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Snapshot from our latest 'Higher education in facts and figures'

25 August 2016
Nadine Winskowski

Nadine Richard

Former Policy Analyst
Universities UK

Universities UK's annual Higher education in facts and figures booklet is published today and, as ever, is full of useful stats, charts and infographics.

It covers a range of areas – from university admissions and qualifications, to data on staff, research funding and international students.

Here are a few highlights from the booklet, looking at three areas in particular:

Graduate salaries and employment rates

At this time of year, it is usual to hear discussion and debate about whether it is still worth going to university. If we consider graduate salaries and employment rates, the latest statistics are relatively clear.  Graduates have better employment rates than non-graduates, even in times of uncertainty or economic downturn, as seen in the 2008 financial crisis.

The unemployment rate of graduates in 2015 was half that of non-graduates. The median salary for graduates was also a third higher than for non-graduates among those aged 21–30, and 43% higher for those aged 16–64.

Six months after graduation, 92% of postgraduates and other undergraduates, and 89% of first degree students were working or pursuing further study.

HESA Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) [2014–15]

The contribution of international students and staff

13% of undergraduate students, 38% of postgraduate students and 28% of academic staff are from outside the UK. The chart below shows in more detail where international staff (academic and non-academic) are working.

EU and international staff make up 7% of senior management, and 25% of senior lecturers, professionals and researchers.


HESA: Staff in higher education, 2014-15


International sources contribute significantly to research funding

While it is unclear at this stage what long-term impact the UK's vote to leave the EU will have on universities, there will be no immediate changes (while the UK remains a member). On 13 August, the UK government confirmed that successful bids for European Commission research funding, including the Horizon 2020 programme, made while the UK is still a member of the EU will be guaranteed by the Treasury.

This is very welcome news, as 16% of research and development funding received by UK providers in 2014-15 came from overseas sources, and the majority (68%) from within the EU.


 HESA Finance Record [2014–15]

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