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Graduates: Average Earnings

Question for Department for Education

UIN 271402, tabled on 1 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of ensuring universities publish potential earnings returns for all degree courses.

Answered on

8 July 2019

Students’ ability to make informed choices is at the heart of the higher education reform agenda. The government is taking steps to improve the quality of information provided to students and how it is presented. We want to equip prospective students with the information to make the right choice for them about where and what to study.

The value of higher education is about more than just economic returns. It provides wider benefits such as employability, social impact and important cultural value, which enriches our society. However, data shows that there are disparities between the outcomes seen from the same subject at different institutions, highlighting universities that need to improve and maximise the potential of their courses.

The Unistats website is an official site that allows prospective students to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses across the UK, and it is available at: It is owned and operated by The Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland, The Office for Students, The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and The Scottish Funding Council and contains subject and course level data for each higher education provider. The information currently available includes average earnings 6 months after graduation, which has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, and average earnings 3 years after graduation which has been calculated from the Department for Education’s Longitudinal Education outcomes dataset. We expect that the Office for Students will launch a new information resource tool to replace Unistats in autumn 2019.