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HEFCE commissioned this research to help understand more about stakeholders' use of, and the impact of, the Higher Education Statistics Agency's Longitudinal Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (LDLHE) survey. The survey asks graduates and postgraduates about their working life and experience three-and-a-half years after they leave their studies. The LDLHE tells us about the sorts of jobs these people are in; whether they would study the same subject again; and the salaries they earn.

The research finds widespread support for a longitudinal survey of this type among the stakeholders questioned. A number of suggestions were made to improve response rates to the survey and value for money, but there was little enthusiasm among those questioned to contribute towards the costs of the survey in return for the inclusion of specific questions or oversampling specific groups – those studying in specific regions, for example.

A key finding of this report is that the LDLHE's findings have been disseminated only to a limited extent. Although there are signs that the survey is gaining greater impact, and it should be noted that only two surveys have been undertaken to date, the researchers recommend raising awareness of the LDLHE to groups who should be using it more, and to greater effect, than they do now. This would help raise the survey's profile and thereby improve its value for money and impact on key policy, strategy and operational decisions.