Survey uncovers pay inequality among Scots and English graduates

May 14, 2004

Men who graduate from English universities earn more than their Scottish counterparts, whether they work north or south of the border, research suggests.

But the academics behind the findings warn that it would be "premature" to conclude that employers value English university degrees more highly than Scottish ones.

Robert Wright of Stirling University's department of economics and Mark Taylor of Essex University's Institute of Social and Economic Research studied data from the British Household Panel Survey, including which universities graduates had attended.

They found that, on average, in Scotland, a male Scottish graduate earned about £15 an hour compared with £21 for an English graduate.

South of the border, Scottish graduates earned an average £17 an hour compared with £18 for English graduates.

But Professor Wright said that more research was needed before any conclusions could be drawn.

* Scottish graduates are to be asked how important their degree classification has been in getting them where they are today.

The survey will form part of a review of degree classifications in Scotland being held amid concerns that the current system of firsts, seconds and thirds has had its day.

The survey will be carried out by Jane Denholm, director of the public policy consultancy Critical Thinking, in conjunction with market research company Mori, over five years.

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