Jobs out of context

January 28, 2000

The graduates-assumed-unemployed figure you quote for the University of East London ("Oxbridge tops table in student success", THES, January 21) was extracted from Higher Education Statistics Agency figures without context.

The HESA statistics exclude everyone who is not a United Kingdom-domiciled graduate. Overseas students (about 10 per cent of UEL's student body) and those who have studied on, for example, HND programmes, are not shown. Almost a quarter of our graduates go on to further study (including HND holders who proceed to degree programmes).

The Institute for Employment Research at the University of Warwick reported in November 1999 that graduates from new universities are no more likely to be unemployed than those from traditional institutions - this despite a higher proportion of mature students (60 per cent approximately at UEL), and in our case, a large number of students from minority ethnic communities, who still experience a measure of employers' prejudice against them. In any event, after three years only 2 per cent of all graduates are still unemployed.

Frank Gould Vice-chancellor University of East London

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