Durham in top ten for graduate employment in UK


A recent report by The Office for Students (OfS) has revealed that Durham University ranks in sixth place for graduate employment among non-specialised unversities in the UK. The report examined 131 UK universities.

In the overall ranking, which includes specialised universities such as the Royal Academy of Music or St. George’s Hospital Medical School, Durham features in ninth place, with 81.7 % of its graduates entering into employment or further study 15 months after graduating.

Durham University states on its website that “Durham […] has the highest graduate recruitment rate of any UK university”, referring to data from 2016 in the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Longitudinal Survey’. Durham is also ranked 88th for graduate employability prospects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings.

“This data brings into sharp focus the fact that there are profound differences in outcomes for students, depending on where they study and the subject they choose.”

-Nicola Dandrige, OFS Chief Executive

Other than Durham, the top ten universities in the OfS report include Imperial College London, with a score of 91.7 % in first place, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, London School of Economics and the University of Bath.

The report revealed significant discrepancies between universities with regard to employment prospects for their students. The so-called Proceed (Projected completion and employment from entrant data) measure is derived by multiplying the percentage of students who are expected to complete their degree by the percentage of those who are in employment or further study after graduation.

The lowest-performing universites include the University of Law Limited (30.8 %), London Metropolitan University (37.8 %) and the University of Bedfordshire (40.8 %).

It has also been found that there are discrepancies between universities, as well as between subjects. As a result, It makes a difference for employment prospects whether students complete a medicine degree, after which 95.5 % of students are projected to find a graduate-level job, or study sociology or anthropology, after which only 48.1 % of students find employment.

While at 22 UK universities over 75 % of students are projected to find employment 15 months after graduation, at 25 other institutions less than 50 % of students are projected to be employed or in further study in the same time frame.

Further subjects that have been found to have a percentage below 55 are business and management (53.9 %), psychology (54 %) and media, journalism and communications (54.8 %).

The chief executive of the OfS, Nicola Dandrige, said: “This data brings into sharp focus the fact that there are profound differences in outcomes for students, depending on where they study and the subject they choose.” She also emphasised that it was important to “tackle poor quality provision which offers a raw deal for students”.

The report’s projections are based on students having started their degrees in 2018-19. The graduate outcome data is based on the Graduate Outcomes survey of 2017-18 graduates.

Image credits: Mark Norton

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