The Edge Foundation (Edge) directly challenges statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). In a press release accompanying a new report, Edge accused higher education bodies of manipulating statistics to disguise the poor job prospects facing many graduates.
While in a recent release, HESA announced that nearly two-thirds of 2014 graduates were working in a ‘professional’ job six months after graduation, Edge claims the figure is closer to 40%. In the report, ‘The graduate labour market: an uncomfortable truth’, Edge give their own analysis which returns the 40% figure as an average of subjects.
At the centre of this disagreement is the definition of graduate or professional employment. HESA and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), use a definition of ‘professional occupations’ that includes both ‘professional and managerial occupations’ and ‘associate professional and technical occupations’. However, Edge believes that the associate category should not be included as entry to these jobs does not necessarily require a degree.
In their analysis, Edge found a very mixed picture for different subjects. In medicine and dentistry nearly 100% were in a graduate entry role, while this fell to 12% for creative arts and design.
The report makes a series of recommendations, including: