Charles Sturt University

posted in: New South Wales | 65
Charles Sturt University (CSU), behind Bathurst Campus.

Behind the Bathurst Campus. Photo credit: Yvonne Wren

Charles Sturt University is Australia's biggest distance education university. More than half (>20,000) of CSU's students study online. CSU has several campuses in central and southern New South Wales, including at Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga. CSU provides a convenient study option for students in regional NSW. If you are a current or former CSU student, feel free to post a review and tell us about your experience.

CSU Rating

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User Rating 2.57 (68 votes)
Comments Rating 3.37 (19 reviews)

Student Reviews

65 Responses

  1. Elizabeth
    | Reply

    Really enjoyed my time at CSU.

    I studied nursing through CSU (on campus) and had a great experience. I found the lecturers supportive, and the content relevant. It’s true what they say about CSU grad’s getting jobs – I know most of my cohort managed to obtain grad positions… sadly I know lots of others from other universities that have not had the same experience. Would happily study postgrad there too. Really loved my time at CSU!

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  2. sampat
    | Reply

    Administration help system people are pathetic

    i have completed a Masters in IT.
    * Being fully online make it easy to do, no missing lectures
    * Lecturers were mostly ok. Even though it is a post grad course some lecturers are only BSc.
    * The Ask system or Administration help system people are pathetic. Any question they just provide a copy-paste answer without reading it. No intention of helping anybody. Also they take 3 days to respond to email. What a pathetic way in today’s world. I see lot of comments about that from other people as well.
    Overall I find it quite ok.

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  3. Anon
    | Reply

    Be wary of RPL

    Be wary of credit that is offered for post-grad studies, a lot of it will be useless when you actually try and graduate – despite what the Graduate Planning System states.

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  4. Teresa
    | Reply

    Had a great experience

    I have just completed my honours year in Psychology at CSU and found the uni to be great. Mostly the support to students financially through scholarships etc is fantastic. I found all my lecturers to be easy to talk to and approachable, and very supportive. Hoping to get a Masters offer there for next year.

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  5. Gareth
    | Reply

    Great Experience

    My experience of the University was a very good one. The course I studied (Medical Imaging) provided me with a great platform to begin my career as a radiographer. Lecturers were helpful and approachable, the course structure was good and facilities were everything we needed them to be.

    As I am now working in the field we get a lot of students/graduates coming through from the uni and they are, as a whole, high quality radiographers.

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  6. Mushi
    | Reply

    Rad

    I had a great experience at CSU. Having just finished Diagnostic Radiography I feel I couldn’t be any better prepared for my career in Radiography.

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  7. Ty
    | Reply

    The Perfect Start to my Career

    Firstly, I think it’s important to point out that student experiences and satisfaction levels will vary greatly from individual to individual and course to course. It would have been really helpful for some of the people leaving negative reviews here to mention the course they were doing. That way the comments could be used more critically to improve courses and offer impending students greater understanding.

    The comments do not mirror my experiences as a FT student at the CSU Wagga campus.

    Studying Diagnostic Radiography at CSU far exceeded my expectations of what I would experience at any University. The course was well structured with a perfect blend of theory and practical. The lecturers were approachable and well considered. I left feeling completely capable as a Radiographer and ready to start my career.

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  8. Ben
    | Reply

    Outdated docs . Lost faith/trust in the uni

    I’ve gotta say – I lost faith/trust in their services.
    Really poor standards. They are not reading what they send to students.
    Was even told as an undergrad student – “Just play the game”.
    I got outdated documents -12 months old they wanted me to sign and complete for an event. Like errr NO !
    When students asked for a corrected document – the excuse came back – ‘the service allocation staff have been inundated with work’.
    Students refused knowing – they ( service allocation staff ) could pull out the paper and state it wasn’t completed by the student for 12 months.

    as said – students have lost trust in the uni.

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  9. Anonymous
    | Reply

    Disappointing Postgrad experience

    I enrolled in a postgraduate Masters level course by distance, and really wanted to like this university. Sadly, I am finding CSU way too cumbersome, old fashioned, and generic to continue studying there. The bureaucracy is huge, and the “help desk” staff that students are referred to for “assistance” seem to be just phone-answerers. Some admins and lecturers show contempt about helping the student who has a question or a class to adjust. Many of the online lecturers are casuals. The course is old-fashioned and extremely protracted – it appears to take forever to finish. There is endless generic coursework and generic old-school, boilerplate essays. The people hired to do the marking don’t seem to be very educated themselves. The occasional lecturer is interesting and switched on, but many seem to be suffering from burnout and mostly interested in obedience from the students. It is a huge university that just seems to be processing people. It’s one of those borderline situations where yes, it does deliver accredited courses – but the student experience is mostly uninspiring. Not ideal! I’m taking my money and ambition elsewhere.

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    • shim
      | Reply

      Hi,
      What a pity there are so many negative comments – I have just found this University and was planning to do the Masters in Cyber Security…but alas, these comments are putting me off.
      Can someone recommend better alternatives?
      Thank you

    • JJ
      | Reply

      Very Good

      That is unfortunate that you had that experience. My online course has been brilliant. Really professional, well organised and efficient. I am planning on doing more courses after this one.

