Take part in the HESA graduate outcomes survey

Tuesday 12-07-2016 - 11:05

The Higher Education Statistics Agency is performing a fundamental review of outcomes data from higher education graduates.

In July 2015, HESA commenced a fundamental review of outcomes data for graduates from higher education. The review is examining requirements for information about student and graduate outcomes, currently delivered by the Destination of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) survey, to provide data to meet the needs of all users and keep pace with the changing context for graduate employment and information provision for students.

NUS policy points out a number of problems with the current DLHE – from its narrow scope on jobs, status and earnings, methodological flaws around the timing of the survey being far too early and the reliability of the data, with fears that the survey is easily subject to gaming in order to satisfy league table success. This set of discussions and proposals from HESA cover all of these concerns and more, particularly around the scope of the survey and the very definition of graduate outcomes.

We support HESA’s bold approach to widening the definition of graduate outcomes beyond simply paid employment. The scope of the proposals supports a healthy conversation about the purpose of Higher Education; its enthusiasm for reframing this purpose around a wider set of outcomes for graduates begins to touch on HE’s outcomes for society itself and its role as a public good.

NUS is responding to the consultation and we encourage students’ unions to respond also. The consultation document can be found here.

We have produced a thematic briefing based on our response to the consultation (which is an online survey) focussing on areas that members might find useful to comment on. There are over 100 questions in this consultation, but unions don’t have to answer all of them. There is plenty of space for additional comment if you wanted to skip questions and focus on what is important to you. The most important section to answer is Section A as this sets up the scope for forthcoming proposals from HESA.

The deadline to respond to the HESA consultation is Thursday 14 July.



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