An interesting post on the Spectator’s Coffee House Blog tonight showing employment statistics for recent graduates.

It is pretty grim reading:

“. . . the unemployment rate among recent graduates — those who graduated in the last six years — stands at 9.1 per cent, higher than the overall unemployment rate of 8.4 per cent. It’s even worse for those who graduated in the last two years — the unemployment rate among them is 18.9 per cent, up from 10 per cent before the recession.”

Not unfamiliar news to anyone working in Higher Education. What the article doesn’t highlight is the fact that the ONS statistics show recent graduate employment rates are broadly in line with non-recent graduates and non graduates:

It’s a shame that the author has used this as an opportunity to make a gibe about university expansion:

“It’s a stark reminder that Labour’s push to get as many people as possible to go to university didn’t benefit all those who did.”*

It’s not an outright attack, but when put together with some of the attacks on Les Ebdon and OFFA last month you can start to see that elitist narrative start to develop again, that the answer to all problems in HE is to reduce the number of students attending University. I had thought we’d managed to put that to bed.

* – I’m choosing ignore the fact that the push to get more people into university started under Margaret Thatcher in the late 1980s and has been continued ever since!


One response »

  1. The elitist narrative is always there and the discussions around Les Ebdon are classic examples of this. You might be interested in reading what ‘Walter Mountebank’ has to say on this (see ‘Class in the Classroom), if nothing else to raise a smile.

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