      • Basil Lazarus
        | Reply

        Masters at CSU

        I completed a Masters in IT and Networking at CSU in 2016 and found he course to be quite good. The course material provided was good and relevant – I am still using it today for reference. I guess at the end of the day it is an individual thing. But I would recommend CSU.

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  10. Chloe Huang
    | Reply

    Ridiculous policies

    CSU is NOT for people who work! I don’t know about other courses but the bachelor of education birth to five years requires educators to take almost 2 months of work and do free labour as a student out of their workplace & the only option they offer is working 3 days and doing workplacement 2 days which draws the course right out so it would take ages to graduate when you can go to UNE and do the prac in your workplace be paid and only work 10 days in another service which working individuals can use their annual leave. They teach their students about human rights, social justice and interrupting dominate discourses! They need to take a look at their only policies marganilising working families that need to pay rent to keep a roof over their heads as well as maintain their own children’s rights with regards to food, a bed to sleep and clothes like what everyone else does! The educators who run the course are hypocrites! They also waste your time and money after your complete all the other units before realising the last units request this ridiculous policy of two months workplacement as a student without pay, forcing hard working Australians to transfer to other uni’s where out of all the units studied that only 8 will be credited. Go with other universities and save your time & money. I highly recommend UNE University of New England.

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    • nadia
      | Reply

      Every university that offers education degrees requires you to do those lengthy placements in order to be an accredited teacher at the end of the degree.

  11. Lee
    | Reply

    Beware

    CSU has a very adversarial approach to their students. Studying by distance, it is almost impossible to get anyone to answer a simple query. If you phone student central they will refuse to put you through to the relevant faculty or department, and instead send an e-mail which goes unanswered. I have also witnessed a lecturer make fun of a student, and later use a student’s work without permission. Another lecturer used hours of the residential school to complain about student’s grammar and referencing. I had travelled interstate to attend that residential school, and it was such a waste of effort, time and money. There were lots of indications that faculty members were burnt out, past it, and dismissive of students. In the honours program, some academic supervisors were unreachable and unhelpful, and there were large discrepancies in the marking of the dissertation. It is sad to see the gradual decline of standards at CSU over the years, as when I first started studying there, it was a very different atmosphere. I think that the more promising lecturers have now left to pursue their careers elsewhere and the staff who remain are over-worked and bitter. Presumably they prefer to enrol distance students as these students are easier to ignore. Don’t bother with CSU if you have another option.

    • Rales
      | Reply

      Don't bother

      I couldn’t agree more with your comments, I’m almost at the end of my degree with CSU and I can safely say that the standard of teaching has declined substantially over the last few years – to the point where there is no interaction at all for distance students. I have felt like a number through the entire course… as an example one of my current subjects I have basically taught myself from You Tube videos because we have been given a substandard text, no resources, no lectures (I’m studying by distance). We don’t even have answers to the questions in the text.. How on earth is this “learning”??? So I’m paying for what exactly?? I honestly would go elsewhere if anyone is reading this and contemplating doing a business degree by distance through CSU.

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  12. AK
    | Reply

    Excellent uni for environmental science,

    I wanted to leave my opinion here in case it helps others – I found it really hard to choose a university for environmental science. I ended up at Charles Sturt University for practical reasons but was a bit worried about all of the negative reviews. I am SO glad I am studying here, as CSU has vastly exceeded my expectations.

    Firstly, I think it’s important to point out that student experiences and satisfaction levels will vary greatly from course to course. It would have been really helpful for some of the people leaving negative reviews here to mention the course they were doing. I can see lots of negative stuff online about the CSU social work course (Obviously I have no idea of the validity of those statements), but I think most unis are like that – they have areas they excel in and areas they don’t.

    I started my degree studying on-campus at RMIT in the Melbourne CBD. I absolutely hated it – I felt no connection to my lecturers or to the material, the subjects were so broad and general (eg. the first year at RMIT you don’t touch any environmental topics really, all your statistics, biology, chemistry etc is with all the applied science/maths/engineering students). Classes were massive, we could only get in the labs every second week and when we did get in a lab we were two or three people to a microscope. We spent the non-lab weeks writing crosswords and doing other ‘filler’ tasks to keep us occupied. None of my lecturers worked in the environmental field.

    Now I am doing environmental science at CSU via distance. I was pretty skeptical about this (how the hell do you do a science degree via distance?!) but its worked out so well for me and I love it. Many subjects have residential schools, so I travel to Albury and spend a few really intense days doing the lab and prac work – this cuts out all the crap as we are there to work and do relevant stuff, not fluff around writing crosswords! It’s worth pointing out that the course is offered on campus also, I just chose distance as it worked better for me.

    Classes are so much smaller, you actually get to know your lecturers and have contact with them, all of the classes are environmentally focused (so, instead of doing a general statistics course with four or five other disciplines, our stats classes are taught by ecological practitioners and all the examples are ecology-focused, relevant to us and giving us specific skills we need to generate/write/interpret scientific data).

