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Methodology: Overview

We have developed a model of open centralisation. This means the survey will be administered centrally, with HE providers having near real-time access to responses and a significant stake in the survey's governance.

Contact methods and survey timing

  • The survey is a universal census covering all full-time and part-time students completing relevant higher education qualifications.
  • Graduates will be surveyed by telephone or online approximately 15 months after completing their studies. This timing gives graduates a meaningful opportunity to progress in their post-graduation activities, while still being close enough to the point of completing their studies that high response rates should be achievable.
  • There will be four surveys each year, beginning in December, March, June and September.

The timings for the proposed NewDLHE survey

Survey administration

  • NewDLHE will be administered by a central survey contractor, appointed and managed by HESA.
  • The central administration will include account managers for HE providers, who will work with the provider to personalise the delivery of the survey to their graduates.
  • HE providers will be expected to maintain and supply comprehensive and accurate contact details for their graduates.
  • NewDLHE will aim to exceed a response rate of 70% to enable publishing of granular data.
  • We will continue to use external coding frames to derive data about occupational and industrial classifications, and further study.

Optional question banks

There will be opportunities for HE providers to shape the survey to gain supplementary information about their graduates. This can be via:

  • Optional question banks approved via a governance process which can be asked at any point in the survey.
  • Bespoke question banks that HE providers can add to the end of the survey.

Updates June 2017

We consulted on the model in March/April 2017, and published a synthesis of consultation responses. We have also published a number of responses and clarifications on points raised by respondents, including points on methodology, survey timing, response rates, contact details, coding and the relationship between the HE provider, the survey contractor and HESA

For more information about the methodology, click here