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Definitions: Destinations of Leavers (Longitudinal)

The following definitions relate to our Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Longitudinal survey (LDLHE) 2010/11.

The LDLHE data can be linked to the both our Student record to provide leavers' course and personal characteristics, and the early DLHE survey.  The definitions for student data can be found here and for the Early DLHE here.

Methodology

The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey is carried out by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). There are two stages to the survey. The first stage is a census of individuals who have completed higher education courses in the UK. This stage is carried out approximately six months after the course end and is referred to as the Early Survey.

The second stage is a follow-up survey that looks at the destinations of leavers up to 3.5 years after they qualified. This stage is referred to as the Longitudinal Survey. The Longitudinal Survey, by contrast, is not a census survey but is instead based on a sample of the students who responded to the corresponding Early Survey.

Sample design

The DLHE Longitudinal survey is based on recontacting two sub-samples of the leavers who responded to the Early DLHE survey. Detail of the coverage of the Early survey can be viewed here. Leavers were eligible to take part in the Longitudinal survey if they had provided a valid response to the Early survey. Responses gained from a third party or other informed source, including the HE providers own record, were excluded from the eligible population along with any other leavers who had opted out of taking part in any follow up surveys after the Early survey was completed. Leavers were randomly selected from across all HE providers over-sampling some groups of leavers in order to deliberately skew the survey.  The rationale for the over-sampling was to ensure that the Longitudinal Survey would have sufficient numbers of graduates in key sub-groups to allow for separate statistical analyses of these groups. This cohort was known as Sample A and attempts to contact these leavers were made by email, text message, post and phone. The remaining leavers who were not selected into Sample A and were eligible to take part make up Sample B. Attempts to contact these leavers were only made by email and text message.

Of the 342,980 leavers who responded to the Early Survey in 2010/11 and were eligible to take part in the Longitudinal survey, 31,145 leavers had opted out of any follow-up surveys and were excluded from the population, leaving an eligible population of 311,835. Sample A was created by randomly selecting 121,930 leavers as detailed below. The remaining 189,910 leavers make up Sample B. The table below shows for each of the sub groups who were over-sampled, the total who responded to the Early DLHE (before opt outs were removed) and the numbers drawn into Sample A.

Type of leaver Early DLHE respondent Sampled DLHE longitudinal Proportion
Ethnic group      
Black 14,755 7,035 47.5%
Asian 27,755 11,385 41.0%
Mixed 8,545 5,530 64.7%
Other ethnic group 3,210 2,930 91.2%
Research students      
Doctorate and Masters (Research) 7,900 6,955 88.1%
Health Education England      
HEE leavers (excluding Research students) 47,445 43,295 91.2%
Over sampling for HE providers in England       
HND/HNC leavers 2,960 2,715 91.7%
Foundation degree leavers 13,525 3,755 27.8%
Sandwich - industrial placement 10,165 3,900 38.4%
POLAR3 quintile 1 or 2 56,045 13,145 23.5%
Specialist HE provider leavers 28,105 7,315 26.0%
Leavers in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) 10,950 3,940 36.0%
Disabled leavers not in receipt of DSA 11,285 4,105 36.4%
Unemployed in DLHE 2010/11 35,135 9,020 25.7%
Self-employed in DLHE 2010/11 10,780 3,765 34.9%
Chemistry leavers 2,880 2,535 88.0%
Physics leavers 2,480 2,180 88.1%
Mathematics leavers 6,365 3,480 54.7%
Engineering leavers 14,930 4,605 30.8%
European language leavers 5,805 3,445 59.3%
Non-European language leavers 715 625 87.4%
Computer science leavers 11,055 3,935 35.6%
Other* 69,905 3,015 4.3%
Over sampling for HE providers in Wales      
Wales domiciled 15,295 5,960 39.0%
HE providers in Wales 17,485 6,705 38.3%
Over sampling for HE providers in Scotland      
Scotland domiciled 22,505 6,815 30.3%
HE providers in Scotland 25,345 7,430 29.3%
Over sampling for HE providers in Northern Ireland      
Northern Ireland domiciled 9,405 5,795 61.6%
HE providers in Northern Ireland 7,125 4,720 66.2%
Total 342,980 121,930 35.5%

 It should be noted that Leeds College of Music left the HE sector in 2011/12. Leavers from this provider were removed from the eligible population.

