Graduate earnings

13 April 2016

Commenting on research into graduate earnings published today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), Russell Group Director General Dr Wendy Piatt said:

“We welcome the IFS report’s finding that a university education provides an earnings premium for most graduates when compared with non-graduates.

“Russell Group universities aim to instil both independence and rigour of thought and learning; we produce graduates with deep subject knowledge and robust analytical skills but who are also creative and entrepreneurial problem-solvers.  It is a model that ensures our students have the best chance of success in the global employment market - 11 of the top 50 universities in the world, as ranked by employers, are Russell Group universities.

“Ensuring our doors are wide open to talented and able students from all backgrounds really matters to Russell Group universities. And real progress has been made with big increases in the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds attending our universities.

“But we are far from complacent. Our universities invest a huge amount of time, effort and resources into improving the situation, but they cannot solve this problem alone. There are still far too many children from disadvantaged backgrounds underachieving at school and receiving poor advice and guidance. It will take time, commitment, and sustained action from a range of agencies to raise pupils' aspirations, increase attainment and improve the advice and guidance offered.

“Going to university can be a great experience for the majority of students and a springboard to a successful and rewarding career."

Notes to Editors

  1. According to the QS World University Rankings 2015, 11 of the top 50 universities in the world, as ranked by employers, are Russell Group universities.
  2. Department for Education destination data published in January showed that the number of students eligible for free school meals going to Russell Group universities has increased every year since 2010. In 2013, of those school-leavers eligible for free school meals progressing to UK higher education, almost 13% (1820) went on to study at a Russell Group university, up from 7.5% (910) in 2010.
  3. In 2016-17, the 20 Russell Group universities in England alone will be investing £243 million in scholarships, fee waivers, bursaries and outreach activities aimed at the most disadvantaged – with additional investments being made across the devolved administrations.
  4. The Russell Group Opening Doors report and accompanying films examine the root causes of under-representation of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and gives examples of what Russell Group universities are doing to help tackle the problem.

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