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Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom for the academic year 2014/15

Statistical First Release SFR237

Introduction

This Statistical First Release (SFR) has been produced by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), in collaboration with statisticians from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Welsh Government (WG), the Scottish Government (SG) and the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland (DfE(NI)). It has been released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority. From 2012/13, HESA has collected data on all UK publicly funded higher education institutions (HEIs) and a number of alternative providers (APs), collectively referred to as higher education providers (HEPs). This SFR, as in previous years, contains information regarding only HEIs and the University of Buckingham and therefore uses the term 'higher education providers (HEPs)'. Data for APs is not reported on here as AP Destinations of Leavers data is currently collected for the purposes of UNISTATS. This SFR provides details of the destinations of UK and other European Union domiciled leavers from higher education (HE) who obtained qualifications in HEPs in the UK, during the academic year 2014/15. The data presented draws on the 2014/15 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey and presents time series analysis relating back to 2011/12 when the revised DLHE survey was introduced.

The coverage of the DLHE survey consists of all UK, European Union and Non-EU domiciled leavers for whom destinations data is expected and sought (see Definitions) from UK HEPs in 2014/15. The target population in 2014/15 was 668,865 (compared to 698,930 in 2013/14). For this SFR, two populations are excluded, as detailed in the Notes to tables.

In 2014/15, there were 416,190 UK and EU leavers who responded from the target population of 528,545, an overall response rate of 79% (UK 80%, EU 62%). Response rates by level of qualification and domicile are included in this SFR in Table 1.  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 and this can affect validity of time series comparisons. Any significant changes have been explained in the Notes to tables and/or Definitions. Please note, key points have been derived from the Excel tables (these can be found below). Comparisons with previous year's data have only been included where they can be derived from these tables.

Key Points - All UK HEPs

In 2014/15, there were 399,345 UK and EU leavers (372,905 UK, 26,445 EU) whose destinations were known (424,375 in 2013/14).  Over two-thirds, 72% (286,325) of leavers (both full-time (70%, 228,450) and part-time (77%, 57,880)) were working, either in the UK or overseas, a slight increase from 71% of leavers in 2013/14. A further 6% were working and studying, 13% were involved in further study, 5% (full-time 6%, part-time 3%) were unemployed (the same as in 2013/14) and the remaining 4% were involved in some other activity, such as taking time out to travel or something else, see Definitions. (Ref. Table 1 and Chart 1).

Destinations of leavers 2014/15

In 2014/15, 7% of all male leavers (both full-time and part-time) whose destinations were known were unemployed, compared to 4% of all females (both full-time and part-time). The percentage who were unemployed decreased for female leavers compared to 2013/14 (7% for male and 5% for female leavers in 2013/14). (Ref. Table 2.)

In 2014/15, there were 237,425 (257,395 in 2013/14) full-time first degree UK and EU leavers whose destinations were known, 70% (165,930) were in employment (either in the UK or overseas) and were not also studying. 6% (13,900) were unemployed compared to 7% (16,730) in 2013/14. (Ref. Table 4a and Chart 5.)

Destinations of full-time first degree leavers by academic year

The percentage of full-time first degree leavers who were unemployed varied between subjects, ranging from those which have traditionally low percentages, such as Medicine & dentistry (less than 1%), Veterinary science (1%), Education (2%) and Subjects allied to medicine (2%) to those with higher percentages of unemployment such as Computer science (10%), Mass communications & documentation (8%), Physical science (8%) and Engineering & technology (8%). Although the Computer science leavers hold the highest percentage of unemployment, this has dropped steadily since 2011/12 (when it was 14%). For Science subject areas 71% of full-time first degree leavers were in employment (either in the UK or overseas) and 5% were unemployed. For other subject areas 69% were in UK or overseas employment and 6% were unemployed. (Ref. Table 6a.)

In 2014/15, of the full-time first degree leavers who were employed in the UK, over two-thirds (71%) were in posts classified as Professional employment (68% in 2013/14). The remaining 29% were working in occupational groups classed as non-professional. Sales and customer service occupations accounted for 10% of all leavers in employment, the largest group in the Non-professional occupations. (Ref. Table 7.) The DLHE survey gives an early indication of the occupations into which leavers are entering. These occupations may change over the leavers' careers, further information on progression is presented in the results of the Longitudinal DLHE survey which follows up leavers 3 years later.