Data collection

The data have been collected using a mixture of online and telephone questionnaires. For 2010/11 no postal questionnaires were used although letter invitations were still sent out to leavers with postal addresses. The approach used depended on the contact details provided by the HE provider. The different modes were used sequentially:

  1. All leavers in Sample A with an email address were invited by email to complete an online questionnaire. A week after the initial email a reminder email was sent out with another reminder sent a few days later. A final reminder was sent towards the end of the collection period. The same approach was taken for all leavers in Sample B with an email address.
  2. A text message invitation was sent to leavers for whom a mobile phone number was held but no email address was available. This was sent after the second email reminder.
  3. Two weeks after the initial email, contact attempts were made by telephone for leavers in Sample A who had not responded and for whom a telephone number had been provided.
  4. The postal invitations launched in two phases. The first mailing was sent to all leavers in Sample A who held only a postal address and no phone number or email. These were sent out a week after the initial emails. The second phase of the postal survey took place 14 weeks after the initial email with invitations sent to all leavers for whom a postal address was held as well as an email or phone number, but who had not already responded. 

Data collection was undertaken by IFF Research.

Survey reference dates (Long DLHE)

The reference dates for the 2010 Early DLHE return were 18 April 2011 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 August 2010 and 31 December 2010) and 09 January 2012 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 January 2011 and 31 July 2011).

The reference date for the 2010 DLHE Longitudinal Survey was 24 November 2014.

The reference dates for the previous DLHE Longitudinal Surveys were:

  • 26 November 2012 for the 2008/09 leavers
  • 29 November 2010 for the 2006/07 leavers
  • 24 November 2008 for the 2004/05 leavers
  • 27 November 2006 for the 2002/03 leavers
Rounding and suppression strategy (DLHE long)

Due to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 HESA implements a strategy in published and released tabulations designed to prevent the disclosure of personal information about any individual. This strategy involves rounding all numbers to the nearest multiple of 5 and suppressing percentages and averages based on small populations.

HESA Services Standard Rounding Methodology:

  1. All numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5
  2. Any number lower than 2.5 is rounded to 0
  3. Halves are always rounded upwards (e.g. 2.5 is rounded to 5)
  4. Percentages based on fewer than 22.5 individuals are suppressed
  5. Averages based on 7 or fewer individuals are suppressed
  6. The above requirements apply to headcounts, FPE and FTE data
  7. Financial data is not rounded

Total figures are also subject to this rounding methodology after calculation; so the sum of numbers in each row or column may not match the total shown. Suppressed values are normally represented as '..' in published tables.

Base numbers shown in the tables and charts represent weighted populations and reflect numbers of leavers who answered particular questions in the survey, hence these may differ between charts and tables. Base numbers have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 5.

Percentages have been calculated on weighted data, but have been suppressed (and shown as ‘..’ in tabulations) if the unweighted underlying population is less than 22.5. Percentages in charts and tables are rounded to one decimal place, therefore percentages may not sum to exactly 100% 

Activity

In the Longitudinal Survey leavers are able to report all the activities they are doing in relation to both employment and study on the survey date and then indicate which activity they considered to be their main activity. A matrix of possible outcomes is constructed. This matrix is used to define the key categories of outcomes such as employed and unemployed.

As leavers can report multiple activities in relation to employment circumstance and further study, it is possible to be involved in either employment only, further study only or employment and further study. Therefore where the terms employment and further study are used, it is important to note that:

  • employment includes those in employment only, and those in both employment and further study
  • further study includes those in further study only, and those in both employment and further study.

These activities as shown above are used to derive a category for publication that reflects the range of activities undertaken. Leavers identified as ineligible, or who have explicitly refused to provide information are grouped for publication as 'Ineligibility or explicit refusal'. All other respondents are categorised according to their range of activities.

