The UK is widely regarded as one of the most popular study destinations, and this is largely due to its prestigious, world-class universities. UK graduates find themselves entering the global job market with recognizable degrees and the skills they need to tackle the issues that the world faces today. According to the latest statistics, up to 485,645 international students are currently pursuing their degree in the UK.
While international student numbers in the UK have continuously shown to be on the rise in the past years, the UK is expected to keep attracting students from overseas to its universities in the coming years as well. On the summer of 2021, the UK is expected to launch the new Graduate route, allowing international students to remain in the UK and look for work up to two years after graduation. (Learn more about it here).
The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has recently released its findings on Graduate Outcomes, as to where UK graduates stand in the labour market, approximately 15 months after finishing their studies. This means that the survey aimed to contact more than 700,000 graduates from the 2017/18 academic year and find out how the labour market has treated them until now and how they are handling life after graduation.
The statistics show the current state of anyone who pursued a higher education qualification during the 2017/2018 academic year, including both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications gained at higher education and further education providers, excluding those in Scotland. The statistics we are about to elaborate are marked as ‘experimental’ by HESA, meaning they are an innovative evaluation which is prone to undergoing evaluation.
>> In total, the survey inquired information from a total of 769,735 respondents, out of which 388,570 were respondents with known outcomes, 24,495 of which coming from other European Union countries or origin, and 48,825 of them from non-EU countries of origin. The remaining numbers were from either England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
Graduates by Activity
According to statistics, 81% of graduates surveyed were either employed or in unpaid work, approximately 15 months after graduation. This includes 10% who were both in employment and further study. Additionally, 5% of respondents were unemployed, including those who were due to start work or study soon. 8% of graduates were in full-time further study, while 1% were in part-time further study. 1% of graduates reported to be doing volunteering or were in unpaid work, according to the survey.
The number of graduates in employment from 24,495 respondents from other countries of the European Union with known outcomes stands at 18,425. Only 2% of respondents said they were in voluntary or unpaid work, while 13% were in full-time further study, in addition to 1% in part-time further study. 4% of respondents from countries of the European Union were unemployed while 1% was due to start work soon. 11% of respondents from other EU countries of origin were in both employment and further study.
The number of UK graduates in employment from non-EU countries of domicile, out of 48,825 respondents with known outcomes stands at 34,795. A total of 2% of respondents in this category of graduates were engaged in voluntary or unpaid work, while 14% were in full-time further study and 1% in part-time further study. A total of 6% of graduates with known outcomes said to be unemployed. 10% of respondents from non-EU countries of origin were in both employment and further study.
Graduates by Occupation
The survey concluded that 76% of respondents working in the UK were employed in highly-skilled occupations, with the majority of them in Medicine and Dentistry, subjects allied to medicine, as well as Architecture and Engineering. When asked whether they were engaged in meaningful activity, 85% of graduates agreed, while 79% said that their activity is related to their future plans, and 71% admitted that they were making use of what they have learned during their studies.
A total of 83% of respondents from other European Union countries were working in highly-skilled occupations, 9% in medium-skilled occupations, while 8% in low-skilled occupations. 84% of other-EU respondents said that their current occupation is meaningful, 81% said that their current activity fits with their future plans, while 72% agreed that they are utilising what they learned during their studies.
86% of all respondents from non-European countries were employed in highly-skilled occupations, 7% in medium-skilled occupations, while 7% in low-skilled occupations. 86% of non-EU respondents said that they were engaged in meaningful activities, 81% agreed that their current activity is related to their future plans, while 76% said that they are using what they learned during their studies on their current occupation.
Graduates by Personal Characteristics
Out of all the respondents with known outcomes, 58% of female respondents were in full-time employment at the point of the survey, while the percentage was higher for males in full-time employment and it stands at 60%. At the time of the survey, 4% of female respondents were unemployed while the percentage also stands at 4% for unemployed male respondents.
Alternatively, the highest percentage of graduates in full-time employment belongs to the age group of 25-29 years old.
53% of female respondents with known outcomes, coming from other EU countries of domicile, were in full-time employment in comparison to 57% of male respondents in full-time employment. 5% of female respondents, at the time of the survey, were unemployed, while 4% of male graduates from other EU countries were in the same category.
The highest percentage of graduates from other EU countries in full-time employment belongs to the age group of 25-29 years old.
50% of female respondents from non-EU countries of origin said they are in full-time employment, compared to 53% of male respondents in the same category. Both male and female respondents had the same percentage of unemployment (6%), for respondents coming from non-EU countries.
The highest percentage of non-EU respondents in full-time employment, from non-EU countries of origin, belongs to the age group of 30 years and over.