Of full-time first degree graduates who were employed in the UK with known Standard Industrial Classification, 20% were in Human health and social work activities and 14% were in Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles. The percentages of graduates in each classification varied by subject area. (Ref. Table 8.)

Of those UK domiciled, first degree leavers (both full-time and part-time) reported as being in full-time paid employment in the UK in 2014/15, 72% disclosed their salary, an increase compared to 70% in 2013/14. The median salary reported (to the nearest £500) was £21,000 (£21,000 in 2013/14). The mean salary was £22,500 compared to £21,500 in 2013/14. (Ref. Table 9.)

Chart 3 shows that a higher proportion of males than females have salaries of £25,000 or more. The difference between the salaries of males and females is also reflected in the mean and median values. The median salary for female leavers was £21,000 compared to £22,000 for males, and this difference is shown further by the mean salary, £21,000 for females compared to £24,000 for males. (Ref. Table 9.)  Salaries also varied by subject of study and are shown in Table 10 in this SFR split by sex for full-time first degree leavers in full-time paid employment in the UK in 2014/15. The largest median salaries were reported by leavers who studied Medicine and dentistry (£30,000), Veterinary science (£27,000) and Engineering and technology (£25,000). Response to the salary question also varied by subject area, 79% of Physical science leavers declared their salary compared to 61% for Creative arts and design. (Ref. Table 10.)

Percentage of UK domiciled full-time first degree leavers in full-time paid UK work by salary band and sex 2014/15

In 2014/15, there were 22,265 (22,465 in 2013/14) part-time first degree leavers whose destinations were known. Of these, 75% (16,710) were in employment (either in the UK or overseas) and were not also studying (75% in 2013/14) and 4% (870) were unemployed, the same percentage as in 2013/14. (Ref. Table 5a and Chart 4.)

Destinations of part-time first degree leavers by academic year

This SFR also includes information on postgraduate and other undergraduate leavers. Chart 5 shows that there is a considerable difference in the destinations of full-time leavers depending on the qualifications they had achieved. In 2014/15, 74% of full-time doctorate leavers were in employment compared to 67% for first degree leavers. Foundation degree leavers had the highest percentage entering further study at 45% compared to 15% of first degree leavers. A further 19% of foundation degree leavers entered work and further study.

Destinations of full-time leavers from UK HEIs by level of qualification obtained 2014/15

Charts 6 & 7 present information on the movement of UK students from home to study and onto employment. They show the percentages of full-time UK domiciled leavers who entered employment in the UK by their country of domicile, country of HEP and country of employment.

Chart 6 shows that in 2014/15 the majority of full-time UK domiciled leavers who entered employment in the UK gained employment in the same country in which they studied, although this varied across the four countries from 98% in England to 61% in Wales.

Percentage of full-time UK domiciled leavers who entered employment within each UK country by country of HE provider 2014/15

Chart 7 shows that in 2014/15 the majority of full-time UK domiciled leavers who entered employment in the UK gained employment in their original country of domicile. This varies across the four countries from a rate of 98% in England to 69% in Wales.

Percentage of full-time UK domiciled leavers who entered employment within each UK country by country of domiciled 2014/15

 

Key Points - England HEPs only

In 2014/15, there were 333,790 leavers from HEPs in England whose destinations were known (355,870 in 2013/14). Of these, 68% (228,625) were in UK employment (68% in 2013/14), 3% (11,360) were employed overseas, 6% (18,815) were in work and further study, 13% (42,620) were in further study, 5% (15,200) were engaged in other activities and 5% (17,170) were unemployed compared to 6% in 2013/14. (Ref. Table 4b, Table 5b and Chart 8.)

In 2014/15, there were 198,120 full-time first degree leavers whose destinations were known (215,915 in 2013/14). Of these, 68% (134,070) were in UK employment (68% in 2013/14) and 6% (11,690) were unemployed compared to 7% in 2013/14. (Ref. Table 4b and Chart 8.)

For Science subject areas 71% of full-time first degree leavers were in employment (either in the UK or overseas) and 5% were unemployed. For other subject areas 69% were in UK or overseas employment and 6% were unemployed. (Ref. Table 6b.)

In 2014/15, of the full-time first degree leavers who were employed in the UK, over two-thirds (71%) were in posts classified as Professional employment (68% in 2013/14). The remaining 29% were working in occupational groups classed as non-professional. (Ref. Table 7.)

