Privately educated gain £1,500 salary premium

Schooldays have an influence on graduate pay, according to report from Institute for Fiscal Studies

October 30, 2014

State school-educated graduates are earning significantly less than their privately educated peers, even when they are employed in the same roles, a report has found.

Part of the difference is explained by the fact that people who are privately schooled are more likely to attend “prestigious” universities and tend to study subjects that are more highly rewarded in terms of graduate earnings, according to the research published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

However, even among graduates who went to the same university, studied the same subject and left with the same class of degree, those who went to private schools still earn 7 per cent more than state-educated students three and a half years after graduation.

Earnings differences also persist within individual occupations, with private-school graduates earning 6 per cent more than state-school peers working in the same jobs. This is equivalent to about £1,500 extra per year, the report finds.

Across all graduates who are in work three and a half years after leaving university, those who attended a private school earned an average of 17 per cent more than those who did not.

“There is a pressing need to understand why private schooling confers such an advantage in the labour market, even amongst similarly achieving graduates, and why higher education does not appear to be the leveller it was hoped to be,” the report says.

Claire Crawford, assistant professor of economics at the University of Warwick and one of the authors of the report, said: “Education is often regarded as a route to social mobility. But our research shows that, even among those who succeed in obtaining a degree, family background – and in particular the type of school they went to – continues to influence their success in the workplace.”

The Nuffield Foundation-funded research looked at earnings data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s Destination of Leavers from Higher Education surveys of graduates who left university in 2007.

chris.parr@tesglobal.com

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry