Nearly nine in ten students say that earnings potential was a vital consideration in choosing a degree and a university.

The National Centre for Universities and Business Student Employability Index shows that most universities have a good approval rating for their careers services, with most registering 70% positive, but students believe that more can be done to increase their employability chances. The Chartwells-sponsored survey has collated 115,000 student opinions from 55 universities, showed that only 7% institutions have scored over 85% satisfaction on advice for long-term opportunities.

The National Centre’s ongoing work with over 120 UK universities and businesses seeks to ensure that graduates get good jobs as a result of increasing work experience.

David Docherty, Chief Executive of NCUB said:

‘Businesses and universities are conscious of the need to increase the UK’s talent pool through more, better and satisfying work experience programmes and the SEI shows a huge student appetite for structured programmes. We will be working on this with our members over the coming year.’

Dennis Hogan, Managing Director of Compass Group UK & Ireland added:

“The market insight that is provided by surveys like this is something that Compass and our education business, Chartwells prides itself on. Offering a growing number of student and graduate employment opportunities both on campus and across the extensive range of Compass venues helps to add value to university partnerships. This gives students what they want with regard to having on-campus contact with employers, and the opportunity to work whilst studying.

“The findings of the report show a clear window of opportunity for businesses and universities to focus on the wants and needs of today’s students in order to cultivate future talents.”

William James, a placement student working for Chartwells said;

“The opportunity of undertaking a work placement during my studies was what made me decide to choose a four-year sandwich programme at Loughborough University. As someone who studies a non-vocational degree, the opportunity to gain a foothold in the job market is something that I could not pass up, with the skills that I have learned this year being really useful for when I return to university, as well as in future employment.”

Notes to editors

  • The National Centre for Universities and Business develops, promotes and supports world-class collaboration between universities and business across the UK. Our aim is to find practical ways of harnessing the talent being developed in our universities, and the UK’s strength in ground-breaking research and development, for the benefit of the nation’s economy.
  • The distinctive Leadership Council of university Vice Chancellors, and CEOs, Chairs or Group Directors of FTSE 100 – level companies all drawn from our member organisations.
  • The National Centre for Universities and Business is funded by over 120 businesses and universities, and the four higher education funding councils of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Research Councils UK, and Innovate UK.