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HESA appeals to 2002/03 graduates to tell their stories

This month HESA launches an ambitious project to track the careers of 65,000 graduates three and a half years after they left higher education.

This study, which will be conducted by a partnership of IFF Research Ltd. and YouGov Plc, will be the first time that systematic longitudinal tracking of UK graduates has been attempted on such a large scale. It builds on the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey, which is carried out by higher education institutions six months after graduation.

This is an opportunity for 2002/03 graduates to describe what they have been doing since gaining their qualification. 65,000 graduates will be receiving questionnaires in the post next week, and there is also the opportunity to complete the questionnaire online or over the telephone.

The information provided will help in reviewing and promoting courses and giving current students an insight into career progression, as well as providing input to government policy development and review.

HESA is appealing to all 2002/03 graduates that have been invited to take part in this consultation to take the time to complete and return it; getting as many questionnaires back as possible is vital to the survey’s success.

“We are optimistic that the survey will provide valuable data for institutions, government, and all those others with an interest in graduate careers,” said Professor Robin Sibson, Chief Executive of HESA.

Bill Rammel, Minister of State for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning, said:

“With this survey, we are looking to find out what those of you who graduated three years ago have achieved since finishing your higher education studies. This will enable current and future students to have a better understanding of the options available to them, and help them make more informed decisions about their careers.

“Previous surveys of this type, such as the "Class of 99" research published in 2005, have proved invaluable sources of data on the early career paths of graduates, and it is important that this information is updated regularly.

“This survey has my full support, and I would encourage all of you who are approached and asked to participate to make the time to do so, whatever your current circumstances.”

The results of this survey will be available in May 2007.

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HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) is the UK’s central source for the collection and dissemination of statistics about Higher Education.

IFF Research Ltd. is an independent research agency specialising in work in the learning and skills arena.

YouGov is a full service agency, pioneering the use of the Internet for public consultation.


Press Release

Press Officer