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Definitions - Destinations of Leavers Longitudinal survey 2006/07


The DLHE Survey is carried out by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the central source for the collection and dissemination of statistics about publicly funded higher education in the UK. There are two stages to the survey. The first stage is a census of individuals who have completed higher education courses in the UK. This stage is carried out approximately six months after the courses end and is referred to as the Early Survey.

The second stage is a follow-up survey that looks at the destinations of leavers up to 3.5 years after they qualified. This stage is referred to as the Longitudinal Survey. The Longitudinal Survey, by contrast, is not a census survey but is instead based on a sample of the students who responded to the corresponding Early Survey.


Sample design

The 2006/07 DLHE Longitudinal Survey involved re-contacting a sample of leavers from the 2006/07 leaving cohort who completed an Early Survey questionnaire and inviting them to complete a follow-up questionnaire. There were 453,880 leavers eligible to take part in the census survey in 2006/07, of which 332,110 (73.2%) took part.

The Longitudinal Survey is based on two sub-samples of the 332,110 leavers who responded to the Early Survey in 2006/07. 70,960 leavers were selected from across all institutions over-sampling some groups of leavers in order to deliberately skew the survey. More detail of the groups over-sampled are given below. The rationale for the over-sampling was to ensure that the Longitudinal Survey would have sufficient numbers of graduates in key sub-groups to allow for separate statistical analyses of these groups. This cohort was known as Sample A and 29,340 responses were received. In addition 153,630 of the remaining 261,150 graduates for whom an email address was available were contacted (Sample B) resulting in a further 19,725 responses to the survey. After some work to determine if feasible to do so, it was agreed by IFF Research and HESA that it was possible to combine Sample A and Sample B for analysis purposes. The total number of responses is therefore 49,065. Of these 55 leavers had replied to the survey but the responses were not sufficiently complete in order to be counted as valid and have been excluded from all further analysis.

Data collection

The data have been collected using a mixture of postal, telephone and online questionnaires. The approach used depended on the contact details provided by the HE institution. The different modes were used sequentially:

  1. All leavers in Sample A with an email address were invited by email to complete an online questionnaire. A week after the initial email, a reminder was sent out with another reminder sent a few days later. A final reminder was sent towards the end of the collection period. The same approach was taken for all leavers in Sample B with an email address.
  2. Two weeks after the initial email, contact attempts were made by telephone for leavers in Sample A who had not responded and for whom a telephone number had been provided.
  3. The postal survey launched in two phases. The first mailing was sent to all leavers in Sample A who held only a postal address and no phone number or email. These were sent out a week after the initial emails. The second phase of the postal survey took place 10 weeks after the initial email with questionnaires sent to all leavers for whom a postal address was held as well as an email or phone number but had not already responded. A reminder letter was then mailed a month later.

Data collection was undertaken by IFF Research.

Questionnaire coverage

The questionnaire covered the following topics:

  • Main activity on 29 November 2010 (all leavers)
  • Details of current employment (leavers in employment)
  • Details of course and qualification aims (leavers in further study)
  • Other qualifications obtained since 2006/07 (all leavers)
  • Satisfaction with course taken in 2006/07 and career to date (all leavers)
  • Additional questions for those who completed a research degree in 2006/07 (not included in this report).


The HESA Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) target population contains all United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) domiciled students reported to HESA for the reporting period 1 August 2006 to 31 July 2007 as obtaining relevant qualifications and whose study was full-time or part-time (including sandwich students and those writing-up theses). Awards from dormant status are not included in the target population.

Relevant qualifications for inclusion in the DLHE return are postgraduate degrees, postgraduate diplomas and certificates, Postgraduate Certificates in Education (PGCE), first degrees (excludes intercalated degrees), Diplomas of Higher Education (DipHE), Certificates of Higher Education (CertHE), foundation degrees, Higher National Diplomas (HND) or Higher National Certificates (HNC). The population for the DLHE return does not necessarily represent the full cohort graduating during the reporting period; examples of those excluded are professional qualifications (e.g. associate membership or membership of a body such as the Institute of Bankers) and undergraduate diplomas and certificates (other than foundation degrees, HND, DipHE, HNC and CertHE).

