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Higher Education Leavers Statistics: UK, 2016/17 - Summary

Statistical First Release SFR250

Note: An update to The University of Buckingham’s student data for 2014/15 was processed incorrectly by HESA. This resulted in The University of Buckingham being excluded from the 2014/15 destinations data published in Figures 1, 2, 4 ,7, 8, 9, 11, 14 and 16 of this release. Previous years’ releases, and other years’ data in this release are not affected. The affected tables and charts were updated on 2 August 2018 with corrected data for 2014/15.



Figure 1 - Destinations of UK and other EU domiciled leavers

2012/13 to 2016/17

  • The activities of leavers in 2016/17 were the same as the activities of leavers in 2015/16.
  • In 2016/17 the percentage of leavers in further study remained at 15%. This continues to be at its highest point in five years.
  • In 2016/17 the percentage of leavers in unemployment was 5%, this has marginally decreased over a five year period from 6% in 2012/13.


Figure 2 - Median salaries of UK domiciled full-time leavers who obtained first degree qualifications and entered full-time paid work in the UK

2012/13 to 2016/17

  • 2016/17 saw the largest pay gap in five years in the median salary of professional job roles between UK domiciled full-time male and female leavers who obtained first degree qualifications and entered full-time paid work in the UK. This gap equates to £2,000 per annum.
  • Since 2012/13, the pay gap in median salary for those in non-professional job roles has been negligible.
  • The only median salary not to increase between 2015/16 and 2016/17 was that of females in professional job roles.


This Statistical First Release (SFR) is the annual first release of HESA Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) data. In previous years it has been titled Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom. This release focuses on all publicly funded UK HE providers and the University of Buckingham. It also includes, for 2016/17, data for leavers from HE level courses at further education (FE) colleges in Wales (of which there were 355 leavers in the DLHE target population). All are fully subscribed members of HESA. Experimental statistics on the destinations of leavers from alternative providers will be reported on in a separate release, Higher Education Leavers Statistics: Alternative Providers 2016/17 on 12 July 2018.

DLHE data is collected in respect of successful leavers from HE providers 6 months after their completion of study. Following a major review, we anticipate this will be the final year of DLHE outputs. A new Graduate Outcomes survey is being implemented and will survey graduates approximately 15 months after completing their studies. The first Graduate Outcomes data is due to be published in spring 2020.

In 2016/17, there were 419,120 UK and other EU leavers who responded to the DLHE survey from the target population of 542,535, an overall response rate of 77%. This response rate is lower than the response rate of 78% in 2015/16.

Figure 3 - Response rates to the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey by domicile



Non-EU leavers achieved a response rate of 34%. Due to this and varying response rates for non-EU leavers across the sector, data for these leavers are excluded from the Summary and all following sections of the SFR. For more information on the coverage of the DLHE survey please refer to the definitions.

Readers should be aware that data definitions sometimes change over time. Any significant changes have been explained in the definitions.


National Statistic


28 June 2018, 9:30



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Annual - view all releases (1998/99 onwards)

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