    I want to make special note of the academic staff – they are bloody awesome! All of the lecturers and course coordinators I’ve encountered are so highly skilled, they are actively working/researching in the environmental field and they are all super passionate about what they do. Some of them truly go above and beyond in making the distance students feel included by running online tutes and discussion groups, providing extra discussion points and materials, being available at odd hours to discuss content or assessments or just provide support.

    I kind of thought I was going to an ‘easy’ regional uni when I moved to CSU, but I got a rude shock – the standards in my course are VERY high and its hard to get good marks (much harder than at RMIT). Every assessment I have gotten back has had detailed feedback, its something they clearly spend a lot of time on (I often had to fight to get any feedback at all at RMIT).

    There’s also heaps of opportunities for interesting fieldwork and overseas trips (I’ve already travelled overseas with CSU and I haven’t quite been there one year yet).

    I can’t speak of any of the other faculties, but the School of Environmental Science and Outdoor Recreation (which includes the parks, recreation and heritage degree and the outdoor rec and ecotourism degree) is really impressive. If you are looking to study any of these areas and you want a uni that has small class sizes, skilled and passionate staff, lots of practical experience and a supportive environment CSU could be a good fit.

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    • Tim
      | Reply

      Thanks for this detailed response! I’m currently considering CSU for Env Science by distance and was pleased to find some positivity here! Are you doing FT or PT?

    • Nadia Kline
      | Reply

      More info

      Hi AK,

      I am currently trying to decide on a UNI for Environmental Science and found your review very helpful, is there anyway I could email you with a few more questions about your experience? If not that’s fine but please let me know.

      Thanks in advance,

      Nadia

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  13. Student
    | Reply

    Hello guys.Iam planning on doing “masters of professional accounting” at CSU?my intake is supposed to be this coming february.what would you guys recommend me on weather i should enroll in CSU or not?

    • Student
      | Reply

      You applied in CSU for Feb intake???and you receive any update….? Plz reply

  14. Owen
    | Reply

    Really poor comms, huge bill at the end, subdued from asking questions, you are just a cash cow /number to them.Wasted $

    nothing good. If your doing well in a subject and want to explore the subject a little- don’t bother to ask questions. Do the research yourself.Lecturers don’t like being asked questions that are relevant to the topic area but, off what they have to teach. They don’t inspire you-Just learn the curriculum. They aren’t interested to encourage your learning-your just a number to their business.
    If you need to speak or communicate with them , make sure you record your conversation. They don’t remember anything verbal and won’t support you should you need to make a related request of any sort.
    Communication replies are horribly belated-you have to keep emailing them before they might reply. Love to take your money-slow to provide the service.
    They are supposed to reply to emails within 3 working days- what a laugh, you have to keep emailing them- again might respond.
    Lecturers that are pompous , lecturers that are over empowered in the student -teacher role. They feel they are doing you a favour by teaching you something – not that you are paying them to provide you with an inspiring learning experience that will possibly lead you to employment.

    The service is really poor- communication is crap Lecturers really weren’t interested in students comments or queries so much that one lecturer openingly threatened students . You are not encouraged to think outside the box.
    This uni only wants your money for research -students are just cash cows.
    You will be left with a big uni bill at the end and little job prospects.
    Try another uni – don’t look at CSU – you will regret it.

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  15. Kyle
    | Reply

    Not my experience

    Some of the comments here certainly don’t reflect my experience studying maths by distance at CSU. The content has been really good, and it’s delivered in a way that’s well suited to working students. The teaching staff have been comparable or better than my previous university that is ranked in the top 5 in Australia, and I’ve really enjoyed my experience so far.

    I would and have recommended the course to others.

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  16. Bob
    | Reply

    CSU was fine for me

    Just completed a grad dip in IT online. I thought it was good. The textbooks were all good (which to me is a good sign that the lecturer gives a crap), the feedback was excellent and the subjects were well structured. The only problem I had was the Adobe Connect player used to play lectures and online meetings used to cause firefox to crash sometimes. Some of the assignments in the database course were awful though.

    What i really liked about it though was the no bs nature of it. I did my undergrad at Usyd and there was heaps of bs there. With CSU you knew what you had to do, you had the material to do it and then you did it. Great.

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  17. International Student
    | Reply

    I’m a 2nd year international student in Radiography at the Wagga campus. I have nothing but praise for CSU in the short 1.5 years that I’ve been here. My main lecturer, Andrew Kilgour has more than 20 years working in medical imaging and my field education (work placement) is really great as well, i’ve spent 8 weeks so far in three different hospitals in Sydney, with another 6 weeks coming up soon.

    I can’t believe that people would have a bad experience with one aspect of the university ie their customer service and just rag the entire organisation. I work for CSU in their call centre and I don’t see how we have a ‘slow response time’ or how we are rude.

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    • Anonymous
      | Reply

      Pathetic ultrasound course.