In 2014/15, of the 19,045 part-time first degree leavers whose destinations were known, 74% (14,045) were in UK employment (74% in 2013/14) and 4% (755) were unemployed (5% in 2013/14). (Ref. Table 5b and Chart 8.)

Chart 8 shows the percentages of leavers in each destination by level of qualification obtained with a full-time/part-time split for first degree leavers.

Destinations of leavers from HE providers in England by mode and level of qualification obtained 2014/15

Of the 22,570 other undergraduate leavers (both full-time and part-time, excluding foundation degree) whose destinations were known, 64% (14,430) were in UK employment. Of the 75,155 other postgraduate leavers (both full-time and part-time, including Postgraduate Certificate in Education) whose destinations were known, 74% (55,885) were in UK employment and a further 7% (5,040) were working overseas. (Ref. Table 4b, Table 5b and Chart 8.)

In 2014/15, of those UK domiciled, first degree leavers (both full-time and part-time) reported as being in full-time paid employment in the UK, 72% disclosed their salary.  The median salary reported (to the nearest £500) was £21,500, the lower quartile was £17,000 and the upper quartile £25,000. The mean salary was £22,500. (Ref. Table 9.)

Key Points - Wales HEPs only

In 2014/15, there were 21,290 leavers from HEPs in Wales whose destinations were known (22,750 in 2013/14). Of these, 67% (14,185) were in UK employment (66% in 2013/14), 3% (560) were employed overseas, 7% (1,505) were in work and further study, 13% (2,865) were in further study, 4% (945) were engaged in other activities and 6% (1,230) were unemployed (5% in 2013/14). (Ref. Table 4b, Table 5b and Chart 9.) 

In 2014/15, there were 13,180 full-time first degree leavers whose destinations were known (14,640 in 2013/14). Of these 65% (8,587) were in UK employment (64% in 2013/14) and 7% (865) were unemployed (6% in 2013/14). (Ref. Table 4b and Chart 9.)

For Science subject areas 69% of full-time first degree leavers were in employment (either in the UK or overseas) and 6% were unemployed. For other subject areas 66% were in UK or overseas employment and 7% were unemployed. (Ref. Table 6b.)

In 2014/15, of the full-time first degree leavers who were employed in the UK, 61% were in posts classified as Professional employment (62% in 2013/14). The remaining 39% were working in occupational groups classed as non-professional. (Ref. Table 7.)

In 2014/15, of the 925 part-time first degree leavers whose destinations were known, 74% (685) were in UK employment and 4% (35) were unemployed. (Ref. Table 5b and Chart 9.)

Chart 9 shows the percentages of leavers in each destination by level of qualification obtained with a full-time/part-time split for first degree leavers.

Destinations of leavers from HE providers in Wales by mode and level of qualification obtained 2014/15

Of the 2,140 other undergraduate leavers (both full-time and part-time, excluding foundation degree) whose destinations were known 60%, (1,295) were in UK employment. Of the 3,935 other postgraduate leavers students (both full-time and part-time, including Postgraduate Certificate in Education) whose destinations were known, 77% (3,045) were in UK employment and 4% (155) were employed overseas. (Ref. Table 4b, Table 5b and Chart 9.)

In 2014/15, of those UK domiciled, first degree leavers (both full-time and part-time) reported as being in full-time paid employment in the UK, 74% disclosed their salary. The median salary reported (to the nearest £500) was £20,000, the lower quartile was £16,000 and the upper quartile £24,000. The mean salary was £20,500. (Ref. Table 9.)

Key Points - Scotland HEPs only

In 2014/15, there were 34,210 leavers from HEPs in Scotland whose destinations were known (35,680 in 2013/14). Of these, 65% (22,400) were in UK employment (64% in 2013/14), 5% (1,680) were employed overseas, 6% (1,960) were in work and further study, 15% (5,030) were in further study, 4% (1,485) were engaged in other activities and 5% (1,665) were unemployed (5% in 2013/14). (Ref. Table 4b, Table 5b and Chart 10.)

In 2014/15, there were 20,065 full-time first degree leavers whose destinations were known (20,740 in 2013/14), 65% (13,000) were in UK employment (65% in 2013/14) and 5% (965) were unemployed (6% in 2013/14). (Ref. Table 4b and Chart 10.)

For Science subject areas 70% of full-time first degree leavers were in employment (either in the UK or overseas) and 5% were unemployed. For other subject areas 66% were in UK or overseas employment and 5% were unemployed. (Ref. Table 6b.)