The reference dates for this DLHE return were 16 April 2007 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 August 2006 and 31 December 2006) and 14 January 2008 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 January 2007 and 31 July 2007).

The DLHE Longitudinal Survey was based on two samples of the 332,110 students who responded to the 2006/07 Destinations of leavers from Higher Education Institutions survey (referred to as the ‘Early’ survey). Responses were received from 49,065 of the sample.

The reference date for the DLHE Longitudinal Survey was 29 November 2010.

Sample design

Sample A was a cohort of 70,960 leavers selected from across all institutions, but with some groups of leavers over-sampled relative to other groups. The numbers and percentages selected for the sample are given in the table below. Sample B, 153,630 leavers, was made up of any remaining leavers who responded to the Early survey and an email address was available for them.

Type of leaver Early DLHE respondent Sampled for DLHE long Proportion
Ethnic group
Black 12045 5020 41.7%
Asian 25150 5855 23.3%
Mixed 6100 4590 75.2%
Other ethnic group 2700 2700 100.0%
Research students
Doctorate and Masters (Research) 7350 7350 100.0%
Over sampling for English institutions
Higher National Certificate (HNC) leavers 1870 1870 100.0%
Higher National Diploma (HND) leavers 3575 2170 60.7%
Foundation degree leavers 8010 2615 32.6%
Sandwich - industrial placement 12935 6595 51.0%
Sandwich - year abroad 445 230 51.7%
FE-Initial Teacher Training (ITT) bursary 780 780 100.0%
Leavers in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) 10210 3610 35.3%
Unemployed in DLHE 2006/07 13015 5510 42.4%
Self-employed in DLHE 2006/07 7935 3355 42.3%
Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) 22710 1510 6.6%
Other* 153860 7695 5.0%
Over sampling for institutions in Wales
Wales domiciled 15560 6250 40.2%
Institutions in Wales 18400 4870 26.5%
Over sampling for institutions in Scotland
Scotland institutions 31505 8420 26.7%
Scotland domiciled 27835 7145 25.7%
Over sampling for institutions in Northern Ireland
Institutions in Northern Ireland 8625 5260 61.0%
Northern Ireland domiciled 10905 6625 60.7%
Total 332110 70960 21.4%

Rounding strategy

Due to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998, HESA implements a strategy in published and released tabulations designed to prevent the disclosure of personal information about any individual. These data are derived from the HESA non-statutory populations and may differ slightly from those published by related statutory bodies. This strategy involves rounding all numbers to the nearest multiply of 5. A summary of this strategy is as follows:

  • 0, 1, 2 are rounded to 0
  • All other numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5.

So for example 3 is represented as 5, 22 is represented as 20, 3286 is represented as 3285 while 0, 20, 55, 3510 remain unchanged.

This rounding strategy is also applied to total figures; the consequence of which is that the sum of numbers in each row or column will rarely match the total shown precisely. Note that subject level data calculated by apportionment will also be rounded in accordance with this strategy.

Average values, proportions and FTE values prepared by HESA are not affected by the above strategy, and are calculated on precise raw numbers. However, percentages calculated on populations which contain 52 or fewer individuals are suppressed and represented as '..' as are averages based on populations of 7 or fewer.

Base numbers shown in the tables and charts represent weighted populations and reflect numbers of leavers who answered particular questions in the survey, hence these may differ between charts and tables. Base numbers have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 5.

Percentages have been calculated on weighted data, but have been suppressed (and shown as ‘..’ in tabulations) if the unweighted underlying population is between 0 and 52 inclusive. Percentages in charts and tables are rounded to one decimal place, therefore percentages may not sum to exactly 100%.

Level of qualification obtained

Postgraduate includes doctorate degrees, masters degrees, higher bachelors degrees, postgraduate diplomas and certificates, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), and professional qualifications which usually require a first degree as an entry qualification.

