STUDENTS at CQUniversity are disappointed the institution has had its rankings downgraded in the latest edition of the Good Universities Guide.
The university, which has a campus in Bundaberg, has been significantly downgraded in four areas for the guide's 2013 edition - teaching quality, generic skills, overall satisfaction and starting salaries.
CQUni Student Association president Brendan Kirkman said he felt the university was trying to keep the result from students and the public.
"Usually at this time of year, the uni is busy spruiking its latest five-star rating and this year they've been unusually quiet," Mr Kirkman said.
"Then I picked up a copy of the 2013 guide and I saw why."
Mr Kirkman said the information was important for both current and prospective students.
"The uni needs to justify these results," Mr Kirkman said.
"High school students are making decisions on whether to study regionally or move to Brisbane, and this information is important."
CQUniversity corporate communications editor Marc Barnbaum said the university preferred to focus on positive news.
"The star ratings are published by the Good Universities Guides and we're not stopping the information getting out," he said.
Mr Barnbaum said the university was proud to have retained five-star ratings in fields such as indigenous participation, access by equity groups, gender balance, cultural diversity and non-government earnings.
He said while some of this year's results were disappointing, particularly in graduate satisfaction and graduate starting salary, lower ratings in these areas may have been due to lower response rates from graduate surveys and a lag in data collection.
Good Universities Guide education data manager Ross White said data was missing from 2010 that would potentially have affected the rankings.
"The most recent data we have collected from CQUni was from 2011 and 2009," Mr White said.
Another fact Mr White believed would have affected the data was that no results were collected for the field of engineering.