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Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom for the academic year 2003/04

Statistical First Release SFR89

Introduction

This Statistical First Release (SFR) has been produced by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), in collaboration with Department for Education and Skills (DfES) statisticians. It provides details of the destinations of leavers from higher education (HE) who obtained qualifications in higher education institutions (HEIs) in the United Kingdom (UK), during the academic year 2003/04. The data presented draws on the 2003/04 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record.

Key Points

Note that for the DLHE survey leavers separately report activity regarding work and study, thereby providing a matrix of circumstances for analysis. (Reference Definition 2.)

First degrees

  • In 2003/04, of the 187,900 (2002/03:182,300) full-time first degree graduates whose destination was known, 63% (117,900) were in employment only, the same percentage as 2002/03; 9% (16,300) were in a combination of work and study, compared to 8% in 2002/03; 16% (30,200) were involved in further study only, the same as in 2002/03; and 7% (12,300) were assumed to be unemployed, the same as in 2002/03. (Reference Table 1.)
  • Of the full-time first degree graduates whose destination was known and reported as being in employment, 96% (129,100) did so in the UK (this includes the UK element of the combination of work and study figure reported in Table 1), this was the same percentage as in 2002/03. (Reference Table 1.)
  • In 2003/04, 28% (2002/03: 26%) of these posts were classified as Associate Professional and Technical Occupations, 25% (2002/03: 25%) as Professional Occupations, 17% (2002/03: 18%) as Administrative and Secretarial Occupations and 11% (2002/03: 11%) as Sales and Customer Service Occupations. (Reference Table 4.)
  • Subjects of study Unemployment rates for full-time first degree graduates varied between subjects, ranging from those which have traditionally low rates of unemployment, such as Medicine & dentistry (0%), Subjects allied to medicine (3%) and Education (3%), to 10% for Creative arts and design and 11% for Computer science. (Reference Table 3.)
  • Salary Although salary information is not available in the SFR tables, it can be noted that, of those first degree graduates (both full-time and part-time) whose destination was known, and reported as being in full-time employment only, in the UK in 2003/04, 48% disclosed their salary. The median salary reported (to the nearest thousand) was £17,000, the same as in 2002/03. The average salary (to the nearest thousand) was £18,000, compared to £17,000 in 2002/03. Such destinations include all jobs reported by leavers from HE.
  • Part-time In 2003/04, of the 19,200 part-time first degree graduates whose destination was known, 66% (12,700) were in employment only, the same as in 2002/03; 17% (3,300) were in a combination of work and study, compared to 16% in 2002/03; 6% (1,100) were involved in further study only, the same as in 2002/03; and 3% (600) were assumed to be unemployed, compared to 4% in 2002/03. (Reference Table 2.)
  • Further study Of those first degree graduates (both full-time and part-time) whose destination was known, and reported as further study (including those in a combination of work and study) in 2003/04, 30% (2002/03: 32%) were undertaking a taught higher degree course. 22% (2002/03: 22%) were undertaking a postgraduate diploma or certificate. 16% (2002/03: 15%) were undertaking a professional qualification, and 8% (2002/03: 8%) were undertaking a higher degree by research. (Note: this detail is not available in the SFR tables.)

Other undergraduates

  • In 2003/04, of the 32,000 leavers (both full-time and part-time) who obtained undergraduate diplomas and certificates (including Foundation Degrees) and whose destination was known, 57% (18,100) were in employment only, compared to 53% in 2002/03; 18% (5,800) were in a combination of work and study, compared to 19% in 2002/03; 19% (6,100) were in further study only, compared to 22% in 2002/03; and 3% (800) were assumed to be unemployed, the same as in 2002/03. (Reference Tables 1 and 2.)
  • Foundation Degrees In 2003/04, of the 2,000 (2002/03: 800) Foundation Degree graduates (both full-time and part-time) whose destination was known, 36% (700) reported their first destination as employment only, compared to 31% in 2002/03; 26% (500) were in a combination of work and study, compared to 24% in 2002/03; 33% (700) were involved in further study only, compared to 40% in 2002/03; and 3% (100) were assumed to be unemployed, compared to 4% in 2002/03. (See Definition 4.) (Note: this detail is not available in the SFR tables.)

Postgraduates

  • Of the 74,000 former postgraduate students (both full-time and part-time) whose destination was known, 77% (56,800) were in employment only, compared to 76% in 2002/03; 10% (7,400) were in a combination of work and study, compared to 12% in 2002/03; 6% (4,200) were involved in further study only, the same percentage as in 2002/03, and 4% (2,800) were assumed to be unemployed, compared to 3% in 2002/03. (Reference Tables 1 and 2.))

Teacher training

  • Although not shown in the SFR tables, of those leavers in 2003/04 who had completed an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) whose destinations were known, 89% were currently employed in a teaching post, compared to 90% in 2002/03.)

