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Additional resources and frequently asked questions

Additional resources

We have produced a video and slide deck to support you with raising awareness of the Graduate Outcomes survey internally. Each provides an overview of Graduate Outcomes and act an ideal introduction to the survey.

Video: Overview of Graduate Outcomes


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Slide deck: Overview of Graduate Outcomes

Frequently asked questions

What is my Graduate Outcomes population?

HESA will provide information which sets out who falls in the Graduate Outcomes population. More information about what will make up this population file is available in the coding manual. The data collection schedule sets out when this will be made available.

What contact details must we collect?

The contact details coding manual sets out what contact details must be collected.

Can we return LinkedIn details?

In recent discussions on Jiscmail, we have been asked to explore the feasibility of collecting LinkedIn accounts for use by the survey contractor as a contact method.

There is a good rationale for collecting LinkedIn details: LinkedIn is a professional platform where many providers have established strong alumni communities. Engagement within these communities is proving to be higher for some providers than engagement achieved through emails.

However, we have opted not to include LinkedIn in our contact details specification. There are a number of data protection and security issues raised about storing and using LinkedIn accounts. There would also be considerable burden (both financially and administratively) for the survey contractor to administer contact through LinkedIn with users who they are not directly connected with. Finally, we cannot be certain that LinkedIn uptake is consistent across different providers, different courses and different post-study pathways.

We do, however, see the value of communities built on LinkedIn (and other professional platforms such as Aluminati). We will be expecting the survey contractor to maintain a presence on LinkedIn – to provide shareable content promoting the survey. Providers are also encouraged to use it to support their efforts to maintain accurate contact details, and to promote the survey once the contact period begins.

When do we have to return data?

The data collection schedule sets out when data must be returned.

Is the collection of contact details for Graduate Outcomes consensual?

No. Contact details are collected and returned to HESA under public interest grounds, not on the basis of consent. More information is available in the data protection guidance.

What materials are available to help me promote graduate outcomes to students?

We have worked with a design agency to develop brand materials for Graduate Outcomes.

How should I refer to Graduate Outcomes?


The name is Graduate Outcomes. When referring to the record, the survey or the data collected by the record, capitalise Graduate Outcomes. If you are referring to general data, use lower case. For example:

  • Graduate Outcomes is HESA’s newest record.
  • The Graduate Outcomes survey collects information on the activities and perspectives of graduates.
  • The first Graduate Outcomes collection will be C17071.
  • The first Graduate Outcomes data will be published in January 2020.
  • HESA publishes data about students, staff and graduate outcomes.

Arolwg Hynt Graddedigion is the Welsh version. We are doing further work on how we will write about the survey in Welsh materials.


We do not foresee a need to shorten Graduate Outcomes, and so we are not going to introduce a new acronym.

Where a shortening is absolutely necessary, it should be sufficient to use just ‘the record’, ‘the ‘survey’, or ‘the data’. If clarity is needed, use ‘outcomes’. For instance:

  • Graduate Outcomes data will be published in January 2020. The data will be released on…
  • The Graduate Outcomes record captures details of graduates’ activities 15 months after completing their studies. The record comprises a survey and the return of contact details.
  • We return data to the Student, Staff and Graduate Outcomes streams. The outcomes data is returned four times a year...

We may allow the use of ‘the GO survey’ to brand and promote the survey to graduates if we feel this will enhance engagement. But this is the only scenario in which the ‘GO’ acronym should be used.

Where can I find data protection guidance on how to use contact details collected for Graduate Outcomes?

We have produced data protection guidance to support providers with the collection and use of contact details.

How will the coding processes work (for SOC and SIC)?

The contractor will be required to identify opportunities for efficiencies in coding through automation, however these must not impact on the quality of the data collected. All coding will be done through a mixture of automation and manual coding/checking. For information on how to view the codes being applied, see Analysis of data (dashboards)