Graduate employment statistics

16 July 2009

Responding to the HESA performance indicators for graduate destinations in 2007/08, which show that approximately 19 out of 20 Russell Group graduates go on to work or further study within six months of graduation, the Director General of the Russell Group, Dr Wendy Piatt said:

“Although we are clearly in an extremely challenging period for the UK economy, Russell Group graduates can be confident that they are in a strong position to succeed in a highly competitive job market.

“The combination of teaching and research excellence in our universities creates the ideal learning environment for students, helping them develop crucial skills which make them more employable. Now more than ever, employers want graduates who are good at problem-solving, entrepreneurial and able to handle uncertainty.

“With very strong postgraduate provision – Russell Group institutions have 58% of PhD students and 22% of postgraduate taught students – we are well placed to meet increased demand for further degrees in this competitive jobs market.

“Russell Group university careers services continue to work hard with both traditional and non-traditional recruiters to ensure that as many opportunities as possible are made available to their students.”

Notes to editors

  1. The 2007/08 HESA performance indicators for graduate destinations show that 93% of Russell Group graduates are engaged in work or further study six months after graduation. The 2007/08 performance indicators for research outputs show that Russell Group universities account for 58% of all PhDs awarded in the UK and secure twice as much research contract funding per academic staff cost than the rest of the sector
  2. Graduates earn, on average, 20-25% more than people who did not go to university. This represents approximately £160,000. Research has shown this figure is quite a bit higher for people who went to a Russell Group university, with a further salary ‘top-up’ of around 10%.
  3. Research undertaken by the Centre for Economics of Education identified an average wage top-up of nearly 10% (9.4%) for a graduate from a Russell Group university compared to a graduate from a modern university. This statistic comes from an OLS linear estimation technique, which controls for individual characteristics including A-level scores, parental background, the school the individual attended among other factors affecting wages. “Does it pay to attend a prestigious university?” Arnaud Chevalier and Gavan Conlon, March 2003, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE (table 5 for the 1995 cohort, page 29).
  4. In response to the economic downturn and to help their graduates prepare for the difficult job market Russell Group universities are offering a range of scholarships for postgraduate students. For example:
  • University College London UCL is offering its current undergraduate students (due to graduate in 2009) a £1,000 discount on tuition fees if they go on to study one of the university’s taught Masters programmes in 2009/10.  Students enrolling for part-time study will receive an equivalent part-discount on their fees.
  • University of Edinburgh The Graduate Discount scheme, which came into effect from the 2007-08 academic session, offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees for all alumni who have graduated with an undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh.
  • The University of Manchester The Business School is offering a 20% tuition fee discount for MBA students.

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