Graduates from Robert Gordon, Glasgow Caledonian and Derby universities are snapped up by employers
See how your university ranks for employability
This table released today shows a graduate’s chances of securing a job after leaving university depend heavily on where they choose to study.
In total, 97.7% of Robert Gordon graduates, 96.2% of Glasgow Caledonian graduates and 96.1% of Derby graduates were working or studying further six months after finishing their degree.
This compares with 94.9% of last year’s Cambridge graduates and 92% of those who were at Oxford, according to data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa).
The employability figures include those working in part-time and non-graduate-level jobs. A breakdown showing the proportion of leavers working in graduate-level positions by institution is not yet available.
Robert Gordon comes in at 55 on the Guardian league table of universities for 2014, while Glasgow Caledonian comes in at 96 and Derby at 79. Cambridge (1) and Oxford (2) top the league again.
While more than a fifth of students at some institutions were not in work or studying six months after graduating last summer, almost all students at some other universities – particularly small specialist colleges – found employment or were continuing their education.
All 25 graduates from the Royal Academy of Music were employed or studying after finishing their course last year, along with 98.9% of those at the Trinity Laban conservatoire of music and dance, and 98.2% of those who studied at the UCL School of Pharmacy. The University of Buckingham, a private institution, also performed strongly, with 96.9% of leavers finding work or study.
At the other end of the scale, around 22.6% of last year’s graduates from London South Bank University were not in work or further study six months after leaving, along with 20.6% of those at the University of East London.
The Hesa figures show that overall, 90.8% of first-degree graduates were in employment or further study after six months.
Among the prestigious Russell Group universities all but one – Queen Mary (87.5%) – had an employment and study rate of over 90%.
The figures come just days after research revealed that around 46 graduates are applying for every job this year.
It suggested that job prospects have improved for those leaving university this summer, with a rise in the number of graduate positions available.
But it also warned that top employers are still receiving high numbers of applications for every role on offer, with some firms, such as consumer goods and media companies, being sent more than 100 applications for each position.
The rise in tuition fees means many universities are taking employability more seriously, says Nick Petford, vice-chancellor of the University of Northampton, where 95.7% of leavers find work or further study.
He puts Northampton’s success down to the university’s vocational heritage. “We have lots of students taking nursing and teacher training courses who progress directly into employment. We also have highly specialised courses in, for example, leather technology or lift engineering where we work very closely with industry. Students who leave those courses have a 100% employability rate.”
Sue Morrison, learning development manager at the University of Derby says employability is now embedded within and outside the curriculum. “Our careers service works closely with course teams across the university, talking about the curriculum and how it’s designed as well as contributing directly to lectures.
“We also offer lots of support outside the curriculum – for example, we do employer mentoring so that students can speak to employees who are already doing the jobs that they aspire to do. This helps to enthuse students.”
The employability statistics are based on the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2011-12 graduates. The survey was changed for 2011-12, so the results are not comparable with those for previous years.
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