This week HESA released their latest data on performance indicators for UK institutions in terns of employment, essentially the outcome of the DLHE survey for those students who graduated in 2016.
Many will look at these with increasing interest – after all this is one of the indicators used in TEF, and so anyone who might be thinking or re-applying will look closely to see if changes here put them in a potentially better place.
Equally, this data will feed through onto next year’s league tables, so again university management teams will be calculating to see if this helps them climb the greasy pole of rankings.
From HESA’s page
The proportion of full-time first degree graduates in employment and/or further study continues to show a steady rise….This year has seen a slight fall in the proportion moving into employment only, with there being a rise in the percentage going into further study.
What is interesting is to see how institutions performed against their benchmark, and also to see who has changed significantly over the last year.
Looking at the tables, most institutions are close to their benchmark, and few are flagged as having a significant difference. However, there are those who are significantly below (indicated as -) and those significantly above (+) benchmark. Looking at the gap between indicator and benchmark, and also looking at performance in the previous year, we can try to see if these are institutions where employment is either always, good, always poor, or has changed significantly in the two survey years.
Playing with the data from HESA then for employment of full time students, we can see that some unis or colleges repeatedly miss their benchmark, for instance, UCB, Bolton.
Equally, Coventry, University of Arts Bournemouth, DMU, UWL and Wolverhampton repeatedly exceed their benchmark for employment, while Staffordshire shows a big jump, from being under benchmark last year, to being significantly above this year.
With the change to Graduate Outcomes instead of institutionally managed DLHE in future, one of the key variables – the localised interpretation of the survey methodology – will be removed, and we may see some realignment of data.
The continued rise of numbers going into employment and further study, overall is to be welcomed, but maybe with two caveats. This data does not show the numbers going into graduate roles. Secondly, we have to remember that employment is only one outcome of studying for a degree.