Assessment of compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics: Higher Education Graduate Outcomes Data and Statistics

25 April 2024
Last updated:
25 April 2024


1.1 Jisc, under the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) brand, collects and disseminates data about higher education (HE) in the UK on behalf of its statutory customers; HESA became a part of Jisc In 2022. Even though HESA is now part of Jisc, the Graduate Outcome statistics are still published on the HESA website.

1.2 The Graduate Outcomes survey is an annual survey of graduates from HE providers in the UK and from Further Education Colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who provide HE level courses. Each year, the survey has a target population of around 825,000 graduates from over 400 HE providers.

1.3 The Graduate Outcomes survey replaced the previous Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey and the Longitudinal Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (LDLHE) survey for the 2017/18 graduate population onwards with the first release in June 2020. The previous DLHE results are available in Jisc’s publications archive.

1.4 The Graduate Outcomes survey questionnaire consists of a substantial number of established questions from the previous DLHE and LDLHE surveys. New questions have also been added based on user consultations, including focused questions on self-employed graduates, graduate reflections on their activity, and subjective wellbeing questions.

1.5 The Graduate Outcomes data for a given academic year are collected from graduates 15 months after the completion of their HE course. The survey is divided into in four cohorts for collection, each three months apart, and has a mixed-mode design, predominantly based on online and telephone interviews.

1.6 The Graduate Outcomes survey consists of four main blocks:

  • Graduate activity, which collects information on graduates’ employment and related activities including the type of work they are doing, their salary and contractual status, or their further study options
  • Graduate voice, where graduates are asked to reflect upon their activities and to consider the extent to which those activities fit with their future plans, are meaningful and allow them to use what they learned during their studies
  • Subjective wellbeing, which is based on the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) ONS4 questions which are used as an alternative outcome measure separate from employment and employability to measure personal wellbeing
  • Opt-in question banks, where HE providers are given the option to select additional question banks that will be asked of their graduates; this gives providers some scope to tailor the survey to their particular data needs

1.7 These data are presented within the summary statistics portion of the Graduate Outcomes Data and Statistics release, which provides valuable information on graduate activities and characteristics; activities by previous study characteristics; graduate salaries and work locations; and graduate reflections on activities. The summary statistics contain a range of interactive tables and charts with accompanying data downloads. Jisc also provides an open data repository which allows users to create bespoke data tables.

1.8 Previously, we conducted a compliance check on the Graduate Outcomes Data and Statistics in 2021 whilst the statistics were labelled as official statistics in development (previously referred to as ‘experimental’). The ‘in development’ label was removed for the June 2022 release with the supporting reasons for this set out in a blog.

Back to top
Download PDF version (200.27 KB)