      Hi there.
      I also did radiography from Csu. It was definitely a very good experience. I am now doing ultrasound and my advice would be to steer away from it. This comes after a bad bad experience with my last units. All was OK 3/4 of the way until our lecturer resigned and we were with someone temporary. They introduced the lecturer a month before the finals who had contradictory feedback…..and didn’t seem like the new person liased any bit with whoever was our temporary lecturer…we were always told to look back at our outlines for help….new lecturer would change her responses almost after every meeting with the faculty saying that now she was told this and you have to do this……they also had very less or maybe no regard to the students circumstances as well…..very poorly organized course….

  18. Dan
    | Reply

    I'm sure they have a quota to fail so you come back next year=$$$$ for them

    want to add my rating.

    Unfortunately, there is no minus ratings

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    • Undisclosed
      | Reply

      Students who have concerns can write to TEQSA complaints which is the regulator of higher education.

  19. Chris
    | Reply

    Nothing good here……pure and simple….adversarial in outlook……mercenary by nature….outdated in knowledge…..what was I thinking….go anywhere else……a degree from the Colonel Sanders University of Deep Fried Succulent Chicken would have been more fulfilling than the rubbish I am in…..

  20. John
    | Reply

    Hey guys I’m thinking about studying physiotherapy at CSU orange campus. Would like to hear some thoughts from current students/graduates. Thnx

    • Tash
      | Reply

      physio CSU

      Hi John,

      I am also thinking of studying physiotherapy at CSU. I’m having trouble finding information about the course, have you found any information positive/negative? Would be great to hear from you.
      Tash

  21. Kristi
    | Reply

    I completed my Masters in International Leadership at the end of January. I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed my experience through Charles Sturt but VERY disappointed that no one has contacted the Ontario College of Teachers to inform them that I have completed my degree. I have sent numerous emails to the Canadian contact only to find out that she has left the University. Then I decided to email the previous Canadian contact (who is so wonderful) where she informed me that the new contact had left the University but had cc’d the head master who could direct my email. I have heard NOTHING!! I sent another email asking for more information since my school board gives an added pay for teachers who have obtained their Master’s degree once it is posted on their Ontario College Teacher’s certificate. I have lost months of extra money and quite disappointed since I have spent more than $25k taking courses through Charles Sturt.

    I highly recommended this University to colleagues who are looking at pursuing their education but I am at a point where I will not recommend anymore.

    It is pretty bad when I have received my diploma before it is posted on my teaching certificate…. I am hoping that someone will get back to me sooner than later. I am at a loss!!:(

  22. Tom
    | Reply

    TV Production, Ag, Physics and Math are ok.
    If you’re not doing one of them, don’t go.

    Have a look at the stats:
    https://www.education.gov.au/completion-rates-cohort-analyses
    The completion rates for CSU have been dropping ever since they have been recorded (checked 2017). If we go by the 6 year completion rate (to account for part time students and on-campus Vets) you currently have a 50-50 chance of failure. This includes the 4 areas that they are ok at. If you’re not in those areas it’s much MUCH worse.

    The amount of low quality, irrelevant and outdated material that you have to learn is ridiculous.

    TAFE and industry recognised certs are more concise and on-topic so you will learn more and have the qualifications of what ever stage you reach.

    3/4 of TAFE + Certs = a diploma.
    3/4 of a degree = a huge debt + failure on your resume.

  23. Tom Drake-Brockman
    | Reply

    I have submitted my dissatisfaction already- I now wish to record a rating

  24. Annonymous
    | Reply

    I am currently supporting a friend with another university who was failed by her placement agency (human services) but the university field education department overridden it. Universities CAN do that. The problem with CSU is that they have no understanding of what support, duty of care and advocacy on behalf of students means. It really is an awful university. If you get a Fail for a subject that means you have to pay for it again. It must look good in their budget sheets having all those students that paid two times for the same subject. Really, what stops universities like CSU that lost a lot of funding and are struggling financially failing students for profit, especially in regards to vague units such as field education?

    The social work field education subjects are typically vague as the learning outcomes are about ethics (what an irony, hey?). Sometimes students get placed into agencies for field education that have nothing to do with social work and are asked to imagine how it should be if it was the right kind of placement. Universities get away with it. Even though the AASW impose certain learning outcomes, they don’t care themselves. I called AASW and asked a straight forward question ‘Ok, so if I was placed on the back of the office of some NGO and played solitaire for 400 hours out of my 500-hour placement block would you find it concerning?’ and their Accreditation and Standards person said that they don’t get involved and it is up to the universities as long as their AASW accreditation is current (something that they review periodically).

    Don’t get me wrong, the gap between the university idealism and the real life is big for many professions but from all the professions out there social work students in the field education setting have to battle the greatest level of hypocrisy over a period of 1000 hours that in full time mode is about 6 months. You may be placed under a supervision of somebody who couldn’t care less about the social work conduct, ethics and values and they might be against the AASW guidelines. Social Work is not a registered profession in Australia. That is partially because many social workers don’t actually want the registration. If it was compulsory, it would be expensive but also it would mean that an unhappy client / patient / service recipient who was suppose to receive an advocacy and support but did not, could put a formal complaint against such careless social worker, or a social worker who works within an organisation (by choice I would like to emphasise) where they are unable to practice properly due to economic or biomedical rationale. Few complaints and your registration could be suspended, there goes 4 years of full time studies.

