HESA has recently released (June 2020) the Graduate outcomes data which is drawn from the survey of graduates, gathered fifteen months after they graduated (2017/18). Whilst the current situation for graduates will clearly be very different (as highlighted by IEEC2019 Keynote Dr Charlie Ball in his regular Prospects Luminate blog on graduate labour market) the HESA summary statistics will still inform UK thinking and the release of further data (9th July) breaks this down into specific categories of activities, salaries, reflections and subjective wellbeing.
For EEUK Associates, the focus will be upon self-employment and running a business data within Table 8 of activities together with the graduate reflections as to whether their current activities are meaningful / fits with current plans. This data is both downloadable and interactive (within the individual tables) but HESA has already warned users not to compare the new Graduate Outcomes (GO) data with the Destinations Leaves HE (DLHE) Survey in making sense of the data.
The HESA webinar provides an overview of the approach, indicating as HEPI have emphasised here, that “almost three-quarters (71%) say they are using the skills gained through their studies in what they are doing now, suggesting that universities are providing students with the skills they need for their future careers (Rachel Hewitt, HEPI’s Director of Policy and Advocacy). However although the data can help create a picture of both outcomes and reflections on current activities, it fails to illuminate the complex, non-linear graduate start-up journey or evidence the role of enterprising skills in the workplace, which many EEUK associates need to make the continued case for institutional support for both embedded and extra-curricular provision of EntEd. EEUK will continue to campaign to stabilise this for Associates working across the sectors, especially as there are already indications are that a new CV19 related reduction of enterprise activities is likely as budgets are cut and self-employment could be perceived as risky for graduates, rather than a positive route to income, experience and fulfilment in the new and emerging low-touch economy.
However, it is that the current labour market situation needs addressing urgently. In recent days, Prospects Luminate have given their support to the ISE the Institute of Student Employer’s plan to reconstruct the student labour market and UniversitiesUK are also making the case to support graduates in the CV19 economy. EEUK see enterprise and entrepreneurship as part of the solution and will continue to support members to deliver for their students and graduates.
And if you are missing news on KEF, check out the latest webinar on the Knowledge Exchange Concordat.
Alison Price, Head of Policy, Professional Development and Resources, EEUK