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Emerging HE policies highlight new political landscape

Interventionism is suddenly all the rage with the Westminster Conservative government, and higher education is feeling the impact as new policies and legislation are brought to bear on the sector, writes Johnny Rich, Chief Executive of Push and of the Engineering Professors’ Council.

Rethinking universities from the outside in

Mike Boxall, an independent researcher and consultant on higher education policies and strategies, and a senior adviser to PA Consulting, considers the emerging post-COVID world and its implications for the future of universities. His blog is based on a paper published recently by PA Consulting, and co-authored with its HE lead, Ian Matthias.

Is the government missing the real 'levelling up' value of HE?

The Westminster government should wake up to the full potential of higher education to help it meet its ‘levelling up’ goals, argues Professor Martin Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Staffordshire University.

After a week of 'people power' it is time to listen to students

Jonathan Baldwin, managing director of higher education at Jisc, reflects on a week that’s felt the force of people power – and says it’s time for university leaders to respond to students’ calls for change.

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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