Russell Group dominates UK’s graduate employment charts

Elite universities top newly-released tables for graduate employment rates, official data shows

August 11, 2017
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The UK’s research-intensive universities are most likely to boast the highest levels of graduate employment, according to new figures that show about nine out of 10 graduates are in work or further study three and a half years after leaving university.

Some 93 per cent of 2012-13 graduates were working or undertaking further study in the winter of 2016-17, according to the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Longitudinal survey, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

A total of 87.5 per cent of UK-domiciled graduates were in employment, including those combining work and further study, while 5.8 per cent were in further study, according to the poll of about 107,000 graduates.

Of those working, 84 per cent were in professional jobs, while those in full-time employment had a median salary of £27,000 after three and a half years, Hesa says. That fell to £25,500 when those who completed full-time degree for the first time in 2012-13 were considered.

Just 2.2 per cent were assumed to be unemployed – significantly lower than the 6.7 per cent rate for the same respondents when they answered the survey six months after graduation, the survey reveals. Of the same cohort, 79 per cent were in employment six months after graduation – a figure that rises to 87.5 per cent three years later.

Some 88 per cent of those polled also say that they are satisfied with their career to date, with 76 per cent stating that their degree had prepared them well for their career, while 65 per cent agreed that their course had been good value for money.

Hesa has also published a breakdown of graduate employment data by institution and university mission group for the first time.

Durham University has the highest graduate employment rate of any UK university, with 97.9 per cent of its graduates in work or further study three and a half years after graduation. It is closely followed by the University of Warwick and the University of St Andrews (both 97.7 per cent) and Lancaster University (97.6 per cent).

Of the 25 universities with the highest graduate employment rates for first-time degree holders, including further study, 15 are from the Russell Group, the 24-strong group of research intensive universities.

Several small and specialist institutions also do well on employment rates, including Harper Adams University and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, which both recorded scores of 97.7 per cent when it came to the proportion of their graduates in work or further study.

The overall score for Russell Group universities for graduates in employment or further study is 95.4 per cent. Those within the University Alliance group of business-facing universities score 93.7 per cent on this metric, while the figure for MillionPlus, which represents modern universities, is 91.4 per cent. GuildHE, which represents specialist institutions, scores 93.3 per cent.

Figures show that the median salary for graduates from the Russell Group was £30,000 after three and a half years compared with £27,000 nationally.

Those with the lowest post-graduation employment rates include the Open University (84.9 per cent), the University of East London (85.7 per cent) and the University of Bolton (85.8 per cent).

jack.grove@timeshighereducation.com

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Reader's comments (1)

So actually 50% of the top four NOT in Russell group (St Andrews and Lancaster).

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