    As per field education requirements your agency supervisor has to be a social worker who completed his/ her qualification 2 years ago or longer – that’s it. As long as they are qualified with a AASW accredited university they don’t actually have to have the membership with AASW – also the membership is not the same as registration, it does not mean much. So there you are as a student stuck for 6 months with organisations like say correctional services (Dondale in NT or Cleveland in QLD) or health services that clearly do not operate within AASW code of conduct. On one side you go to your placement and you have to complete tasks imposed on you by your agency supervisor who couldn’t care less about AASW, at the same time you need to submit assignments to CSU advising of how well you are developing your skills according to AASW. It’s basically a huge case of mental contradiction. Because of that, it is crucial that you chose a university for yourself that WILL SUPPORT you when things go wrong during your field education, not go against you. CSU is not one of those universities, you will be most likely failed.

  25. Nic
    | Reply

    YES PLEASE Adam. you can email me at

    water_waves_and_sand@hotmail.com

    I can give you more details in an email if you like 🙂

  26. Adam
    | Reply

    Nic I had a very similar experience with SW field education. There are things you can do, I would love to get in touch with you?

  27. Nic
    | Reply

    As with most people on this forum I have had a disgusting experience with CSU. Its validating to know I am not alone. As part of my degree of bachelor of social work, we need to do 1000 hours of placement. I was failed on 600 hours of placement with no valid reason as to why, and after complaining to almost everyone, nothing could be done about it because technically the faculty and my academic followed the complaint process far enough. The way I have been treated was rude, bitchy and most everyone in that faculty lied and misconstrued facts about my placement. It’s a horrible place to go and think twice about enrolling in this faculty if you don’t want the heartache. It baffles me as to how they got best social work faculty. Probably only because they have a huge number of enrollments.

  28. Tom Drake-Brockman
    | Reply

    My parting experience with CSU is summed up in this article in the Australian, October 19, 2016:
    Charles Sturt University stance bewilders Christianity student
    Julie Hare, The Australian, 12:00am October 19, 2016

    Charles Sturt University spent up to $10,000 on a top-tier law firm to represent it in a consumer tribunal instead of allowing a student 30 minutes on the phone with a marker to explain his comments.
    Tom Drake-Brockman, who recently completed a masters of theology at CSU, said he was bewildered by the mark and comments on a major assignment. A review of the assignment led to his mark advanced by 8 per cent, but he was again confronted by “abstruse and useless comments” from the review marker.
    “Again, I requested clarification but was flatly refused any further explanation,” Mr Drake-Brockman, who twice won the dean’s award for academic excellence during his masters degree, said.
    He had no luck with the university ombudsman so decided to appeal to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. As a fee-paying student, Mr Drake-Brockman said he felt he had the right to coherent feedback on his assignments.
    There, Mr Drake-Brockman said, CSU engaged the services of a large international law firm, MinterEllison, to contest the appeal.
    “Their counsel submitted a rigorous 12-page defence of their position citing a range of case precedents of related student claims in Australia and overseas with an attached folder of 150 pages of transcripts of these cases,” Mr Drake Brockman said. “What could possibly explain this bizarre situation? Needless to say, I lost my appeal in a maze of legal technicalities that I am quite unfamiliar with.
    “However, I would dearly like to know why CSU was so determined to stop me gaining a little additional education in a 30 to 40-minute consultation with the marker, that they were prepared to expend so much time and money to prevent this.”
    Mr Drake-Brockman said he did not enrol in the course to get a job but to “gain a deeper level of understanding of Christianity as the basis for an upcoming book that critically evaluates it in today’s world”.
    “My main goal was not so much to achieve high grades as to arrive at a clear and nuanced understanding of the basic tenets of Christianity,” he said.
    However, he said, while he could understand that some devout members of staff would be uncomfortable with his critical analytical approach, “it irked me that such transparent academic bias should occur in an institution of higher learning like CSU”.
    A spokeswoman for CSU said it was satisfied with the outcome.
    “The student appealed the tribunal’s decision and external counsel was engaged to assist the university. The appeal was subsequently dismissed. CSU is satisfied with the outcome and will not be commenting further.”

  29. Dan
    | Reply

    I’m studying a nursing degree via distance and I have to say the support is awful. I needed help with assignments which you can’t get anyone to look at it because there is so few who can help you. Then when you have the chance, because it’s already been marked , they refuse to possibly contradict the marker.
    If you thought getting a scholarship might help you out – forget it. Unless your getting high distinctions cause you study from dawn to dusk with no other commitments(ie young children & work), or your Indigenous and they’re ageist.
    They also want you to provide feedback on the subject post completion, so they can improve their services.
    Their employment figures are skewered. They are people who may have graduated but, aren’t working full time or in the field they studied.

    They now place more obstacles before you so you can’t contact a lecturer direct anymore-what a joke!!!!
    If you want to attend lectures- don’t bother. Students weren’t turning up for them and after listening to some of the lecturers waffle-OMG what a waste of time.
    The whole website needs an overhaul. Links don’t work and when you need it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They wan’t you to report it to site admin — where’s the link to do that!!!! Also when you need to access a service which you should already have available to you, you have to ask to have it activated – that can take 3 days before they possibly respond to your request.

    They want you as the student to invest your time to improve their services. It’s like they don’t recognize their own short falls in service provision.

    Then comes the neo nazis who mark your assignments- OMG. The indigenous lecturer whom marks you – and you use the word “they” talk about subjective marking.

    Don’t waste your time here at CSU. Don’t bother to stay onsite and expect to sleep either. The doors bang all night – although the food services are good.

  30. Sam
    | Reply

    I’m 1 semester off finishing a bachelor of social science (social welfare) through distance education, and I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with CSU. I’m not sure if the other comments here are shill comments, though I’d like to assume they’re not – in which case I guess it’s up to personal experience, and dependent of which course/degree you are studying. I believe the overall university environment has changed a lot over the past few years, something people should be blaming government/politics for, not the universities. Either way, that’s what census date is for, if you don’t like what you see – get out before you are charged. Just my 0.02.

    • Hayley
      | Reply

      Your opinion on Bach of social science

      Hi Sam I’m looking at doing the Bachelor of Social Science – welfare but after reading all the comments I’m having second thoughts.
      Can you advise your employment outcomes and your overall experience? Would you do it again? Many thanks

  31. AWL
    | Reply

    I am [not] pleased I am not the only one feeling this way. CSU has become a really dodgy university that plays dirty. I recommend anybody considering studying with them to do their research properly. The entire experience was similar to studying with one of those RTOs that the government is now committed to clean up. CSU is trying to make up a huge funding cut by manoeuvring around provision of quality education and shifting to international students. They just opened a Brisbane Campus targeting Asian students. The good days are over for domestic students. Most decent lecturers are gone, there is hardly any lecturers with English as first language left, the few that stayed tend to be locals with small-town attitude nowhere near the level of quality of teaching in Australian big cities. I was really disappointed with my choice.

  32. Brendon
    | Reply

    Hi guys,
    I did Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) mixed mode of delivery.
    Probably not the best university to study with… Assignments not returned on time… up to 3 weeks late. No communication with the staff, the field education was a frustrating time even tho my agency was great but the university was making the situation worse for me.
    You will feel like a number.
    cheers,
    Brendon

    • Mimi
      | Reply

      Masters of Social Work

      Thanks. I was thinking of doing the same course at CSU but now might look elsewhere 🙂

  33. CSU Student
    | Reply

    I’m studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and am very surprised at some of the negative reviews here- I have been extremely impressed with the university and find most, if not all, my lecturers and tutors to be very helpful and responsive.
    Additionally, I find the content of my subjects to be informative, challenging, and entertaining, and in most cases, FAR more impressive than the subjects I undertook at the University of Sydney.
    The interaction between distance students on the forums is wonderful, with people coming from diverse backgrounds, but all committed to their studies and to helping other students. Yes, in some cases there is little activity on the forums, but I think that has more to do with the number of students taking the course (apparently CSU is the biggest distance ed uni in Australia but I’m not sure how that can be, as a lot of my subjects have had <20 enrolled via distance, which is far less than, say, Deakin or UNE).
    So yes, my advice would be to take these reviews with a grain of salt- everyone has different experiences, some positive and some negative. And don't forget that often the people that take the time to write reviews have something to vent- those with a more positive experience don't bother! This is why, though I never write reviews on anything, I thought I'd add my $0.02 here, as this site is overwhelmingly giving CSU a bad rep- unfounded in my opinion! 🙂

  34. Kate
    | Reply

    I had a good experience with CSU in the psychology program. The lecturers were quick to respond to any queries and seemed to genuinely care about students.

  35. Claude
    | Reply

    I’m glad I found this site – was about to start the enrollment process, but it looks like I might need to do some further research before committing.

    Thanks to all the people that commented.

  36. Mark
    | Reply

    I am year three of my undergraduate course and I am NOT impressed. They advertise as one of the better universities where students get jobs upon graduation because of their ‘field education’. My field education placement wasn’t even in the profession that I am studying! When I tried to question that I was told I should be thankful “as placements are hard to come by”!!! They clearly couldn’t find me anything and I got placed into whatever. Don’t buy into their marketing as there is a big gap between what they promise and the reality. Also remember that majority of their local students are in rural NSW so they might be able to get jobs due to their demographics not because CSU is so great. CSU students can’t compete for work in major cities. I’ll leave it at that.

    • allan
      | Reply

      I’d like to add that CSU apparent statistics that show students get jobs upon graduation are skewed. They have a lot of mature age students and distance students who have plenty of experience already. My field education experience was like yours and it was useless for me and for my future career.

  37. Anis
    | Reply

    I have completed PhD from CSU and I am happy with the supports that university provided to me during my PhD.

  38. JohnF
    | Reply

    I graduated with CSU this year. I was a part-time student over 6 years. The first few years were great, and then I observed CSU go downhill at an accelerated speed. I lost my trust in their processes so much as that I decided to do my postgrad elsewhere.

