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Steering group summary - 25 September

The Graduate Outcomes steering group met for the first time on the 25 September.

The first area of discussion for the group was the terms and conditions of the group. The group suggested some amendments to these, and the steering group webpage has been updated to reflect this.

The group discussed the standards and quality requirements that would be required by the survey contractor, including training of the telephone callers, expertise in survey methodologies and what the measures of success should be. The outcomes of these discussions are feeding into the procurement specification.

Response rates were discussed for a range of groups, and methods of dealing with non-response were considered. Discussion included the viability of using third party responses within the new methodology. It was agreed that more analysis was required before inviting the group to take a view on whether third party responses from HE providers should be included in the Graduate Outcomes survey. HESA are also carrying out some further work more widely on response rates, for the steering group to advise which rates which could be set for a range of groups, including part time and international students.

The split of roles and responsibilities between the provider, the survey contractor and HESA were considered. It was recommended HESA should be less prescriptive in setting the promotion/contact detail expectations for providers. HESA will publish more information on the roles and responsibilities of providers later this year to address this.

Expertise was shared on the process for coding data, which will feed into the procurement specification. The feasibility of running a pilot was discussed, and it was decided that due to the timings it was not necessary to run a pilot, but steps should be taken to ensure the survey contractor had undertaken a full testing programme, for example load testing the online survey platform.