Matrix of standard categories for publication

Employment circumstance Full-time study Part-time study Study mode unknown Not in study
Employed full-time in paid work D D D A
Employed part-time in paid work D D D B
Self-employed/freelance D D D A
Voluntary work/other unpaid work (including internships) D D D C
Employed mode unknown D D D H
Unemployed and looking for employment, further study or training E F F F
Engaged in study or training and not working E E E  
Engaged in study or training AND working as another activity D D D  
Creating a professional portfolio P P P P
Retired G G G G
Maternity leave G G G G
Travelling/break/gap year/time out G G G G
Housewife/homemaker/carer E E E G
Sick (short term) E E E G
Long-term sick E E E G
Other E E E O
Question not answered X X X X

Activity

  • A: Full-time paid work
  • B: Part-time paid work
  • C: Voluntary/unpaid work
  • H: Employed mode unknown
  • D: Work and further study
  • E: Further study
  • P: Creating a portfolio
  • F: Assumed to be unemployed
  • G: Not available for employment
  • O: Other
  • X: Explicit Refusal

Derived activity categories

Work includes those leavers who reported that their main activity was full-time paid work (including self-employed/freelance), part-time paid work, employed with unknown mode, voluntary or unpaid work, and who were not also in study, training or research.

Work and further study includes those who reported that their main activity was either full-time paid work (including self-employed/freelance), part-time paid work, employed with unknown mode, voluntary or unpaid work and they were also in full-time or part-time study, training or research, or that their main activity was full-time or part-time study, training or research and they were also in full-time paid work (including self-employed/freelance), part-time paid work, employed with unknown mode, voluntary or unpaid work.

Further study includes those who gave their main activity as either in full-time or part-time study, training or research and were not engaged in any employment.

Assumed to be unemployed includes those students who gave their main activity as unemployed and looking for employment, further study or training.

Age of leaver

Age is as at 31 July of the reporting period. That is, the end of the academic year in which the leaver gained their relevant qualification.

Country/Region of higher education provider

The allocation of a HE provider to a geographical region is done by reference to the administrative centre of that HE provider. Regions in this context are the nine England Regions (formerly Government Office Regions) and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There may be students registered at HE providers who are studying in regions other than that of the administrative centre of the HE provider.

HESA allocates HE providers to Regions as follows:

North East (NEAS), North West (NWES), Yorkshire and The Humber (YORH), East Midlands (EMID), West Midlands (WMID), East of England (EAST), London (LOND), South East (SEAS), South West (SWES), Scotland (SCOT), Wales (WALE) and Northern Ireland (NIRE).

Please note that in an all published student data outputs for 2013/14 onwards, students enrolled at the Open University have been split into its four country campuses in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In older years of data, students have been returned at its administrative centre which is located in the South East of England and is counted as a wholly English provider. For bespoke data enquiries, we can supply it as the client wishes including retrospective data extractions. 

Employment basis

This describes the HE leaver's own assessment of the basis of their employment in the work they were doing on the census date. The information captured relates to the employment activity the HE leaver considers to be their main job.

Employer size

This field describes the size of the employing organisation by the number of people employed. The groupings of this field are as follows:

  • 1 to 49
  • 50 to 249
  • 250 or more
Further qualifications obtained

This describes whether the HE leaver obtained any further qualifications between graduation and the survey date, the highest level of qualification they obtained and the subject of qualification.

Higher Education experience for work

This field asks leavers the extent to which their HE experience enabled them to:

  • Be innovative in the workplace
  • Solve problems in your work
  • Communicate effectively in your work
  • Make good decisions in your work
  • Work effectively with others
  • Take initiative and personal responsibility in your work
  • Make effective use of information and communication technology in your work
  • Work effectively with numbers

And to what extent did their employer enable them the use the skills gained during their HE experience

The responses are categorised in the following way:

  1. A great extent 
  2. Some extent
  3. Not at all
  4. Don't know
  5. Not worked since finishing course
  6. Not relevant
Higher Education experience for career aspirations

This field asks leavers to identify how well their HE experience prepared them for their career aspirations. The responses are categorised in the following way:

  1. Very well
  2. Quite well
  3. Not very well
  4. Not at all
  5. Don't know
Higher Education experience for self-employment

This field asks leavers to identify how well their HE experience prepared them for being self-employed or setting up their own business. The responses are categorised in the following way:

  1. Very well
  2. Well
  3. Not very well
  4. Not at all
  5. Don't know
  6. Have never considered becoming self-employed/ setting up own business
How found job

This field describes how HE leavers found the job they were doing on the survey date.

