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University leaders commit to pension talks as strikes begin

University leaders have written to the University and College Union to formally outline their commitment to continuing to work with UCU to deliver long-term reform of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. The move comes as UCU members at 60 universities begin strike action in disputes over both pensions and pay.

Gateway to university expertise now provides 'smart match' with business

A platform providing a single access point for businesses to university expertise and funding opportunities has been further developed by the National Centre for Universities and Business, Research England, and UK Research and Innovation, to help 'smart match' business and industry with higher education institutions, in a bid to boost R&D collaboration. Shivaun Meehan, Head of Communications at the NCUB, outlines the latest features of Konfer.

Survey pinpoints ways to make postgraduates even more satisfied

Eight out of 10 postgraduate students taking a taught course in the UK report continued satisfaction with the experience over a five-year period.But a survey of more than 70,000 postgraduates across 85 higher education institutions who responded to the Advance HE Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) highlights for the first time areas where institutions could do better still to boost satisfaction levels.

Government should listen to employers on graduate employment

The next government should adopt policies on graduate employment that reflect a less simplistic outlook than the current regime, argues Tristram Hooley, Chief Research Officer at the Institute of Student Employers, which has just published its manifesto wish list.

Postgraduate researchers report high anxiety levels

Postgraduate researchers are suffering high levels of anxiety and many want more support, according to new research.

HEi-think: NewDLHE -- the future of graduate outcomes

rtimages / 123RF

As the Higher Education Statistics Agency launches a consultation on plans to reform the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey, Dan Cook, HESA's head of data policy and development, outlines the proposals and the reasons for the review. 

 

Data around graduate outcomes has never been more important. With a shifting higher education landscape, and significant changes in the graduate labour market, it is vital that we have meaningful and robust data on what HE students do after graduating. HESA, working with a wide range of experts, have been running a review to ensure we capture and publish this high quality data (informally referred to by its hashtag as the ‘#NewDLHE’ review).

We have developed a new model which better reflects the diversity of HE provision and the growing variety of graduate outcomes. This model will capture rich, robust and comprehensive data using a more efficient and future-proof methodology. It will also contain new questions which will redefine how we discuss successful graduate outcomes.

We are currently running a public consultation on our website to gain feedback on these proposals, which is open until 7 April. If the proposals are accepted, we anticipate running the first NewDLHE survey in December 2018, with the first data published in January 2020.  

What is the model?

The NewDLHE review proposes a model for data collection which will replace our current Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education surveys that contact graduates 6 months and 3 years after graduating.

This new model will combine a universal census survey of graduates with linked data from other sources (such as salary information from HMRC). This survey will take place 15 months after the graduate completes their studies, which gives graduates a meaningful opportunity to progress in their post-graduation activities, while still being close enough to the point of completing studies that high response rates should be achievable.

How will the survey be administered?

We have developed a model of open centralisation. This means the survey will be administered centrally ensuring the we capture the most rigorous and reliable data through a consistent approach to data collection. But the survey will be governed collaboratively by a steering group comprising staff from HESA along with representatives from universities and colleges, HE sector bodies and other key partners. 

Through this move to open centralisation and the use of linked data, we anticipate realising significant savings across the HE sector. Current graduate destinations survey activity – including the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey in both HE providers and FE colleges, and the Longitudinal DLHE survey – costs the HE sector over £6 million a year. We have developed projections that show the NewDLHE will potentially realise savings in the region of £1.5 million per year.

What data will be captured?

We will continue to publish salary data and the percentage of graduates in graduate-level employment (two traditional measures of graduate outcomes). But we have also created new ‘graduate voice’ questions to capture alternative measures of graduate outcomes. These measures capture three areas: meaningfulness or importance of the activity to the graduate, skills utilisation and graduate’s progress towards future goals.

The survey will also include new questions to gather insights into graduates pursuing non-traditional career paths, including those developing creative portfolios or starting their own businesses.

Next steps

Our consultation is now open. We are seeking your mandate for us to deliver this proposed model which we believe will significantly improve understanding of graduate outcomes.

The consultation invites feedback on the different aspects of the model and asks for your guidance on the issues we need to be aware of should we gain support to implement it. The deadline for responses is 7 April 2017.

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