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What is the Australian Government Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS)?
- The GOS is a national survey of recent higher education graduates being conducted for the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment by the Social Research Centre.
- Graduates from participating institutions are invited to take part four to six months after they have completed their course.
- The purpose of the survey is to evaluate courses in order to improve program development and student outcomes, with a focus on how well courses prepare students for the workforce.
- Further information about the survey is available at srcentre.com.au/gos.
Why is the GOS important for optometry graduates?
- The GOS enables graduates from all nationally accredited optometry courses in Australia to provide feedback on how well their course prepared them for the profession.
- Optometry specific questions were included in the GOS for the first time in 2020 and will continue to be included over the next several years to enable data to be collated over a period of time. This will enrich the data and better support planning for future education and training needs in optometry.
- In the 2020 GOS:
- There was a high response rate among optometry graduates (50.4 per cent).
- 113 graduates from five institutions—Deakin University, Flinders University, Queensland University of Technology, the University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales—responded to the optometry-specific questions.
- The majority (97 per cent) of graduates who responded to the optometry questions were working as optometrists when surveyed.
- Feedback about work readiness was largely positive. The most common challenge identified by optometry graduates related to time management.
How can optometry graduates participate?
Graduates will be contacted, invited to participate and given details about how to access the survey. There are three data collection periods for the survey—February, May and November each year.
The survey is delivered by the Social Research Centre, is conducted primarily online and is voluntary.
Why doing the survey is important?
It is important to continuously assess how effective courses are in preparing students for the optometry workforce. High volumes of feedback from graduates and employers, collected over time, help course developers and the Australian Government to plan effectively for future training needs.
How can employers participate?
Employed graduates who complete the GOS are given the opportunity to invite their employers to contribute to the Employer Satisfaction Survey (ESS). Inviting employers is also voluntary, and of great value towards improving course outcomes.
Employers will be asked about:
- the skills and attributes needed in contemporary optometry practice,
- how well higher education is preparing optometry graduates for the workforce, and
- the employment pathways optometry graduates take after completing their studies.
If graduates choose to nominate their employer by providing contact details, the Social Research Centre will contact the employer via email or phone to conduct the survey.
The ESS is confidential, voluntary and only takes a few minutes. Further information about the survey is available at www.srcentre.com.au/ess.
Why it is important for employers to participate?
Employer feedback is vital to understanding the extent to which graduates are prepared for the workforce. Employers have unique, direct and face-to-face knowledge of patients’ needs.
This knowledge is essential to assist course developers and educators to:
- take better advantage of the strengths of courses,
- continuously improve courses, and
- better understand emerging education and training needs.
Feedback from employers in the 2020 ESS was positive. Peter Murphy, Luxottica’s Director of Eye Care and Community, welcomed the feedback and highlighted the ultimate benefits to patients that come out of improved education and training.