Scots university graduates get '˜best average starting salary in UK'

Graduates leaving Scottish universities after finishing their first degree have the best average starting salaries of the four nations in the UK.

Scottish graduates have the highest averager salaries out of any of the Home Nations.

Median earnings for those who left university in 2014-15 and went into full-time work were £22,000 - £1,000 more than the comparable figure for English students and £2,000 above median earnings for those who attended university in Northern Ireland or Wales.

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Scotland also had the highest proportion of any of the UK nations of graduates with their first degree finding professional work.

A total of 65 oer cent of those who had just completed this level of study went into a job in 2014-15, according to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, with 72 cent of this group classed as being in a professional occupation.

Overall, 91 per cent of all students leaving higher education in Scotland - including those who had done post-graduate qualifications - went on to work or further study

A total of 70 per cent found jobs - including 5 per cent who went to work outside of of the UK - while 15 per cent opted for further studies, with 6 per cent pursuing both work and studying.

One in 20 (5 per cent) of leavers in 2014-15 were unemployed, with 4 per cent engaged in “other activities”.

Minister for further and higher education Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “I’m delighted to see that a huge proportion of graduates from Scotland’s higher education institutions are going on to further study or employment and that Scotland has the highest percentage of full-time first degree graduates in UK employment going into professional occupations.

“Graduates are vital to the Scottish economy, so it is encouraging that first degree graduates from Scottish institutions are earning the highest median salaries in the UK.

“Today’s figures are testament to the quality and success of our world-class universities and the students who attend them.

“I would like to congratulate all of the recent graduates for their hard work and achievements which has allowed them to go into employment or further study.

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting Scotland’s higher education sector and we will continue to invest over £1 billion in our higher education institutions in 2016-17, ensuring all of our institutions can deliver high-quality teaching, world-class research and knowledge exchange.”