Scotland’s universities proud to continue to offer their graduates the best prospects in the UK

Official National Statistics released today [26 June] on graduate destinations by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) showed that graduates from Scotland’s 19 higher education institutions have better prospects within six months of graduation than their peers in the rest of the UK. The statistics showed:

  • Graduates from Scottish universities had the highest rate of positive destinations (work and/or further study) at 91 per cent (UK average 88 per cent).
  • Of those in employment, a higher percentage of graduates from Scotland’s universities were in professional-level jobs; 69 per cent (UK average 65 per cent).
  • Graduates from Scottish universities had the highest mean average starting salaries in the UK at £22,500 (UK average £21,000).
  • A lower rate of graduates from Scotland’s universities were found to be unemployed six months after graduation than across the rest of the UK at only 6 per cent (UK average of 8 per cent).

The statistics show that graduates have shown considerable resilience despite difficult labour market conditions for young people over the last few years.

The picture for graduates from Scottish universities continues to improve with a one per cent increase in the number going direct into positive destinations (work and/or further study) and a one per cent decrease in the number unemployed six months after completing their studies compared to data from last year*.

Commenting on the statistics, Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland, said:


“Scotland’s universities have made employability a real priority with significant amounts of time and energy invested in employability strategies, attention paid to the development of well-rounded skill sets in our students and working closely with employers in the design and delivery of courses and the creation of work placements.

“We’re very proud of our record on employability and pleased that our graduates finish their studies confident that they have the best prospects in the UK. This is an important factor in student choices when it comes to applications and it’s important to the economy and to Scotland’s productivity that our graduates are going on to positive destinations in such numbers and into graduate-level jobs so quickly.”


The results show that of those going direct into employment within six months, higher levels of graduates from Scottish institutions go into graduate-level jobs (defined in the data as ‘professional occupations’) than across the rest of the UK. The difference is significant with 69 per cent of graduates in employment employed in professional level jobs in Scotland as opposed to a UK average figure of only 65 per cent.

Today’s good news builds on other data released earlier this year which showed Scotland had very high levels of employer satisfaction with new graduate recruits. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills survey found that 94 per cent of employers in Scotland were pleased or very pleased with the experience and maturity of university leavers from Scotland, 96 per cent were content with the skills set graduates leave university with and 97 per cent with the attitude and motivation of Scottish university leavers.



* Due to a methodological change in the way DLHE data is collected, it is possible to make comparisons between this year’s survey (for 2012/13) and last year’s (2011/12) but not with data prior to 2011/12.