How funding further study

This field describes how HE leavers are funding their further study/training. Leavers must only specify one main source.

Importance to employer

This field describes the factors that HE leavers thought were important to their employer in their getting the job they were doing on the reference date. Leavers are asked to assess how important the following factors where; subject of study, type of qualification obtained, class or grade of qualification, evidence of skills and competencies, work experience or placement that was part of the qualification obtained, any further qualifications obtained and relevant work experience from previous employment. The responses are categorised in the following way:

  1. Formal requirement
  2. Important
  3. Not very important but helped
  4. Not important
  5. Don't know
  6. Did not do a work placement/Did not obtain further qualifications/Did not have any previous work experience.
JACS 3.0

This field collects the JACS code for the subject of the study, training or research that the leaver was undertaking on the survey date. A single subject code is returned

Likelihood questions

This field asked leavers to consider the course they completed 3.5 years ago and assess how likely or unlikely they felt they would chose to do a different subject, study at a different HE provider, work towards a different type of qualification, decide to do something completely different. The responses are categorised in the following way:

  1. Very likely
  2. Likely
  3. Not very likely
  4. Not likely at all
  5. Don't know
Location of employment

This describes the location of the HE leaver's place of work. Data is supplied to HESA in the form of postcodes (for employment in the UK, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man) or country codes. Postcodes are mapped to counties, unitary authorities, Regions and UK countries using the Office for National Statistics Postcode Directory (ONSPD). Countries are mapped to geographical regions, informed by the National Statistics Country Classification 2006 grouping of countries (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/classifications/current-standard-classifications/national-statistics-country-classification/index.html).

Other European Union (EU) includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Croatia is additionally included in this category from 2013/14 onwards, having acceded to the EU on 1 July 2013.

Other EEA countries includes the European Economic Area countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Other Europe includes Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus (Non-European-Union), Faroe Islands, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Vatican City and Europe not otherwise specified. Croatia is included in this category prior to 2013/14, from which point it was included as 'Other European Union (EU)' following accession to the EU.

Please note: this is a survey and respondents may only return partial postcodes, therefore we cannot provide any more detailed location mappings other than those listed above as these would be unreliable due to the lack of full postcodes.

Mode of further study

For HE leavers who were involved in study, training or research on the survey date, this field describes whether it was full-time or part-time.

Mode of study

The qualification obtained mode of study used in HESA destinations of leavers analyses re-allocates writing-up status student instance awards to their previous mode. See Definitions for students & qualifiers for the standard Mode of study definitions.

  • In leavers statistics, full-time study includes writing-up status where the mode of study was previously full-time and students changing to dormant status previously full-time.
  • In leavers statistics, part-time study includes writing-up status where the mode of study was previously part-time, awards given to those on sabbatical and students changing to dormant status previously part-time.
Portfolio careers

Leavers who had indicated they had more than one job on the survey date or were developing a professional portfolio were asked identify the extent to which each of the following reasons influenced that decision:

  • I am unable to secure any full-time position
  • Combining two or more jobs is the only way to get full-time equivalent work in my preferred type of employment
  • One of my work roles or activities is allowing me to develop the skills and/or contacts necessary to move into the type of work I really want
  • It is my choice to do different jobs - I like the variety
  • My preferred work is on a freelance basis so I need other paid work as well
  • It gives me time to maintain a balance between work and my personal or family commitments
  • To supplement my income
Reason for taking the job

This question asked leavers to identify all of the reasons why they decided to take the job that they were doing on the survey date. The leaver can tick as many categories as is required.

