifting' in Australia in terms of enrolling students often from low socioeconomic status backgrounds."
The figures were released as thousands of secondary school graduates received the first round of university offers for 2017.