In 2014/15, of the full-time first degree leavers who were employed in the UK, 72% were in posts classified as Professional employment (73% in 2013/14). The remaining 28% were working in occupational groups classed as non-professional. (Ref. Table 7.)

In 2014/15, of the 1,680 part-time first degree leavers whose destinations were known, 75% (1,250) were in UK employment and 3% (45) were unemployed. (Ref. Table 5b and Chart 10.)

Chart 10 shows the percentages of leavers in each destination by level of qualification obtained with a full-time/part-time split for first degree leavers.

Destinations of leavers from HE providers in Scotland by mode and level of qualification obtained 2014/15

Of the 3,175 other undergraduate leavers (both full-time and part-time, excluding foundation degree) whose destinations were known, 48% (1,535) were in UK employment. Of the 8,335 other postgraduate leavers (both full-time and part-time, including Postgraduate Certificate in Education) whose destinations were known, 71% (5,950) were in UK employment and a further 9% (780) were employed overseas. (Ref. Table 4b, Table 5b and Chart 10.)

In 2014/15, of those UK domiciled, first degree leavers (both full-time and part-time) reported as being in full-time paid employment in the UK, 69% disclosed their salary. The median salary reported (to the nearest £500) was £22,000. The lower quartile was £18,000 and the upper quartile £25,000. The mean salary was £23,000. (Ref. Table 9.)

Key Points - Northern Ireland HEPs only

In 2014/15, there were 10,055 leavers from HEPs in Northern Ireland whose destinations were known (10,075 in 2013/14). Of these, 69% (6,910) were in UK employment (66% in 2013/14), 6% (610) were employed overseas, 6% (590) were in work and further study, 11% (1,080) were in further study, 3% (325) were engaged in other activities and 5% (540) were unemployed (6% in 2013/14). (Ref. Table 4b, Table 5b and Chart 11.)

In 2014/15, there were 6,060 full-time first degree leavers whose destinations were known (6,100 in 2013/14). Of these 67% (4,085) were in UK employment compared to 66% in 2013/14 and 6% (380) were unemployed (6% in 2013/14). (Ref. Table 4b and Chart 11.)

For Science subject areas 76% of full-time first degree leavers were in employment (either in the UK or overseas) and 6% were unemployed. For other subject areas 67% were in UK or overseas employment and 7% were unemployed. (Ref. Table 6b.)

In 2014/15, of the full-time first degree leavers who were employed in the UK, over two-thirds (71%) were in posts classified as Professional employment (68% in 2012/13). The remaining 29% were working in occupational groups classed as non-professional. (Ref. Table 7.)

In 2014/15, of the 610 part-time first degree leavers whose destinations were known, 70% (425) were in UK employment and 6% (35) were unemployed. (Ref. Table 5b and Chart 11.)

Chart 11 shows the percentages of leavers in each destination by level of qualification obtained with a full-time/part-time split for first degree leavers.

Destinations of leavers from HE providers in Northern Ireland by mode and level of qualification obtained 2014/15

Of the 740 other undergraduate leavers (both full-time and part-time, excluding foundation degree) whose destinations were known, 67% (490) were in UK employment. Of the 2,345 other postgraduate leavers (both full-time and part-time, including Postgraduate Certificate in Education) whose destinations were known, 75% (1,765) were in UK employment and 10% (230) were employed overseas. (Ref. Table 4b, Table 5b and Chart 11.)

In 2014/15, of those UK domiciled, first degree leavers (both full-time and part-time) reported as being in full-time paid employment in the UK, 67% disclosed their salary. The median salary reported (to the nearest £500) was £20,000, the lower quartile was £15,500 and the upper quartile £23,000. The mean salary was £20,500. (Ref. Table 9.)

