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Data digest: May 2020

May 2020

Welcome to Luminate's monthly summary of the key data and developments in higher education, careers services, graduate recruitment and the labour market

This month on Luminate

  • What the post-COVID-19 job market might look like for graduates - with research predicting a stark decline in global working hours, it is likely that students graduating in the coming years will leave university with significantly fewer options compared with young people leaving higher education before or after the projected downturn. Graduates may be faced with tough decisions in the interim. However, it is vital that they keep looking forward and use these difficult times to expand their skillsets in order to better protect themselves for the future. [Luminate]
  • Navigating the storm: the role of careers services during a pandemic - given the current volatility of the labour market, it is likely that we will see an increase in demand for career support from university careers services. Like many employers, careers services have already begun to respond to this by shifting their services online, utilising new innovative ways to help students to meet employers. Universities must recognise the value that careers services play in the reconstruction of the economy. [Luminate]
  • What do jobseekers want from employers during lockdown? - as demand for information regarding the way that employers are responding to the impact of COVID-19 increases, it is vital that employers make an effort to reach out to students and graduates through digital means. Further, with just under three quarters of finalists stating that they are still actively seeking employment and nearly half reporting that they have increased their use of online methods to engage with employers, it is the perfect time to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate a strictly online recruitment process to fill vacancies. [Luminate]
  • Graduating into a pandemic: the impact on university finalists - many university finalists are feeling negative about their career prospects, which is understandable given that a significant proportion of finalists surveyed by Prospects have either lost their job, work placement/internship or had the job offer cancelled or deferred. Nevertheless, nearly a fifth of respondents indicated that they are feeling positive about their career prospects, with some suggesting that they are feeling optimistic because there will be more opportunities available once things return to normal. [Luminate]

What's on Charlie’s mind?

Graduate labour market expert and Prospects' head of higher education intelligence, Charlie Ball, tells us what's caught his eye this month.

"The drop-off in the graduate labour market is the most serious we have seen. It seems to have stabilised for the time being though and there are still jobs out there so don't give up. Most businesses say that once restrictions are eased, they can get back to work quickly so don't assume that because the jobs market is very weak right now it will remain this weak all year."

News in summary

  • UK universities favour blended learning approach for 2020/21 - to maintain the full student experience and prevent students from deferring a year, universities are planning to deliver blended teaching models consisting of a mix of face-to-face and online teaching. Given concerns regarding a lack of consistency, an agreed set of principles for universities to follow for the next academic year may be published shortly. [Times Higher Education]
  • Weekly vacancy analysis: Vacancy trends in week-ending 17 May 2020 - in the sixth instalment of a series of weekly briefings exploring changes in vacancies since the crisis began, the Institute for Employment Studies found that vacancies have continued to fall in the last week. However, there are signs of recovery with the number of new vacancies increasing for the fourth consecutive week. [Institute for Employment Studies]      
  • Russell Group sets out proposals to give UK the edge in competitive international student market - a set of proposals have been set out by the Russell Group to ensure that Britain remains a top destination for international students. Among these is the proposal to not only fast-track the post-study work visa into law but also to extend it by six months. []
  • 'Students like the flexibility': why online universities are here to stay - instead of a quick fix-solution to the pandemic, we could see online learning become more commonplace within the UK. A shift in operations that can serve to widen access to higher education to people otherwise unable to attend. However, 'It's crucial the online learning experience is well-designed' to ensure that students get the best out of their courses. [The Guardian]

Data point

Although the graduate labour market has been impacted as a whole it appears that graduates will fare better than others, with research conducted by the Institute for Student Employers finding that while firms are planning a 32% decrease in non-graduate hires they only plan to decrease graduate recruitment numbers by 12% as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. [Institute for Student Employers]

Global outlook

International students in Australia can seek temporary housing with Australia Homestay Network - taking inspiration from Study in Australia’s #InThisTogether campaign, the Australian Homestay Network has been  working to inform international students of the network of local Australian families who are willing to lend them support amid the coronavirus pandemic. Having been largely excluded from financial relief offered by the government, the International Student Support Network, established to provide short-term homestay accommodation, meals and safe home environments, is there for students in need of assistance. [Study International]

Research from the Luminate library

Why are some students unable to access work placements? - this research explores the demographic variations in work placement choices made by bioscience and chemistry students studying at Sheffield Hallam University. Researchers found that despite the benefits of a placement year, the majority (68%) of bioscience and chemistry students either chose not to participate in them or were unsuccessful in finding one. Interestingly, there were demographic differences, with findings suggesting that older students and those from BME backgrounds experienced more barriers than others, making those who are potentially most in need of placements the least likely to get them.

Download the full report

Demographic variations in placement choice

  • File type
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    33  pages
  • File size
    1.5 MB

Download the full report

Download PDF file Demographic variations in placement choice

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