HE Provider Q&A

What is the Graduate Outcomes survey?

The Graduate Outcomes survey is the biggest UK annual social survey and captures the perspectives and current status of recent graduates.

All graduates who completed a higher education course in the UK after August 2017 will be asked to take part in the survey 15 months after they finish their studies. The survey aims to help current and future students gain an insight into career destinations and development.

What is being asked in the survey?

There are a number of core questions that all graduates are being asked. These range from questions about current status to whether they think they are on track in their career. In addition, providers are able to select from a number of opt-in question banks – these questions would only be asked of their graduates.

Who is eligible to complete the survey?

All graduates that have completed a higher education course at a higher education provider in the UK after August 2017 will be eligible to complete the survey. This can be a course of any type and duration.

Graduates will be grouped across the year into four cohorts based on the end date of their course. Depending on when their course ended, they will receive their survey invitation around 15 months later. For example, if their course ended in May to July 2023, they’ll receive the survey in September 2024.

How are the results used?

Graduate Outcomes data will be used for a range of information and regulatory purposes. The privacy notice (read more about privacy) includes information about uses of the data, such as use by higher education providers and higher education funding and regulatory bodies, inclusion in official statistics, and research and journalistic uses, including university league tables.

The results will be used by these groups primarily for research and statistical purposes, but also in the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority. The results will not be used to make decisions about individuals.

How can graduates opt-out if they object to completing the survey?

The survey is not compulsory, but we hope we’ve shared enough of the benefits to encourage completion.

Graduates can opt-out before we commence surveying, or during, by emailing [email protected] with this instruction, or by using the opt-out link in the footer of the email invitation, or let us know when we call them.

Alternatively, graduates can opt-out directly through their provider by explicitly stating they do not wish to be contacted about taking part in Graduate Outcomes. Providers are then required to notify HESA of this request.

How can staff contribute to the Graduate Outcomes survey?

The Graduate Outcomes survey needs to meet ambitious response rate targets to ensure we have sufficiently detailed data that is usable for a range of information and regulatory purposes. Each member of staff within a provider has a role to play in the promotion of the survey. Visit our communications resources page on the HESA website to find out how you can play your part.

Where can I find the survey results?

National level results have been released as official statistics by HESA. We’ve shared a snapshot of some of these statistics on our survey results page or more information about Graduate Outcomes statistical releases can be found on the HESA website.

Shape the future.
HESA, part of Jisc