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Higher Education Graduate Outcomes Statistics: UK, 2017/18 - Notes

Statistical Bulletin Experimental SB257


Experimental statistics


Who produced this Statistical Bulletin?

This bulletin has been produced by HESA in collaboration with statisticians from the Department for Education, the Office for Students, the Welsh Government, the Scottish Government and the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland. It has been released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Which graduates and HE providers are included?

This release contains information regarding graduates from UK publicly funded higher education institutions, and graduates from both designated and non-designated courses at alternative providers for whom student data is submitted to HESA. In addition, this release includes data for graduates from HE level courses at further education (FE) colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This release excludes graduates from HE level courses at FE colleges in Scotland and also excludes other alternative providers in the sector. More information on the population of graduates included in the Graduate Outcomes survey is detailed in the coverage of the record. Please be aware that the coverage of providers differs to those used in the HESA student publications.

How to use the tables and charts

The tables and charts (labelled as figures) within this bulletin are interactive. There are options immediately above the figures to filter by data field(s) such as by level of qualification or mode of former study. The figures refresh to display the option(s) chosen, updating the data accordingly. The 'Reset filters' link below each figure will clear all selected options.

In the figures, 0, 1, 2 are rounded to 0. All other numbers are rounded up or down to the nearest multiple of 5 in line with the HESA rounding strategy. Percentages are calculated on unrounded data and are rounded to the nearest whole number. This means percentages may not sum exactly to 100%.

It is a criminal offence under Section 171 of the Data Protection Act 2018 for a person knowingly or recklessly to re-identify information that is de-identified personal data without the consent of the controller responsible for de-identifying the personal data.

How can I get the data in a spreadsheet?

All the data is presented in interactive tables on the HESA website and will not be published in Excel spreadsheets. Below each table you will find a link to download the table as a *.csv.

If you are planning to open the *.csv files in Excel, you must ensure you import the *.csv data, rather than just opening the file directly. This will ensure the data is presented appropriately without corrupt characters appearing. We have published instructions on how to import *.csv files in earlier versions of Excel. If you are using Excel 2016, you should select 'Data' in the top ribbon and then choose 'From Text/csv'. In the options screen, select '65001: Unicode (UTF-8)' in the 'File Origin' box; click 'Edit' and ensure that all columns are formatted as 'Text'.

How to print this bulletin

This bulletin is designed primarily for on screen users. Each section of the release can be printed by hitting Ctrl+P from within a section.

Why is this publication "Experimental Statistics"?

The Code of Practice for Statistics defines Experimental Statistics as: "A subset of newly developed or innovative official statistics undergoing evaluation."

This is the first year that the Graduate Outcomes data has been collected. We are continuing to review and evaluate methodologies and outputs. More information on why Graduate Outcomes statistics are experimental is provided in a blog: The true method of knowledge is experiment.

How are Open University students counted?

Graduates who were registered at one of The Open University's (OU) national centres in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will contribute to the totals of those countries where statistics are shown by country of HE provider. Please note that all non-UK domiciled OU students, and those who study at postgraduate research level, are registered to the OU administrative centre in England.

Where can I find more detail on the outcomes of graduates?

Our Higher Education Graduate Outcomes Data 2017/18 publication providing more detailed information about the outcomes of graduates from higher education will be published by HESA on 23 June 2020.


The data presented in this bulletin is based on the 2017/18 Graduate Outcomes survey. The statistics in this bulletin are derived by HESA from data collected from all publicly funded HE providers in the UK (including The Open University), alternative providers that submit student data to HESA and further education colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Course and student characteristics have been taken from the 2017/18 HESA Student and Alternative Provider Student records for all graduates other than those who graduated from further education colleges in England and Northern Ireland. Characteristics of these graduates have been supplied by the Office for Students (OfS) and Department for the Economy Northern Ireland DfE(NI), respectively.

Graduate Outcomes data was prepared in June 2020 using the following versions of the datasets:

HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey Results record:

  • 2017/18 Original dataset, May 2020 version

HESA Student record:

  • 2017/18 Original dataset, January 2020 version

HESA AP Student record:

  • 2017/18 Original dataset, January 2020 version

See definitions for more detail on the Graduate Outcomes data fields and concepts used within this release.

See data intelligence for specific notes about this year's Graduate Outcomes survey data.

HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.

Press enquiries should be directed to the Press Office at HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ, +44 (0) 1242 388 513 (option 6), [email protected]. General enquiries about the data contained within this bulletin should be addressed to Rebecca Mantle, Official Statistics Manager, HESA (at the same address), +44 (0) 1242 388 513 (option 2), [email protected]

Release date

18 June 2020, 9:30



Release frequency



Education and training

Issued by

HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ

Press enquiries

+44 (0) 1242 388 513 (option 6), [email protected]

Public enquiries

+44 (0) 1242 388 513 (option 2), [email protected]


Rebecca Mantle

Pre-release access

View pre-release access list for this release

Please email questions or comments to [email protected].
Thank you for helping us to improve this publication.


Department for Education

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Department for the Economy (Northern Ireland)