Wednesday, 14 May 2014
The University of Worcester is among the best in the country at finding graduate level employment for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, according to a new report.
The University is ranked 22nd out of 153 higher education institutions in a proposed new Social Mobility Graduate Index, developed for the thinktank CentreForum.
The report, titled Higher Education as a Tool of Social Mobility and written by Professor Michael Brown, argues that universities should be assessed on how many students from poorer families they send into professional jobs, rather than how many they admit.
“University recruitment alone is no indicator of having achieved social mobility in a sustainable or meaningful way,” Professor Brown writes.
He suggests that a new Social Mobility Graduate Index could be used in league tables using official student and employment data that already informs universities’ Key Information Sets.
Those universities who sent a large number of poorer students into graduate-level jobs would be rewarded for their employability success and their contribution to improving social mobility, which is where Worcester rates highly.
Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “It is vital that everyone who has the commitment and drive to go to university should be permitted to do so, regardless of their background and we are pleased that this report identifies the impact that a university education can have.
“Graduate employment is high on the agenda at the University of Worcester, with 15 out of 16 of our students going on to gain employment or further study within six months of leaving. Our students have the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of initiatives aimed at preparing them for life after university, including our Ambassador programmes and the development of the Worcester Award, which encourages and rewards students who carry out activities to increase their employability.
“Employability is built into all courses, with students under taking work placements, workshops or specific modules and the University also runs an extensive Earn as You Learn programme, and actively seeks to prepare graduates on all of its courses for the workplace.”