Higher degree (research) includes doctorate and masters degrees studied primarily through research.

Higher degree (taught) includes doctorate and masters degrees not studied primarily through research.

In analyses where postgraduate level of study is disaggregated into postgraduate research and postgraduate taught, the following groupings are used:

Postgraduate research includes doctorate and masters degrees and postgraduate diplomas or certificates (not PGCE) studied primarily through research.

Postgraduate taught includes doctorate and masters degrees, postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M and postgraduate diplomas or certificates not studied primarily through research, including PGCE (unless shown separately) and professional qualifications.

First degree includes first degrees, first degrees with eligibility to register to practice (doctor/dentist/veterinary surgeon), first degrees with qualified teacher status (QTS)/registration with the General Teaching Council (GTC), enhanced first degrees and first degrees obtained concurrently with diplomas.

Other undergraduate qualifications are foundation degrees and all other higher education qualifications not included above which are within the scope of the relevant qualifications for the DLHE return.

In certain analyses highest qualification achieved and type of qualification are used. These also refer to the levels of qualification as defined above.

Mode of study

The qualification obtained mode of study used in HESA DLHE analyses re-allocates writing-up status student instance awards to their previous mode.

Full-time study includes instances where students are recorded as studying full-time (normally required to attend an institution for periods amounting to at least 24 weeks within the year of study), on thick or thin sandwich courses or on a study-related year out. This includes writing-up status where the mode of study was previously full-time and students changing to dormant status previously full-time.

Part-time study includes instances where students are recorded as studying part-time, or studying full-time on courses lasting less than 24 weeks, on block release or studying during the evenings only. This includes writing-up status where the mode of study was previously part-time, awards given to those on sabbatical and students changing to dormant status previously part-time.

Class of first degree

The classification of an undergraduate degree indicates the qualification class that the student obtained. Certain qualifications obtained at first degree level are not subject to classification of award, notably medical and general degrees. These, together with ordinary degrees, have been included within the unclassified category. Third class honours, fourth class honours and the pass category have been aggregated. Lower second and undivided second class honours have been aggregated.


Age is as at 31 July 2007.


Domicile data was supplied to HESA in the form of postcodes (UK domiciled students) or country codes. Postcodes were mapped to counties, unitary authorities and UK nations following consultation with Geoplan Postcode Marketing. Countries were mapped to geographical regions following consultation with the Department for Education and Skills. Where no data was supplied about the student’s domicile, fee eligibility was used to determine whether domicile was European Union, including the UK, or not.

United Kingdom (UK) domiciled students were those whose normal residence was in the UK, including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

Of those students who were not UK domiciled, other European Union (EU) domiciled students were those whose normal residence was in countries which were European Union members as at 1 December of the reporting period.

Subject of study and JACS codes

In 2002/03 a new subject classification was introduced called the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS). This subject classification looks similar to that previously published but has been devised in a different way. Therefore subject data is not comparable to that previously published. Full details of JACS can be found on our website.


Additionally, from 2002/03, a new procedure of apportionment has been introduced. Under apportionment, each headcount is, where necessary, divided in a way that in broad-brush terms reflects the pattern of a split programme. This is analogous to the use of FTE calculations, but should not be confused with them, since the splits used for apportionment are conventional rather than data-based.

For split programmes not involving an initial teacher training (ITT) component, the apportionment algorithm is as follows:

  • 50%:50% for a balanced two-way split
  • 66.667%:33.333% for a major/minor two-way split
  • 33.333%:33.333%:33.333% for a balanced three-way split.

ITT students at undergraduate level who also have a specialism subject recorded (typically, secondary ITT students) are apportioned 50% to the Education subject area and the remaining 50% is further apportioned according to the algorithm for non-ITT students. Where no subject other than education is recorded, or where the student is on a PGCE course, apportionment is 100% to the Education subject area.

