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Graduate employment gulf revealed

More than a fifth of students at some of England's universities failed to find work after graduating last summer, official figures show.

New statistics reveal that the institution a student attends does have an impact on their future prospects, with graduates facing differing chances depending on where they studied.

At some universities, particularly specialist colleges, employment rates are very high.

All of last year's graduates from the Institute of Education and 99 per cent of those from the School of Pharmacy were in work or further study six months after leaving, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency's (HESA) figures.

At the Royal Academy of Music 97.2 per cent were in work or further study, along with 97.1 per cent of Royal College of Music graduates, 97.7 per cent of those at the Arts University College in Bournemouth, and 98.3 per cent of those at Harper Adams University College.

Amongst the bigger institutions, 95.6 per cent of Northampton University graduates were in work or further study, the figures for 201/11 show.

But at the other end of the scale, 21.9 per cent of students at London South Bank University were not in work or study after graduating, and neither were 21.2 per cent of those from Bolton University and 20.6 per cent of those from East London University.

The figures also show that of 120 English universities with figures for 2010/11 and 2009/10, around half had fewer students in work or further study after graduating last year than the year before.

Among 16 top Russell Group universities in England alone, nine saw a drop in the numbers of graduates who were in work and study, while a further two saw the proportions stall, an analysis of the figures suggests.
Overall, 90.3 per cent of UK graduates were in study or work after graduating last year, and in England alone this figure was 90%.

Professor Patrick McGhee, chair of university think-tank million+ said: "It's clear that at a time of high unemployment studying for a degree is still a very good way of getting a job. Modern universities offer a very wide range of programmes and welcome people of all ages including those who want to study part-time.

There is still time for people to find out how they could start studying for a degree in the autumn to help them get the job they want in the future."

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