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HESA announces its first longitudinal survey of graduate destinations

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 HE survey, which is carried out by higher education institutions six months after graduation. In lengthening the time period to over three years, the study will provide educationalists and policy makers with evidence of the type of benefits that higher education can bring in the longer term and enable them to plot early graduate career trajectories.

A pilot study, to test the feasibility of the survey, provided the evidence on which the higher education funding bodies across the UK have agreed to fund the survey: initially for one year, but with the likelihood that it will be repeated regularly for future cohorts of graduates.

The success of the project will be reliant on higher education institutions providing comprehensive up-to-date contact details for selected graduates. HESA is appealing to all institutions to cooperate with IFF Research Ltd. and YouGov Plc to make the survey a 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.

The survey field work starts in November 2006 and results will be available in May 2007.


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


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Press Officer