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HESA launches consultation on measuring graduate outcomes

As part of our fundamental review of destination and outcomes data for graduates from Higher Education, we are today launching a consultation to help determine what should replace the current DLHE (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education) survey.

The nine-week consultation is designed to gain feedback on high level principles regarding what information needs to be gathered about post study outcomes for those leaving higher education in future. It will focus on four key themes:

  • Future-proofing – a fundamental reconsideration of the kinds of data that will be required for the foreseeable future, taking into account a labour market that is changing at a structural level, and increasing demands for rich information about graduate outcomes.
  • Efficiency – taking advantage of new capabilities to link data sources and use modern survey technology to increase value for money and reduce the cost of data acquisition.
  • Fit for purpose – ensuring the data collection methodology allows the data to be used in new and emerging contexts, with confidence.
  • Supporting legislation – taking into account the legal gateway opened by the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act, and supporting developing government purposes for destinations and outcomes data, across the UK.

We are inviting all interested parties to make a submission by Thursday 14 July 2016 through an online survey facility. This is a first-stage consultation aimed at gathering general views and gauging overall feedback on a range of tentative proposals. Responses received will feed into a second consultation on more detailed proposals for change, which is planned for later this year. It is anticipated that the final outcome of the review will result in the 2017/18 (C17018) DLHE survey being replaced with something new, although some changes may be brought in for the 2016/17 (C16018) DLHE survey.

Launched last July, our review of data on destination and outcomes for leavers from HE is a fundamental re-examination of the information UK policy makers need in order to better understand graduate employment patterns, the information students need in order to evaluate HE courses, and the information HE providers need to help evaluate and improve their academic programmes and student support.

Survey and data-gathering technology has improved in recent years, while the graduate jobs market has been changing rapidly over the last decade. We believe that all stakeholders will benefit from developing a plan to collect better data at lower cost Paul Clark, HESA’s Chief Executive

Read and respond to the consultation

Join the conversation on Twitter: #NewDLHE


Notes to editors:

About HESA

HESA is the recognised source of data on higher education in the UK. Our experts collect, analyse, and disseminate accurate and comprehensive statistical information on all aspects of UK higher education in order to support the strategic aims of our users and enhance the effectiveness of the sector as a whole. We are a charity and a company limited by guarantee. We operate as an independent organisation, working in close partnership with higher education providers, regulators, funders, government departments, policy makers, and other stakeholders.

About DLHE

Higher education providers currently obtain data on the destinations of all graduates six months after they leave university, through the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey (and previously through the First Destinations Survey) the results of which have been collected and published by HESA since 1994/5. The data submitted in the record is obtained through a survey instrument, centrally defined by HESA and locally managed by HEPs. Data is also collected biennially on a sample of DLHE respondents, a further three years later, through HESA's centrally-co-ordinated Longitudinal DLHE survey. In addition, there are parallel surveys of new entrants to the teaching and medical professions, conducted by other national-level bodies. HESA also collects data on graduate start-ups and collaboration between universities and businesses in the HE Business and Community Interaction survey. These data are supplemented by research projects undertaken by a range of government, higher education and other bodies with a public purpose.

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