Gender

  • Overall, in 2003/04 7% of males whose destinations were known were unemployed, compared to 4% of females; these percentages were the same as in 2002/03. (Note: this level of detail is not available in the SFR tables.

Tables

Table 1 shows the Destinations of full-time UK and Other EU domiciled leavers obtaining HE qualifications by level of course and gender, 2003/04 and 2002/03.

Table 2 shows the Destinations of part-time UK and Other EU domiciled leavers obtaining HE qualifications by level of course, 2003/04 and 2002/03.

Table 3 shows the Destinations of full-time UK and Other EU domiciled first degree graduates by subject area of degree, 2003/04 and 2002/03.

Table 4 shows the Occupation and Industry of full-time UK and Other EU domiciled first degree graduates entering employment in the UK by subject area of degree, 2003/04 and 2002/03.

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Notes to Editors

  1. The statistics in this SFR are derived from data collected by HESA from publicly-funded higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK. The statistics therefore exclude those relating to qualifications obtained at FE colleges, the University of Buckingham and at other private or independent HE colleges.

  2. The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record was introduced in 2002/03, replacing the previous First Destination Supplement (FDS). DLHE is a more comprehensive record; it covers leavers from part-time programmes and from additional postgraduate programmes. In addition, for the DLHE survey leavers separately report such activity regarding work and study, thereby providing a matrix of circumstances for analysis, unlike the FDS, which collected more limited information. Consequently the DLHE survey has different definitions from FDS for the destination categories reported, for example those employed and unemployed. Comparisons between such figures in DLHE and FDS should therefore not be made.

  3. The 2003/04 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) data includes all those students whose study was full-time or part-time (see Definition 5) and who obtained relevant qualifications (see Definition 3) reported to HESA for the reporting period 1 August 2003 to 31 July 2004.

  4. The HESA DLHE Target Population contains all HE students for whom DLHE data is expected and sought (see Definitions 1 and 3 below). The known figures presented in this SFR are based on respondent information obtained by institutions and returned to HESA. Where the category ‘unknown’ appears, the data relates to those non-respondents to the survey and those leavers who have explicitly refused to answer the survey. Data on the number of unknowns is obtained by cross-checking the actual respondents with the total expected to reply, as recorded in the 2003/04 HESA student record. In 2003/04, 260,700 full-time qualifiers, including explicit refusals, responded, from a target population of 332,300, which amounts to an overall response rate of 79% (77% in 2002/03). In 2003/04 57,800 part-time qualifiers, including explicit refusals, responded, from a target population of 82,200, an overall response rate of 70% (70% in 2002/03). The response rate figures referred to are calculated separately from the SFR and will be presented in a reference volume published by HESA (see Note 6). However it can be seen from Table 1 that the percentage of records returned for full-time HE students, for whom destinations are known but excluding explicit refusals, for whom no other information is available, is 77% (76% in 2002/03). It can be seen from Table 2 that the percentage of records returned for part-time HE students, for whom destinations are known but excluding explicit refusals, for whom no other information is available, is 68% (68% in 2002/03).

  5. With reference to Notes to Editors 2 and 4 above, it can be seen that the figures published in this SFR might differ from those published elsewhere.

  6. A reference volume ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2003/04,’ setting out more information about the destinations of students qualifying at HEIs in the UK, will be published by HESA at the end of August 2005.

  7. From 2003 onwards the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) of subject classification has been used as the basis for the HESA returns, replacing HESACODE. Also in 2003 HESA adopted the SOC 2000 Standard Occupational Classification for comparability of the occupational categories of graduate employment with those for other sectors of the economy; this replaced SOC90. Therefore a variant of the SOC2000 was created for the coding of occupational information for use in the DLHE survey; this classification is termed SOC (DLHE).

Definitions

  1. HE students are those students on programmes of study that are of a standard that is higher than the Advanced Level of the General Certificate of Education, the Higher Grade of the Scottish Certificate of Education, or the BTEC or SCOTVEC National Certificate/Diploma.

  2. For the 2003/04 DLHE return, two reference dates were used: 15 April 2004 for leavers who obtained the qualification between 1 August 2003 and 31 December 2003; and 14 January 2005 for leavers who obtained the qualification between 1 January 2004 and 31 July 2004. The reference date of the 2002/03 DLHE return was 15 January 2004.

    Leavers separately report what they are doing in relation to employment and study; this enables the following destination categories to be derived from DLHE:

    • employment only
    • combination of work and study
    • further study only
    • assumed to be unemployed.

    In addition, the destination category combination of work and study can be aggregated with the explicit employment only and further study only categories as follows:

    • in employment only or a combination of work and study
    • in study only or a combination of work and study.