  39. Jahid
    | Reply

    I am really honoured being a part of CSU. Good uni with skilled academicians and research fellows. All the best and go ahead.

  40. Peter
    | Reply

    I had the pleasure of completing a Bachelor at CSU several years ago and then went on to complete an Honours year. I found the teachers knowledgeable and engaging, with a broad range of industry experience and academic knowledge. I found the research staff fantastic to work with and was excited to take part in furthering the collective understanding of the field.

  41. Gemma
    | Reply

    I could not have any less positive things to say about CSU. I massively regret enrolling in this university. I am trying to transfer out.
    Avoid an arts degree from this uni at all cost. If you have [name withheld by moderator] as a lecturer for any subject consider it money down the drain. She is the epitome of an awful teacher. Disorganised, slow, rude, condescending. She behaves as though she is doing you a favour. Awful.

    • tom
      | Reply

      I am glad I am not alone! It feels that CSU staff have this perception that they are better than everybody else, yet it’s a low quality regional university.

      “Dear CSU you are going the wrong way around – first you have to have something to offer, then you can (maybe) justify acting as condescending snobs.”

      They have zero understanding of customer service. It’s like a communistic institution. I predict this uni will not survive competition in the near future.

  42. jsimoms
    | Reply

    Yep, I graduated from CSU last year and I agree with the negative comments above. Unfortunately it is true.. I would not study with this uni ever again. The rudeness factor and financial cunning are real problems.

  43. Anonymous
    | Reply

    Oh WOW, I am so happy I found this site! The other sites seem to have positive reviews for CSU that does not match my experience. I noticed the positive reviews tend to be few years old. This makes me think CSU has gone through some major changes. I heard they lost a lot of funding. I am currently studying social work and my experience is rather disappointing. Just as others stated here the academic staff are rude, in a refined way… manipulative and patronising type of rude and definitely unhelpful. The way they respond to questions is as if they are threatening so much so that I feel too afraid to ask about anything which is hard when you study by distance. I tried escalating some of the issues to the course coordinator and she just brushed me off without offering any acknowledgement of the problem or solution. They are clearly not coping with the number of students and this is reflected in attitudes towards the students. It’s quite awful. I have submitted two applications with other universities that offer social work externally, to start from July. I suppose it’s up to an individual to decide but I would not recommend this university, I don’t think studying has to feel that unpleasant. Lack of funding is one but people do not have to be rude.

  44. Anna
    | Reply

    My experience with CSU has been nothing short of a let down. I have studied with other universities and in comparison – CSU feels like a TAFE. The lecturers don’t care and rude to boot. I am studying distance and rather than actually answering a recent query and helping me, one of my lecturer’s told me to find someone I know with experience who could help me. Isn’t that what I am paying you for?
    My arts teacher is nothing short of frazzled, evasive and erratic. Half the time I’m not even sure what she is asking of us and when you read the course work there are constant contradictions and conflicting requirements. When you query these you are told ‘that was from a previous semester, ignore it’. Why is it IN THERE?? Overall the experience has been awful and I feel ripped off. I won’t be continuing with them but will transfer to another uni.

    • Maria
      | Reply

      Hi Anna, I feel you!

      I would recommend transferring now before you complete too many units as some of the staff at that uni are really primitive in their behaviour, you may have issues obtaining subject outlines and you will need those to obtain credits with your new uni for what you have completed at CSU. CSU is a joke, the staff are like kindergarten bullies with how they use and abuse their power over students just so they do not have to admit they are not delivering what they are paid for. Alternatively, make sure you save copies of all the subject outlines. Once you complete a unit they cut off your access to that subject online resources (something that many other universities do not do by the way) and you have to request them through various departments.

      The reason why I worn people is because CSU do not have reasonable complaint process (if you needed to go through it to access yours subject outlines). The student can escalate issues up to the Dean level and receive no real responses. They are very quick to send you a templated automatic email referring to CSU Ombudsman that is the doggiest system I heard of. The CSU Ombudsman is linked to CSU uni, people who work there know the CSU staff, it’s a small town, they are good friends and cover each other. They will take a very long time to come back to you so much so that you may be done with your qualification. The NSW Ombudsman sounds good and professional when you talk to them but they will not look at your case until you have first gone through CSU Ombudsman, which makes it a real trap. You are looking at 24 months! I am convinced that CSU staff and executives know that, which is why they act, as they could not care less about unhappy customers. Seriously, the longer you stay with CSU they deeper hole you will dig under yourself.

  45. FionaW
    | Reply

    I am currently with CSU, just started and I am already looking to change (studying SW), the academic staff are literally rude. I did not make it that far but I have few friends in rural NSW and I know they had bad experiences with field education (because of the university staff not the employers), the university even asked them to pay for the field educator (something like 30 buks for a day, but it’s 3 months!). They seem to promise a lot and not deliver. Not sure why I enrolled, I guess I just thought it was convenient. I am applying elsewhere now, hoping to start with another uni mid year.

