Assuming you are studying in Sydney if you've mentioned Billy Blue.
I would take a look at each of their courses incl. the kind of lecturers they have, whether they are still active in the industry. Also look at the students work/portfolios.
Might also want to consider class sizes, equipment availability, cost, location etc etc. If you can try and visit as many of the campuses/open days/exhibitions as you can so you can get a feel for them and maybe talk to the lecturers
At the end of the day pretty much all the courses around these days will should be giving you a grounding in the basics and the rest will be up to you once you graduate.
I've seen quite a few graduates portfolios over the years and I personally think there isn't much separating students work from colleges/unis X, Y or Z. A possible aspects which may separate them for you is whether they are active in helping you find work experience as part of your studies and helping you after.
Enmore TAFE is also an option if you can get in. Which uni's are you looking at?
Are design colleges, certificate diplomas like TAFE? How do they match up to uni degrees in value?
I went to uni, I thought my degree sucked and I have learnt most of my skills on my own or on the job, but having a degree meant I could go work overseas without too many visa dramas. That may be something you would want to take into consideration?
Will be attending open days & speaking to people that have been in the industry. I only really had one university in mind which was UTS, Just being realistic with the chances of me getting into UTS are quite small. I've heard good things about enmore but do they offer a bachelor or only as far as Adv Dip?
"GeorgeNova" - How was your time at BB & where are you at with your career if you don't mind me asking? "I was speaking to one of the career advisers from BB and they mentioned that there graduates have a 97% (around that figure) rate of finding a job afterwards.
Choose Billy Blue - but from anecdotal experience, the ~97% figure quoted is bullshit.
Assuming you are an "average" student designer + seeking a commercial career as a designer; The culture of the design college will mean far more than the individual lecturers and course content.
The culture of the design college will dramatically shape your folio, which will help land you your first gig. Of course, that's only half the battle. The other half is your own personal self-development, and initiative to self-learn outside of your course.
As an outsider looking in at grads from each Sydney institution:
- COFA culture - forget it. They don't understand how the commercial real world exists. Too conceptual and artistic for commercial purpose. Many but not all grads can also be as annoying as f**k.
- UTS culture - it's ok, but can improve by further helping refine students' works.
- UWS culture - Good environment, but a bit hit and miss. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Tends to help foster those with self-drive + "natural talent", but leaves behind those who needed a lot of work.
- TAFE Enmore culture - Good environment. You should consider this as an option. Good mix of conceptual + commercial consideration.
- CATC - (note: owned by Think Education, who also own Billy Blue + Seek.com.au - oh the irony). Courses are probably better suited as a "top up" - shorter courses can achieve little if you're after a solid education - rather than a piece of paper.
- Billy Blue culture - traditionally has been commercially + industry friendly. Grads have had folios which tend to be more refined than other institutions. "Average" + "lesser skilled" designers get lifted by attending here. Those who are naturally driven + talented will always prosper, and they get a chance to shine here. Swede international students however are unfairly treated as gods, at the suffering of local students.
- Tractor: Early days yet, but it's backed by industry players + respected educators who know their stuff. Ignore the haters who get butt-hurt about the perceived elitism. Us Aussies unfortunately like to try to cut down tall poppies. If you want to really want to succeed - be hungry and go for the best. (note you'll need 1+ year in another college first i think).
The above is just my opinion based on anecdotal experience. If you're thinking of taking offence, it's not intended to be personal - apologies in advance.