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Graduate Outcomes steering group

Open centralisation will include a transparent approach to governance to maintain the confidence of funders and users of the survey, including HE providers.

A key aspect of this approach is the steering group we are currently establishing to advise HESA through the implementation phase of the Graduate Outcomes survey, and into business as usual.

Implementation phase

The main role of the group through the implementation phase will be to advise HESA on the development of the record, including:

  1. The nature of the survey questions
  2. The proposed survey methodology
  3. The procurement process
  4. Whether graduates are being over-surveyed
  5. Quality assurance, including coding activities and target response rates
  6. Actions required following the cognitive testing
  7. Terms of reference of potential audit reviews of the survey contractor
  8. Lessons learnt from the post-implementation review following the first full survey cycle
  9. Issues arising from HESA’s ongoing Privacy Impact Assessment relating to the survey.

The group will also be required to act as advocates for the Graduate Outcomes survey, which may include promoting the survey within their organisation/professional community or speaking at events.

Business as usual phase

We will review the remit and role of the steering group once we have completed the implementation of the Graduate Outcomes record.


The steering group will reflect the diversity of the UK HE sector. The group will include both HE providers and HESA statutory customers and membership from:

  • Across all countries of the UK
  • HE providers of different sizes and type of provision
  • Different roles within HE providers, including planners and careers advisors.

Individuals on the group will be expected to draw on their own knowledge and experience and that of their employing organisation to provide advice to HESA to support the successful implementation of Graduate Outcomes. Members will advise in the best interests of the HE sector.

Those listed below have been approached to be members of the steering group.

Representative Organisation

Richard Puttock

Higher Education Funding Council for England

Steve Williams

Higher Education Funding Council for Wales

Denise Jones

HESA (as a data user)

Robin Kirby

Falmouth University

Nicola Kivlichan

Edinburgh Napier University

Ravi Kumar

London School of Management Education

Michael MacNeill

Department for Education (Northern Ireland)

Naomi Oosman-Watts

Newcastle University/Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services

Kenny Wilson

Scottish Funding Council

Mike Wilson

Bangor University

Matthew Andrews 

Association of Heads of University Administrators

Keith Zimmerman

Open University

Claire Callendar

UCL Institute of Education and Birkbeck University

Sue Rigby

University of Lincoln

Alan Roberts


Gareth James



Members of HESA Staff

The steering group will be chaired by HESA’s Director of Data Policy & Governance.

Meetings will be held quarterly, although the group is likely to be asked to input via email more regularly. The membership will be kept under regular review.

Agenda for the first meeting

During the NewDLHE consultation a number of key areas were identified as requiring further consideration.  The following issues are likely to be considered at the first meeting of the steering group:

  1. What response rate should be set as targets for groups other than UK full-time undergraduates, including institutional responses, part-time students and international students? Note: The intended response rate has been set as 70% for UK full-time undergraduates.
  2. How can equity of treatment of HE providers be ensured, while also reflecting the different characteristics of HE providers and graduate cohorts?
  3. What are the main quality considerations we should embed in the data collection?
  4. What standards and quality requirements should the survey contractor be required to meet in undertaking the survey?
  5. What issues or problems can be foreseen in the operation of the survey? How does the steering group suggest these issues could be managed?
  6. What are the most important issues to be considered in the specification for procurement of the survey contractor?