  46. MG
    | Reply

    I would like to second the other student’s (Peter) disappointment with CSU.
    I was a student of social work with CSU for over 5 years, my GPA was 5.7 – 5.9 depending on a semester (academic expectations were not an issue for me) and I also decided to change universities as things got below any acceptable level.

    I decided to write this review to let students know that there are substantially better universities out there that are higher in world rankings (by few hundreds places), are cheaper (per unit), and staff employed treat students as if they were, in fact, paying for their course. Please do your research before accepting an offer.

    Peter used the comparison of CSU staff to child protection workers, I thought it was ironic as I have learned to think of them as Centrelink workers. Their attitude is as if providing education to students was some form of a free handout. Another reason it is quite ironic as a number of staff employed with CSU were, in fact, Centrelink, DOCs workers prior to their academic career that I think is strongly reflected in the overall culture and attitude towards students. There is also an unusually high number of lecturers, coordinators who used to work together elsewhere, are in relationships etc.… there is an obvious personal level integrity, lack of professionalism and conflict of interest – for you as a student that means, you will have nobody objective to escalate issues to and I guarantee there will be issues… They truly have no business acumen or any understanding of customer service. As a student with this university you will be treated with ignorance and minimal to no respect.

    To be fair, it was not always this way, I started with CSU in 2010 and something must have gone terribly wrong on the way, a restructure, new people got appointed into management and subject coordination roles, a number of decent lecturers left.

    Another issue is that CSU got really greedy, they have low intake criteria and take on way more students that they can handle. Unlike other universities they will never use a word ‘sorry’ and apologise for their inability to cope, mistakes or simply forgetting about students (sometimes for months), it will always be the student’s fault. The culture is to redirect the blame onto the student no matter what. I remember attending an information session during resi aiming to prepare students for their first placement and the subject coordinator said to students in the lecture room that it is the student responsibility to show they care and follow up on emails sent to the placement staff (?!). I don’t know about you but for most of employees in this country, whether they are employed in a private sector, not for profit or public sector the client or a customer needs to ask once and everything after that means that the staff are not doing their job properly and there are issues within their organisation. I don’t think CSU ever truly took on board the fact that students pay thousands of dollars and expect something back, that there is a competition between universities to attract and maintain students, and that deregulation may be around the corner. Whether you are a HECS, FEE-HELP or upfront CSU will take substantial amount of money from you by the time you complete your qualification. It gets better…if you do follow up you will be told you that you are too anxious or impatient, the course coordinator will try to make you feel guilty as they have “so many others students” they need to provide education to as well (SO MANY other students who are also paying ;-). I strongly believe their education registration should be reviewed. When it comes to HSS department and field education, myself and I know of others lost money, annual, long service leaves and entire academic years because CSU inability to provide what they are obliged to. Even basic stuff like when you email a marker a question about your assignment and you get an automatic response stating that the cost of grade review is $$ . There are situations when they will have faulty course structure and CSU won’t have any subjects available for you to get enrolled into in that particular teaching period – you will be asked to apply for the leave of absence – it’s quite unbelievable actually now that I am writing this, and that is just the brushing over the issues.

    At the same time there are universities out there thqt have a policy where lecturers are required to reply to students within 48 hours, that is electronically tracked and reviewed as a part of their performance, universities where student’s feedback and complaints are taken seriously and responses are provided not ignored, where students are given choice not limitations, universities that offer support, where when the smallest mistake is made you will, at the bare minimum, get to hear ‘we apologise for your inconvenience ”. I was shocked at the difference. Seriously, don’t get fooled by their marketing as they take no accountability for their promises, and take your money elsewhere.

    • Anonymous
      | Reply

      So spot on. Had exactly the same experience in nursing.

      Happen to be a mature student who had the privelege to attend London University. I know what a real uni looks like, feels like and sounds like. CSU is not in that league. Poor customer service beyond a joke, screaming shrews that claim to be professionals that get jacked off by placement inquiries, tall poppy syndrome, byzantine rules

  47. Ewan McDonnell
    | Reply

    Well I am close to completing a Bachelor of Computer Science which is possible through distance education or study on campus (note, you can’t mix modes however).

    I can only speak for my course but generally I found the experience positive. The staff will go out of their way to help you and you can generally find someone to give you a hand if need be. It does have the pitfall that all online study has of experiencing Robinson Crusoe syndrome. I also disliked that some areas such as Artificial Intelligence disappeared between beginning my degree and completing it. Hopefully something changes in future.

    On the downside it’s obvious that the university is struggling with the current funding regime and cracks are starting to show.

    Overall I found 90% of the staff easy-going and helpful and had a positive experience. I am speaking for the maths / computer science staff of course. 🙂

  48. Peter
    | Reply

    I would advise anybody considering studying at this university to think twice. The level of teaching and competencies of the staff employed there is really not up to standards. The culture is just awful, it felt like the academics were old style child protection workers. As if they never woke up to the fact it is 2015. When you attempt escalate issues they will try to mislead you in regards to your rights as a students. Remember CSU is a national university with a national registration number under TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency) and they are obliged to meet certain standards – unfortunately they are not. I ended up changing universities few years in when it became clear that CSU are quick at charging money but very slow at providing something in exchange.

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