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For the first time, HEFCE has brought school and higher education data together with employment and mobility data to give a comprehensive and detailed picture of higher education participation and provision, employment and graduate mobility.
Professor Madeleine Atkins, HEFCE Chief Executive, said:
‘As the Government seeks to ensure that economic recovery and growth is more evenly shared across different localities and industry sectors, universities and colleges continue to play a critical role in supplying a highly educated and skilled workforce, providing opportunities for individuals while meeting the needs of the economy and society.
‘The data shows us that the issues associated with HE cold spots can often be complex. Higher education providers, working collaboratively with their local enterprise partnerships, will be able to use this powerful new toolkit to establish a detailed picture of HE in their localities, enabling them to identify any gaps in provision, participation and the supply of graduates. This provides a strong evidence base to explore potential solutions for delivering local economic recovery and growth.
‘Universities and colleges play a key role as economic and social ‘anchors’ in their local and wider communities. Working with local partners in this way to reach a joint understanding of the issues that affect them collectively, they can make an important contribution to the ongoing development of Strategic Economic Plans, and also, of course, to decisions about where and when to invest different forms of funding.’
HE provision is particularly low (contrasting markedly with high concentration in London) in some rural and coastal areas including:
The HE picture across England’s cities is varied and complex.
The maps demonstrate a link between unemployment and the proportion of the population holding HE-level qualifications.
The data show that students tend to move back home to find work after graduating and that the further from London a student is brought up, the more likely they are to find employment in their home region.
Just 56 per cent of graduates who grew up in the East of England were employed there six months after graduation.