    For further details see Definitions 8, 9 and 10.

  3. Qualifications

    Relevant qualifications for the 2003/04 DLHE return include postgraduate degrees, postgraduate diplomas and certificates, Postgraduate Certificates in Education (PGCE), first degrees, Diplomas of Higher Education, Certificates of Higher Education, Foundation Degrees, Higher National Diplomas or Higher National Certificates.

    The 2003/04 DLHE survey does not cover students who have gained a number of other qualifications, examples of which include professional qualifications (for example, associate membership or membership of a body such as the Institute of Bankers), and undergraduate diplomas and certificates (other than Foundation Degrees, HND, Dip HE, HNC and Cert HE).

  4. Level of study

    Doctorate degrees and PGCEs have been tabulated separately; masters degrees, higher bachelors degrees and postgraduate diplomas or certificates (not PGCE) have been combined to form the category Other postgraduate degrees.

    Doctorate degrees, Other postgraduate degrees and PGCEs have been combined to form the category Postgraduates.

    First degrees include first degrees, first degree with eligibility to register to practice (doctor/dentist/veterinary surgeon), first degrees with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), enhanced first degrees and first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma.

    Undergraduate diplomas and certificates include Foundation Degrees and all other higher education qualifications not included above, which are within the scope of the return. As this is the only the second year that destination data on Foundation Degree graduates is available, Foundation Degrees are not shown separately due to initial small graduate numbers. In all there were 2,700 qualifiers in 2003/04 (1,100 in 2002/03). Foundation Degrees were first introduced in September 2001 in prototype form and serve as a higher education qualification with a vocational focus.

  5. Mode of study

    Full-time (for the purposes of the DLHE return) includes full-time and sandwich modes plus those students writing-up theses and previously full-time.

    Part-time (for the purposes of the DLHE return) includes those studying part-time, on block release, during the evenings only, full-time for less than 24 weeks in the academic year and those writing-up theses and previously part-time.

  6. Domicile

    All tables include students who are normally resident in the United Kingdom, including those living in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (UK), and those students who are normally resident in countries which were, as at 1 December in the relevant academic year, Other European Union (Other EU) members, or in their designated territories.

  7. Location of employment

    Respondents to the HESA DLHE survey were asked to supply the location of their employment or further study. Where this was unknown, a United Kingdom location has been assumed, although these numbers are relatively small, e.g. unknown location of employment is 0.2% of the total of known destinations for Table 1 and 0.1% for Table 2.

  8. Employment

    The category Employment only includes those students who gave their employment circumstances as Employed full-time, Employed part-time, Self-employed/Freelance, Voluntary work or Other unpaid work and who are also Not in study.

    The category Combination of work and study includes those students who gave their employment circumstances as Employed full-time, Employed part-time, Self-employed/Freelance, Voluntary work or Other unpaid work and who are also either in Full-time study or Part-time study.

    The category Full-time employment only includes those students who gave their employment circumstances as Employed full-time or Self-employed/Freelance and who are also Not in study.

  9. Further study

    The category Further study includes those who gave their employment circumstances as temporarily sick or unable to work/looking after the home or family, not employed but not looking for employment, further study or training, or something else, and who were also either in full-time or part-time study, training or research. It also includes those who were due to start a job within the next month or unemployed and looking for employment, further study or training, and who were also in full-time study, training or research.

  10. Unemployment

    The category Assumed to be unemployed includes those students who gave their employment circumstances as Unemployed and looking for a employment, further study or training and who are also either in Part-time study or Not in study, and those Due to start a job within the next month and who are also either in Part-time study or Not in study.

    In Tables 1, 2 and 3, the category Others includes those students who are Not in study and also either gave their employment circumstances as Not employed but NOT looking for employment, further study or training or Something else.

  11. Unknown

    This category includes non-respondents and explicit refusals, used in Tables 1, 2 and 3.

  12. In the text the figures presented are rounded to the nearest 100. However, where the population contains 52 or less individuals the figure presented is rounded to the nearest 5.

    In the tables, ‘2004’ refers to the academic year 2003/04 and ‘2003’ refers to the academic year 2002/03. The definitions of the symbols used are:

    '0.0' zero

    '-' non-zero, less than the least significant figure shown.

    The figures presented in the tables are shown in thousands, or percentages calculated on the base data.

Press enquiries should be directed to Press Officer at the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA); 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ, Tel: 01242 211133.

General enquiries about the data contained within this SFR should be addressed to Tania Cooke, Data Analyst, HESA (at the same address), Tel: 01242 255577.

Ends

National Statistic

Embargo

5 July 2005, 9:30

Coverage

UK

Themes

Education and training

Issued by

HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ

Press enquiries

01242 211120

Public enquiries

01242 211133

Statistician

Tania Cooke

Email

[email protected]