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Talking about Employability and DLHE data in 2016

A series of staff workshops were held at UAL in 2016 to look at the relationship between the Destinations of Leavers Higher Education (DLHE) data and our curriculum planning at University of the Arts.

What was it? Three staff development workshops were held at CSM, LCC and at LCF, open to any staff who needed to understand what the DLHE stats are, what they mean and why they are important in relation to our teaching and learning methods.

Who attended? A number of course leaders, academic support staff and teaching staff who learned how, DLHE data is collected, used and disseminated as well as how to log in to the online DLHE portal to find their own course level data and break down the stats that appear as part of their Key Information Statistics (KIS) data on UK site Unistats.

Event outline A short overview of the DLHE survey and its context content was presented by Ismaril Wells, Student Employability Practitioner for CSM, including league tables, Unistats, starting salaries for UG and PG, and the different types of employment that were declared by graduates. Next discussion ensued around relevance of data where there was a small sample group. Participants debated how to talk about DLHE when students are already bombarded with online surveys. How can we improve their experience of completing the DLHE survey and begin to use this information in an ongoing basis as a recruitment tool and means for students to engage in researching their career options and focusing their aims?

Objectives were

· To understand the DLHE stats at course and college level and within the broader context of HE.

· To be able to log in and source course level data and use the stats towards curriculum and course development.

· To discuss and understand the relationship between the stats and the curriculum.

In conclusion staff reflected that:

Suggestions about promoting the survey via the course leaders was encouraged. Less of a university ‘top down’ approach and more local might help the graduates see the relevance to their own alumni group. PG data needed further investigation as some samples were small and therefore missing.

  • Supporting course leaders with smaller cohorts to encourage their graduates to complete the survey would resolve the problem of missing data and to collaborate with Alumni services to increase awareness of the survey and response rates.
  • It felt encouraging to find out if specific course data was particularly positive and in this case it was considered well worth while providing the information to parents and prospective students on open days for example as a recruitment tool.
  • It was interesting to find out how many graduates where working as freelancers on a given course and to compare this with how well they felt that the course prepared them for this working mode.
  • It was frustrating to see that data indicates female graduates tend to earn less than their male peers.

Feedback from the event:

Many thanks for running us through the DLHE survey yesterday - it was a very interesting session” LCC

“Many thanks indeed for this, and for a great session yesterday” LCC

“I definitely did find the session useful.  I would be keen to go to any other sessions you organise.” CSM

“It was a very useful session - It was great to see you and meet the tutors in attendance” LCC

Useful links: 

DLHE Workshops details:

UAL Student Enterprise & Employability Stories behind the stats:

Creative Graduates Creative Futures

Unistats. Supplied by Cath Caldwell and Ismaril Wells.

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