The elements for these fields are as follows:

  1. It fitted into my career plan/it was exactly the type of work I wanted
  2. It was the best job offer I received/only job offer I received
  3. It was an opportunity to progress in the organisation
  4. To gain experience in order to get the type of job I really wanted
  5. To see if I would like the type of work it involved
  6. To broaden my experience / to develop general skills 
  7. In order to pay off debts
  8. In order to earn a living
  9. Other
Reason for undertaking further study

This question asked leavers to identify all of the reasons why they decided to undertake the further study, training or research that they were doing on the survey date. The leaver can tick as many categories as is required.

The elements for these fields are as follows:

  1. Because it was a requirement of my employment on the survey date that I did
  2. To develop a broader a more specialist range of skills or knowledge
  3. To change or improve my career options
  4. Because I was interested in the content of the course
  5. Because I had enjoyed my first course and wanted to continue studying
  6. I wanted to go on being a student/I wanted to postpone job hunting
  7. I had been unable to find a suitable job
  8. Other
Salary

Describes the annual salary to the nearest thousand pounds before tax. It is collected for all leavers who indicated an activity of either full-time or part-time work, regardless of whether it is their main activity.

For the majority of analyses, salary is restricted to UK domiciled leavers in full-time work in the UK excluding self-employed and unpaid/voluntary work.

Salary band describes the annual salary for leavers grouped into bands, excluding those that returned a zero salary.

Median salaries are calculated and displayed to the nearest £500. Those with a zero or unknown salary are excluded. Please note, medians based on a population of 7 or less leavers will be suppressed. 

Salary growth 

For UK domiciled leavers in full-time work in the UK at both the Early survey and Longitudinal survey date with known salary information the difference in salary between these two dates was calculated and grouped into bands.

Satisfaction with career to date

This question asked leavers how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with their career to date. The responses are categorised in the following way:

  1. Very satisfied
  2. Fairly satisfied
  3. Not very satisfied
  4. Not at all satisfied
  5. Don't know
  6. Not applicable 
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)

The Standard Industrial Classification of economic activities (SIC) provides a framework for the collection, tabulation, presentation and analysis of data about economic activities.

From 2007/08 the aggregations reflect the Standard Industrial Classification economic activity sections as summarised in the UK Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities 2007 (SIC 2007) (pdf) document on the National Statistics website.

Standard industry codes for economic activity are used to describe the relationship between the inputs and outputs of such activity. In cases where multiple activities take place, classification usually relates to the single most important activity. In the case of DLHE statistics, this will usually be the most important activity undertaken by an employer (or self-employed person). Economic activities are measured by enquiring into the nature of an employer's (or self-employed person's) business.

Prior to 2007/08, SIC classification was based on the SIC92 coding framework.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) and Professional marker

For a list of SOC codes and their standard grouping see Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) groups.

In 2011 HESA adopted the SOC2010 Standard Occupational Classification (which replaced SOC2000), for comparability of sector data with other areas of the economy. A variant of the SOC2010 was created for the coding of occupational information collected in the DLHE survey. The classification is termed SOC2010 (DLHE) and details are available from the Downloadable files section of the HESA DLHE coding manual on the HESA website (Standard Occupational Classification (2010) for the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Institutions: SOC 2010 (DLHE))(pdf).

Professional/non-professional marker (consistent with UNISTATS methodology)

Standard Occupational Classification major groupings may be further grouped into professional and non-professional categories as follows:

Professional

  • Managers, directors and senior officials
  • Professional occupations
  • Associate professional and technical occupations.

Non-professional

  • Administrative and secretarial occupations
  • Skilled trades occupations
  • Caring, leisure and other service occupations
  • Sales and customer service occupations
  • Process, plant and machine operatives
  • Elementary occupations.
Type of further qualification

This identifies the type of qualification the leaver was aiming for, if they were engaged in further study on the census date.

The qualification sought relates to what the HE leaver considers to be their main study activity.

Value for money

This question asked leavers to think about their overall experience of the course they completed 3.5 years and whether they agreed or disagreed that the course was good value for money. The responses are categorised in the following way:

  1. Strongly agree
  2. Agree
  3. Neither agree nor disagree
  4. Disagree
  5. Strongly disagree
  6. Don't know