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The end of NewDLHE: Introducing Graduate Outcomes

Graduates Destinations of Leavers

Over the last two years, we have been running our #NewDLHE review into the future of graduate outcomes data. In its scope and levels of engagement achieved, this has been by far the biggest review of outcomes data we have ever undertaken.

The feedback we received has given us a strong and pressing mandate to deliver our model for collecting graduate outcomes data.

Today marks the end of that review as we publish the responses to our recent consultation. This consultation invited feedback on our final model, a model which would enable us to collect meaningful, relevant and robust data on graduate outcomes, while realising efficiencies across the higher education sector.

The feedback we received has given us a strong and pressing mandate to deliver this model. Our current implementation plan sees the first survey running in December 2018, with the first data published in January 2020.

Introducing HESA’s newest collection

We are pleased today to introduce the Graduate Outcomes survey.

A new model requires a new name. We thought carefully about this as we knew the name would be crucial in securing engagement from graduates and in communicating the importance of the data. We are pleased today to introduce the Graduate Outcomes survey, which is part of our Graduate Outcomes collection.

I’ll be blogging again shortly about why we chose this name, and how it should be used (no acronyms, please). In its simplicity and meaningfulness, this new name marks a clear shift from our original First Destinations survey (1994-2001), and from the lengthy and much misspelt Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE or, frustratingly often, DHLE).

Implementing Graduate Outcomes: Governance, strategy and practicalities

While the name is important, there are other challenges to face as we put the theory behind the NewDLHE model into practice.

Implementing Graduate Outcomes is a shared responsibility

Implementing Graduate Outcomes is a shared responsibility. We are leading on the delivery of the collection, focusing on the procurement of a survey contractor and on developing the data specification. We are also working to define the financial model (following feedback from the consultation) and to secure support to cover the costs we will incur in transitioning to the new collection.

Alongside our activities, providers and data users can now start evaluating their processes and reflecting on the implications that Graduate Outcomes could have for them. We will support these reflections through regular project updates, while a new Graduate Outcomes JiscMail provides a forum to share best practice. We have also today published our first set of operational materials to support providers in understanding their roles and responsibilities.

Our governance model ensures that the development of Graduate Outcomes is overseen by the sector.

This shared responsibility is also reflected in the new collection’s governance model. This model ensures that the development of Graduate Outcomes is overseen by the sector. Today we’ve published an overview of the membership and key responsibilities of the Graduate Outcomes steering group – a body with members that reflect the sector’s diversity.

Farewell to #NewDLHE: Ending the review

The transition to the Graduate Outcomes survey marks the end of the #NewDLHE review (it’s #GraduateOutcomes from now on). Following the consultation, we have published a revised implementation plan and responses and clarifications to points raised. We’ve also initiated a new project to assess the financial implications of Graduate Outcomes, and are now drafting papers for the steering group to seek their advice on key issues raised (including on response rates and quality controls). Addressing these issues will form the basis of the group’s first meeting.

We are incredibly grateful for the input and insights we have received.

The NewDLHE review has been a significant endeavour. That it has reached this successful stage is a testament to the hard work of colleagues at HESA, but also to the engagement we have received from providers, users of the data, and those with a wider interest in graduate outcomes and the labour market. We are incredibly grateful for the input and insights we have received, whether through our consultations, at events, via email or during our review group meetings.

The wealth of knowledge and expertise that has been shared has enabled us to design an innovative and powerful model that will redefine how we understand and discuss graduate success and the value of higher education in the years to come.

HESA introduces #GraduateOutcomes - rich and reliable data on graduates' activities and perspectives.

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Rachel Hewitt

Rachel Hewitt

Implementation Manager - Graduate Outcomes