Tables

Table 1

Destinations of leavers by mode of qualification, domicile and activity 2014/15

Table 2

Destinations of leavers by mode, activity, sex, age group, disability status and ethnicity 2014/15

Table 3

Destinations of leavers by sex, activity and level of qualification obtained 2011/12 to 2014/15

Table 4a

Destinations of full-time leavers by sex, activity and level of qualification obtained 2011/12 to 2014/15

Table 4b

Destinations of full-time leavers by location of HEP, activity and level of qualification obtained 2011/12 to 2014/15

Table 5a

Destinations of part-time leavers by sex, activity and level of qualification obtained 2011/12 to 2014/15

Table 5b

Destinations of part-time leavers by location of HEP, activity and level of qualification obtained 2011/12 to 2014/15

Table 6a

Destinations of full-time first degree leavers by sex, activity and subject area 2011/12 to 2014/15

Table 6b

Destinations of full-time first degree leavers by location of HEP, activity and subject area 2011/12 to 2014/15

Table 7

Occupation of full-time first degree leavers entering employment in the UK by location of HEP and subject area of degree 2011/12 to 2014/15

Table 8

Industry of full-time first degree leavers entering employment in the UK by location of HE provider and subject area of degree 2011/12 to 2014/15

Table 9

UK domiciled leavers who obtained first degree qualifications and entered full-time paid work^ in the UK by location of HEP, mode of study, sex and salary 2011/12 to 2014/15

Table 10

UK domiciled full-time leavers who obtained first degree qualifications and entered full-time paid work in the UK by subject area, location of HEP, sex and salary 2014/15

Table 11

Full-time UK domiciled leavers who entered employment within the UK by location of study, level of qualification obtained and location of employment 2011/12 to 2014/15

Table 12

Full-time UK domiciled leavers who entered employment with the UK by domicile, level of qualification obtained and location of employment 2011/12 to 2014/15

Download all tables

None of the tables presented should be interpreted without reference to the Notes to tables and Definitions provided below.

Notes to tables

Why is this publication "National Statistics"?

The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

  • Meet identified user needs
  • Are well explained and readily accessible
  • Are produced according to sound methods, and
  • Are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

What populations are excluded from this SFR?

Non-EU leavers were added to the target population from 2011/12. There were 140,320 Non-EU leavers in the target population in 2014/15 (134,725 in 2013/14) of which 47,450 responded, an overall response rate of 34% (compared to 32% in 2013/14). Response rates vary across the sector, and within different activities. As a result, there could be bias in the Non-EU data, and so the data for these leavers are excluded from the SFR. 

UK & EU leavers who obtained postgraduate research qualifications from dormant status are also excluded from this SFR as the destination outcomes of these leavers are considered to be materially different in nature to the outcomes of the other postgraduate research leavers included in the survey. In 2014/15, these leavers represented 3,370 UK and EU leavers in the target population (2,850 in 2013/14).

Are there any changes in the DLHE survey since last year (2013/14)?

There is one notable change in the DLHE survey this year; the questions asked to ascertain salary information from leavers. Whereas previously, leavers were asked for their annual salary, this year they were able to report their salary in one of a variety of time-frames (e.g. annually, monthly, weekly, hourly). HESA use this information (alongside the leavers' reported number of hours worked) to calculate an annual salary for each leaver. Whilst this is a positive change to the survey, allowing for greater accuracy for leavers who only know their hourly or weekly salary, data quality issues have been noticed. Investigations into the data reveal that some leavers have quite likely reported a salary against an incorrect time-frame. A possible example of this, is a leaver reporting a true annual salary of £25,000, yet being paid in monthly blocks and inaccurately reporting this as a monthly salary. HESA would then multiply the £25,000 by 12 to report an incorrect annual salary of £300,000. Instances of these types of inaccuracies are very low, and data investigations reveal the overall impact on average salary within this SFR is low. The decision was therefore taken to include all responses within average salary calculations.

Where can more detail be found on the Destination of Leavers?

A HESA publication ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2014/15', setting out more information about the destinations of students qualifying from HEPs in the UK, will be published by HESA on 21 July 2016.

Definitions

The statistics in this SFR are derived by HESA from data collected from all publicly-funded higher education providers (HEPs) in the UK (including The Open University) and The University of Buckingham, which is privately funded. The figures therefore exclude Higher Education (HE) qualifications obtained by students at further education colleges and at other private and independent HEPs.

The full set of definitions relating to the data in this release can be viewed online here.

For data intelligence, please see the following webpage.

Press enquiries should be directed to the Press Office at the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ, telephone 01242 211120. General enquiries about the data contained within this SFR should be addressed to Rebecca Haslam, Senior Information Analyst, HESA (at the same address), telephone 01242 211115.

Ends

National Statistic

Embargo

30 June 2016, 9:30

Coverage

UK

Themes

Children, education and skills

Issued by

HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ

Press Enquiries

01242 211120

Public Enquiries

01242 211133

Statistician

Rebecca Haslam

Email

[email protected]


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