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Review of data on destinations and outcomes for leavers from HE

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is today announcing a review of the data it collects on destinations and outcomes for leavers from Higher Education.

The review will examine current and future requirements for information about student and graduate destinations and outcomes, and consider the potential for replacing the current DLHE (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education) survey in order to provide data to meet the evolving needs of a wide range of users, while reducing the burden of data collection.

Announcing the review, Paul Clark, HESA’s Chief Executive, said: ‘It is time to take a high-level view of what information we need to produce on the post-study destinations of those leaving higher education. Survey and data-gathering technology have improved in recent years, while the graduate jobs market has been changing rapidly. Universities have adapted to support students in meeting the challenges they face, with increasingly sophisticated approaches, and now data collection on life outcomes needs to undergo a similar step change.

‘Our aim is to keep pace with the changing context for graduate employment and information provision for students, by developing a plan for delivering better data at a lower cost. HESA will work with a range of stakeholders to ensure that this review delivers an improved service for the benefit of students and the sector as a whole.’

The review will be led by a steering group, comprising senior figures drawn from across the spectrum of data providers and data users.* It is anticipated that the steering group will hold its first meeting in September 2015. The review will be completed by spring 2016.

Read more about the review.

Notes to editors

About HESA

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is the official organisation whose purpose is to collect, quality assure and disseminate data about higher education in the UK. We are a sector-owned, charitable company that supports the advancement of UK higher education by ensuring the availability of accurate and comprehensive data. Our data enables the sector to plan, manage itself effectively and remain responsive to students and wider society. Information derived from our datasets is published as official statistics and we inform public debate about higher education through statistics published in the media.

Our experts provide:

  • Official datasets covering students, staff, institutions, courses, leavers’ destinations, finance, estates, business and community interaction
  • Training and support for sector staff and others on all aspects of data collection and use
  • An information service for the procurement of expertise, analysis and bespoke information
  • Business Intelligence and management information tools.

About our data on student destinations and outcomes

Higher education providers currently obtain data on the destinations of all students six months after they leave, through the Destinations 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 is obtained through a survey instrument, centrally defined by HESA and locally managed by HE providers. 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. For more information about DLHE visit our online data pages.


Press Release

Press Officer