Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at new research on student outcomes, and our latest proposed security guidance for schools.
Today, Tuesday 27 November, the Department for Education and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published new research on student outcomes. The report entitled Absolute Returns looks at the financial outcomes of students at the age of 29 and how higher education has benefitted them. The analysis was covered by the Times, the Independent, the I, the Guardian, the Mail and the Sun.
The research found 85% of students are likely to benefit financially from their higher education experience at the age of 29.
Subjects such as medicine and economics are showing the most significant financial benefit, increasing average male earnings by 24% and 33% respectively, and female earnings by 75% and 61%.
Financial outcomes are just one of the considerations that students have when choosing a university. The benefits of a higher education go much wider than earnings. For example, many people choose to pursue careers in public service, or in the arts, which have a very high social value, but which aren’t necessarily amongst the highest paying jobs. The experience of higher education in itself is also of considerable value: in its exposure to new ideas, instilling a lifelong love of learning and the many social and health benefits graduates enjoy.
Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said:
I want to see our universities competing on the quality of what they offer, value for money and strong positive outcomes for their students so that every degree is worth the investment.
This landmark research proves that the graduate earnings premium remains robust, even as we have made higher education available to more young people than ever before. Higher education is delivering for students, the taxpayer and the economy, and will continue to do so as long as we focus relentlessly on quality.
The Office for Students, the new regulator we have set up to look out for students’ interests, has the power to crack down on institutions delivering poor outcomes for students. I strongly support their work, and expect to see them use the full range of powers at their disposal to protect students’ interests.
The graduate earnings premium could be even higher if all prospective students have the best information possible about where and what they study when making choices. The research we’re publishing today, alongside other data like the Teaching Excellence Framework and our Open Data prize, will help make this a reality.
Many of the universities whose graduates enjoy high earnings premiums have strong links to employers and have built in work experience to help develop the skills that graduates need.
This must be built on even further. Our plans to expand Accelerated Degrees will boost the opportunities all prospective students have to access high-quality courses.
School Security Guidance
Yesterday, Monday 27 November, we published updated proposals on school security guidance . This received pick-up from the I, the Mirror and the Star.
It is our ambition for schools to remain as safe as possible -an open and transparent school security policy is imperative to creating an environment where staff can and pupils are able to work and learn safely and freely.