Skip to main content

2002/03 Employment Performance Indicator published

Further to the Performance Indicators released earlier this year (Thursday 30 September 2004) HESA is now able to release the Employment Indicator Table E1. This table has been released later than the other Performance Indicators as the data on which it is based becomes available later in the annual cycle. This indicator looks at the employment outcomes of UK domiciled graduates from full-time first degree courses six months after completing their programme.

Performance Indicators are a range of statistical indicators intended to offer an objective measure of how a higher education institution (HEI) is performing. Specification of the indicators is determined through the Performance Indicators Steering Group (PISG),2 with broad official and sector representation. They are not “league tables”, and do not attempt to compare all HEIs against a “gold standard” or against each other. No meaningful league table could fairly demonstrate the performance of all higher education institutions relative to each other. The HE sector is extremely diverse. Each institution has its own distinct mission, and each emphasises different aspects of higher education. Because of this diversity, and the need to compare HEIs fairly, a range of indicators and benchmarks are used.

HESA is publishing the Performance Indicators for the first time this year. In previous years, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) published them on behalf of the four UK funding bodies. However, design responsibility for the indicators and benchmarks remains with PISG.

This year the Employment Performance Indicator is based on data from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey (DLHE). Previously the First Destinations Supplement (FDS) was used to collect data on leavers. This has been replaced by the DLHE survey which is designed to collect richer information than the FDS. For example, leavers are now able to provide us with more detailed information regarding work and further study, even where these are concurrent. This results in a matrix of possible combinations of work and study allowing more comprehensive analysis. Because of these differences this Employment Performance Indicator is not comparable to those published in previous years.

Table E1 shows that 92.5 per cent of UK domiciled leavers from full-time first degree courses responding to the survey were either working, or studying, or both, six months after graduation. The response rate was 83.2 per cent.

The Performance Indicators were first published in 1999. Universities and HE colleges are given the opportunity to verify their own data. The Performance Indicators cover publicly funded higher education institutions in the UK.

Notes for Editors

  1. Full text and tables of Performance Indicators in Higher Education in the UK 2002/03 can be found on the HESA website. As in previous years, the indicators are set out in separate tables. Not all higher education institutions feature in every table. Performance indicators for previous years have been published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and are available at
  2. The Performance Indicators Steering Group (PISG) has led the development of these indicators. Members are drawn from the four higher education funding bodies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (HEFCE, SHEFC, HEFCW, DELNI); the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and other government departments, the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), and the universities and HE colleges through their representative bodies (Universities UK and SCOP).
  3. HESA is the central source for higher education statistics. HESA was set-up in 1993 following a Government White Paper Higher Education: A New Framework, which called for more coherence in higher education statistics.
  4. Press enquiries should be directed to Byron Price, Press Officer at HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ; telephone: 01242 211136; email: [email protected].


Press Release

Press Officer