Graduate Destinations

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What is the Destinations Survey?

The annual Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey is centrally defined and coordinated by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).  Leavers gaining qualifications from all UK higher education institutions are contacted approximately six months after graduation to find out about their employment activity on a designated census date.  The survey includes questions about any work and/or further study that graduates are doing.

The University’s DLHE operations are based in the Career Development Service and aim to secure statistically valid information by ensuring that response rate thresholds for the survey are achieved and, as far as possible, that response rates are uniform across all student and course characteristics.  To help meet this requirement the DLHE operations team works in partnership with departments and other internal stakeholders.

The last major review of the DLHE survey took place in 2011/12.  This resulted in significant changes to the questionnaire and an expansion of the survey population to include non-EU domiciled leavers.  Please see "changes to questionnaire" for a complete list of the changes to the questionnaire content between 2010/11 and 2011/12.

Another major review of the DLHE survey is currently underway.

How is the data collected?

Data collection for those students that graduate in January takes place during the following May and June, while information from those students graduating in July is gathered from November through to March of the following calendar year.

Each member of the survey population is sent a personalised email, which includes log-in details for an online version of the questionnaire.  Reminder emails are sent throughout the survey contact period and, for home and EU-domiciled leavers, postal versions of the questionnaire are also supplied.  To ensure that response rate targets are met, multiple attempts to interview non-responding graduates by telephone are made throughout the data collection period.

What happens to the data?

The raw data are held by the University and handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998) and the University’s Data Protection Code of Practice.

Following validation, the data are submitted to HESA each May who use the data to prepare national statistics and reports on the activities of leavers from higher education.  HESA also pass the data, or parts of it, to other organisations that need the information to carry out their statutory functions connected with funding higher education.

At Leicester, the data are used to supply colleges and departments with accurate and accessible information about the early career destinations of their students.  This has a number of practical applications.  It is used to inform current and prospective students about the types of opportunities that might be available to them.  It also provides insight into the type and location of employers of Leicester graduates.  Information about graduate employment and ‘high skilled’ employment also provides important evidence for the purposes of accountability and development of the curriculum and student services (e.g. to support applications for accreditation, funding bids, etc.)

Where can I find the data for Leicester?

Where can I find the data for other higher education institutions?

The HESA website provides information about the Destinations Survey, links to the Destinations Survey Publications and selected, downloadable national Destinations statistics.

The Prospects website provides an overview of the national data including destinations for specific subjects.

The HECSU website provides a link to What do graduate do? a collaboration between HECSU and AGCAS that uses Destinations data to make sense of the graduate labour market.

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