Subject areas

HESA has defined nineteen subject areas in terms of JACS codes for reporting information broken down by subject. The subject areas give a useful broad-brush picture, and are as consistent as is practicable with those previously defined in terms of HESACODE. The subject areas do not overlap, and cover the entire range of JACS Principal Subjects. Further details have been outlined in the HESA Student circular 02/03 'Subject Areas and Related Issues'.

Region of institution

The allocation of an HEI to a geographical region is done by reference to the administrative centre of that institution. There may be students registered at HEIs who are studying in regions other than that of the administrative centre of the institution. HESA allocates HEIs to Government Office Regions as follows: North East, North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, London, South East, South West, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Although The Open University teaches throughout the UK, its administrative centre is located in South East England and is counted as a wholly English institution, unless shown separately.

The Standard Occupational Classification

In 2003 HESA adopted the new SOC2000 Standard Occupational Classification (which replaced SOC90), for comparability of sector data with other areas of the economy. A variant of the SOC2000 was created for the coding of occupational information collected in the DLHE surveys. The classification is termed SOC (DLHE) and details are available on the (HESA website).

The Standard Industrial Classification

The Standard Industrial Classification of economic activities (SIC) provides a framework for the collection, tabulation, presentation and analysis of data about economic activities. This version (SIC(92)) is aligned with similar classifications in all member states of the European Union and is obligatory in all cases where the UK is required to transmit to the European Commission statistics broken down by economic activity.

Standard industry codes for economic activity are used to describe the relationship between the inputs and outputs of such activity. In cases where multiple activities take place, classification usually relates to the single most important activity. In the case of Longitudinal DLHE statistics, this will usually be the most important activity undertaken by an employer (or self-employed person). Economic activities are measured by enquiring into the nature of an employer’s (or self-employed person’s) business.

Region of employment

This describes the location of the HE leaver's place of work. Data is supplied to HESA in the form of postcodes for employment in the UK or country codes. Postcodes are mapped to government office regions and UK countries using the National Statistics Postcode Directory.


This describes the HE leaver’s annual salary to the nearest pound before tax. Tables including salary data have been restricted to UK domiciled leavers in full-time paid work only (excluding self-employed) in the UK. Unknown salary and zeros have also been excluded from this data.

Employment circumstance and further study

In the Longitudinal survey leavers are able to report all the activities they are doing in relation to both employment and study on the survey date and then indicate which activity they considered to be their main activity. A matrix of possible outcomes is constructed. This matrix is used to define the key categories of outcomes such as employed and unemployed.

As leavers can report multiple activities in relation to employment circumstance and further study, it is possible to be involved in either employment only, further study only or employment and further study. Therefore where the terms employment and further study are used, it is important to note that:

  • Employment includes those in employment only, and those in both employment and further study
  • Further study includes those in further study only, and those in both employment and further study.

Matrix of standard categories for publication from Longitudinal DLHE

Employment circumstance Full-time study Part-time study Study mode unknown Not in study
Employed full-time in paid work D D D A
Employed part-time in paid work D D D B
Self-employed/freelance D D D A
Voluntary work/other unpaid work (including internships) D D D C
Employed mode unknown D D D H
Unemployed and looking for employment, further study or training E F F F
Engaged in study or training and not working E E E  
Engaged in study or training AND working as another activity D D D  
Creating a professional portfolio P P P P
Retired G G G G
Maternity leave G G G G
Travelling/break/gap year/time out G G G G
Housewife/homemaker/carer E E E G
Sick (short term) E E E G
Long-term sick E E E G
Other E E E O
Question not answered X X X X


A Full-time paid work only (including self-employed)
B Part-time paid work only
C Voluntary/unpaid work only (including internships)
H Employed mode unknown
D Work and further study
E Further study only
P Creating a portfolio
F Assumed to be unemployed
G Not available for employment
O Other
X Refusal or invalid response


Work only includes those leavers who reported that their main activity was full-time paid work (including self-employed/freelance), part-time paid work, employed with unknown mode, voluntary or unpaid work, and who were not also in study, training or research.

