In recent decades, the UK’s higher education sector has expanded rapidly, but this rise has not been matched by an increase in high-skilled jobs. This means that many graduates find themselves working in jobs that would have usually been filled by non-graduates.

The CIPD has analysed the latest data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency on graduate outcomes six months after graduation and reveals that almost half of new graduates are working in non-graduate jobs. The analysis also shines a light on graduate gender pay disparities, with female graduates earning less than their male counterparts even when subject choice and institution are factored in.

Poor graduate outcomes coupled with high and rising student debt calls into question the current tuition fee structure – where almost all universities charge top rate fees – as well as the need for a better balance between academic and vocational provision.

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The graduate employment gap

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