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Survey timing

These are our responses and clarifications to issues raised about the survey timing in our consultation.

How will the survey design ensure that postgraduate students at the end of their course, but who are still registered students on a programme of further study, are correctly identified?

We have developed a timeline that will account for all possible outcomes from higher education (HE). In the case of Master’s students, we anticipate most will still be formally registered on their degree so they will report that as their main activity. 

For those graduates not still registered on the course, we will have questions in the survey to help us capture their completed studies and future activity. There will be a question asking graduates if they have completed further study in the last year, and another question asking if they will start a further course or employment in the coming month (which would capture anyone in limbo between completing an Master’s course and starting a PhD or starting work). 

Are the census weeks themselves part of the data collection period, or is all data now collected after the census week is complete?

The census week forms part of the contact period, so data will start being collected during that week.

What measures are in place to ensure that the graduate knows that the survey is about study they completed 15 months ago rather than the course they may have just completed (possibly at another institution)?

The survey will make use of piping to clarify this. We will input the course that the graduate is being surveyed about into the survey to make it clear to them what course we are asking about.

To what extent will this be aligned with the census dates proposed in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)?

We have set census dates that we believe are the most appropriate points to capture the diversity of graduate outcomes. We have also aimed to set points that are future-proof and not linked to current models of provision.  We have kept the TEF working group informed of our proposals.

We currently have difficulty getting responses from graduates with a professional qualification i.e. same job before/after qualification whilst studying. With the survey moving to 15 months, should these graduates still be included in NewDLHE population?

The survey is universal and so we believe these should remain part of the population. We will consider how we can route these graduates through the survey in a way which is more appropriate to them, and/or adapt the question wording for their circumstances.

Why did you decide on 15 months?

The crucial factor in selecting 15 months is to obtain the most useful information about transitions into the labour market following graduation, while retaining a sufficiently high response rate. See Rachel Hewitt’s blog for further information.

Is there going to be a cohort of graduates who are missed?

No – we’ll be capturing everyone who graduates from universities/colleges (just some people a little later than we would with the current DLHE model). The cohort of graduates from the 2017/18 academic year will be the first to receive the NewDLHE survey.