Work and further study includes those who reported that their main activity was either full-time paid work (including self-employed/freelance), part-time paid work, employed with unknown mode, voluntary or unpaid work and they were also in full-time or part-time study, training or research, or that their main activity was full-time or part-time study, training or research and they were also in full-time paid work (including self-employed/freelance), part-time paid work, employed with unknown mode, voluntary or unpaid work.


Assumed to be unemployed includes those students who gave their main activity as unemployed and looking for employment, further study or training.

Further study

Further study only includes those who gave their main activity as either in full-time or part-time study, training or research and were not engaged in any employment.

Institution mission group

Due to the sample size of the Longitudinal data it is not possible to provide data shown by institution. Instead institution mission groups are used in some tables. These groups are often formed on the basis of common interests, particularly towards research and education provision. The groups used within this report are as per July 2010 and are detailed below. It should be noted that Buckinghamshire New University is a member of both GuildHE and Million+ and has been included in both groups in any tabulations. These figures include an element of double counting and therefore group totals will not sum to the overall sector total. Any institutions not listed below are included in the All Other HEIs group in tables. Comparisons between mission groups should be interpreted with care due to differences in student populations and the overall teaching and research purposes of institutions in each group.

Russell Group

  • The Queen's University of Belfast
  • The University of Birmingham
  • The University of Bristol
  • The University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • The University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
  • King's College London
  • The University of Leeds
  • The University of Liverpool
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • The University of Manchester
  • The University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • The University of Nottingham
  • The University of Oxford
  • The University of Sheffield
  • The University of Southampton
  • University College London
  • The University of Warwick.

1994 Group

  • The University of Bath
  • Birkbeck College
  • University of Durham
  • The University of East Anglia
  • The University of Essex
  • The University of Exeter
  • Goldsmiths College
  • Institute of Education
  • The University of Lancaster
  • The University of Leicester
  • Loughborough University
  • Queen Mary and Westfield College
  • The University of Reading
  • Royal Holloway and Bedford New College
  • The University of St Andrews
  • The School of Oriental and African Studies
  • The University of Surrey
  • The University of Sussex
  • The University of York.


  • University College Birmingham
  • Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln
  • The Arts University College at Bournemouth
  • Buckinghamshire New University
  • University for the Creative Arts
  • University of Cumbria
  • University College Falmouth
  • Harper Adams University College
  • Leeds Trinity University College
  • The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
  • Newman University College
  • Norwich University College of the Arts
  • University College Plymouth St Mark and St John
  • Ravensbourne
  • Rose Bruford College
  • Royal Agricultural College
  • St Mary's University College
  • St Mary's University College, Twickenham
  • The University of Winchester
  • The University of Worcester
  • Writtle College
  • York St John University.


  • University of Abertay Dundee
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Bath Spa University
  • University of Bedfordshire
  • Birmingham City University
  • The University of Bolton
  • Buckinghamshire New University
  • The University of Central Lancashire
  • Coventry University
  • University of Derby
  • The University of East London
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • The University of Greenwich
  • Kingston University
  • Leeds Metropolitan University
  • London Metropolitan University
  • London South Bank University
  • Middlesex University
  • The University of Northampton
  • Roehampton University
  • Southampton Solent University
  • Staffordshire University
  • The University of Sunderland
  • Thames Valley University
  • The University of the West of Scotland
  • The University of Wolverhampton.

University Alliance

  • Aberystwyth University
  • Bournemouth University
  • The University of Bradford
  • University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
  • De Montfort University
  • University of Glamorgan
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • The University of Huddersfield
  • The University of Lincoln
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • The Manchester Metropolitan University
  • The University of Wales, Newport
  • The University of Northumbria at Newcastle
  • The Nottingham Trent University
  • The Open University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • The University of Plymouth
  • The University of Portsmouth
  • The University of Salford
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • The University of Teesside
  • University of the West of England, Bristol.

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