Universities Scotland responds to Citizens Advice Scotland report on graduate employment

Responding to the Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) report published on 27 July, Universities Scotland’s Director, Alastair Sim said:


“The results of the Citizens Advice survey are statistically invalid. The survey, and all media coverage to promote it, was deliberately and unashamedly targeted at graduates who have struggled to find work. Therefore, it is completely unrepresentative of the graduate population as a whole and paints a far more negative picture than is actually the case.

“There is no denying that the recession has had a negative impact on all young people and graduates have not been immune. However, national statistics on graduate destinations from HESA show that despite tough times 93 per cent of graduates from Scotland go on to positive destinations within only six months of graduating and of those in jobs, over two-thirds are entering directly into professional and managerial jobs. Constant negativity around young peoples’ prospects can be damagingly demotivational and may dissuade learners from pursuing the university studies which will give them the best possible prospects in a tough economy.

“Putting the data’s fundamental flaws to one side, we do welcome the more constructive policy analysis, support and recommendations within the Citizens Advice report. Employability is embedded into the curriculum at every university across Scotland and Universities Scotland is currently working with employers organisations, CAS, NUS Scotland and others to define the next steps in enhancing graduate employability.”



  • Official figures published in June 2012 by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on the destinations of graduates showed that:
    > 93% of graduates from Scottish universities were in positive destinations within six months of graduating.
    > Scottish Graduates have the highest starting salaries in the UK at £21,500.
    > The level of graduate unemployment in Scotland at 7% is lower than the UK average (9%) and the level in England (10%).
  • Further HESA figures published on 26 July 2012 showed that 67% of those graduates from Scottish universities who were in employment six months after graduating went directly into managerial and professional occupations.