Revealed: How modern universities surpass elite colleges over graduate jobs
STUDENTS graduating from one of Scotland’s modern universities are more likely to find jobs than those completing degrees at some of the UK’s elite institutions, new figures show.
More than 97 per cent of students leaving Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen go into employment or further study, according to the Higher Education Statistics Authority (Hesa).
The figures mean the former technical college, which won its university status in 1992, scores better than older universities including Edinburgh, St Andrews, Cambridge and Oxford at getting its graduates into jobs.
Across Scotland as a whole, 93 per cent of those graduating with their first degree in 2010-11 either went into employment or further study, according to the figures – beating the average for the UK as a whole, which was 90 per cent.
The statistics provided some welcome news for Scotland’s university leavers after a report published earlier this week found that in some professions, more than 150 candidates are chasing the same graduate post.
Commenting on the Hesa figures, Alastair Sim, director of Universities Scotland, said: “As graduation ceremonies take place across the country, these official figures are further good news for Scotland’s graduates.
“With 93 per cent of graduates from Scotland’s universities in work or further study, Scottish universities are outperforming those in the rest of the UK when it comes to getting their graduates into employment.
“We know that Scotland’s graduates have the best employment prospects and can expect the highest starting salaries anywhere in the UK at a time when the number of graduate jobs is increasing again.”
He added: “These figures reflect the fact that Scotland’s universities have put employability at the core of their teaching. They show that despite difficult economic times, graduates from Scottish universities have the relevant knowledge, set of skills and ambition to take their place in the workforce.”
While all Scotland’s universities scored well in terms of the number of graduates finding work or going into further study, RGU came top.
Students at the university credit it with being vocational in its outlook, while the institution also benefits from close links to Aberdeen’s oil and gas industry, which has been relatively immune from the effects of the economic downturn.
Graeme Kirkpatrick, of the National Union of Students in Scotland, welcomed the figures, but added: “Of course, we remain concerned about those who still struggle despite receiving their degree.
“Unemployed graduates are a waste of talent. If we are to tackle graduate unemployment, and the wider issue of youth unemployment, we need business, universities and government working together to help improve access to university, and outcomes for graduates.”
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