Longitudinal Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey for HESA

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) wanted to better understand long-term graduate outcomes.

How does IFF illuminate the facts with research?

All higher education institutions (HEIs) must conduct an annual Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, assessing destinations six months after graduating – with an increasing number commissioning IFF Research to undertake this work.

However, a demand arose to better understand longer-term graduate outcomes – and therefore HESA commissioned IFF to conduct the first Longitudinal DLHE survey in 2006. IFF has continued to run the project from its outset. Across the six surveys completed so far, IFF has tracked the paths of over 350,000 graduates.

The study contributes to measurement of the mid-term return on investment of higher education by detailing what graduates are doing three-and-a-half years after completing a course. The scale of the study is such that it can detail the destinations of students at course level within most institutions.

The study helps current students to understand what sort of options will be available to them on completing a course and prospective students to make an informed choice when deciding where and what to study. HEIs use the survey to inform curriculum planning and to improve the courses they offer. Results are also used by policy-makers to determine the effectiveness of HE policy.

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