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Update on Graduate Outcomes data and league tables

At HESA, a key part of our work on Graduate Outcomes is ensuring that league tables, like the wider higher education sector, understand the Graduate Outcomes survey data and the key differences from the Destination of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE).

As we head into the new academic year, we wanted to update you on our engagement with the publishers of the main league tables in the UK.

It’s important to clearly state HESA’s role in engaging with league tables – we do not advise on how to construct tables nor any constituent measures. We  do, however, endeavour to ensure that league table producers have all the necessary information to enable them to make informed choices about how they utilise HESA data responsibly.

League table compilers, like all data users, have access to the statistical outputs when they are published. They don’t have any pre-release access but typically make requests for bespoke data sets, rather than using published data. These are now provided by Jisc as a processor for HESA, under terms determined by HESA.

Over the past few months, in collaboration with our colleagues at Jisc, Jonathan Waller (Director of Data and Innovation) and I met virtually with the three main league table producers: The Guardian, The Complete University Guide and the Good University Guide (£).

We talked through the background to the new Graduate Outcomes survey, highlighting the key differences from its predecessor, DHLE. We  explored key concepts such as our approach to partial responses, definition of activities, use of Standard Occupation Classification codes, salary and graduate voice questions.

We found these conversations to be very positive and productive. We now look forward to seeing Graduate Outcomes data being used effectively to help prospective students make important choices about their future studies.

Find out more about Graduate Outcomes or access the statistical outputs from the first survey of graduates from the 2017/18 academic year.


Rebecca Mantle

Rebecca Mantle

Head of Official Statistics