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UCU Scotland welcomes graduate employment figures

3 September 2009

UCU Scotland welcomed new figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) that revealed the vast majority of Scottish graduates find employment in Scotland and are satisfied with their jobs.

The union said that a university education offered students so many opportunities and added that more graduates made for a better society. UCU urged the Scottish government to find increased funding for universities to increase the graduate workforce to the level of other Western European countries.

The union said that the importance of universities in Scotland is emphasised as 83.8% of postgraduate leavers and 79.2% of first degree leavers who attended institutions in Scotland were working there after three and half years. Whereas only about 1% of graduates from other UK countries worked in Scotland. Further 86.9% of respondents said they were satisfied with their careers to date.

UCU Scotland vice-president Gordon Watson said 'We have always argued that university has the power to improve people's quality of life. However, these figures show that Scottish graduates stay in Scotland in satisfying employment. There is a clear economic case to be made for investing in our graduates. Aside from the obvious benefits of more teachers, nurses, doctors, engineers etc, graduates are less likely to commit crimes, they are less likely to be a burden on the NHS and less likely to stretch the creaking benefits system.

'We are pleased that so many graduates are finding satisfying jobs in Scotland and we now need to work harder to ensure that more people have the opportunity to experience university and the benefits it can bring. Those opportunities must not be restricted by student hardship which leads to increased drop-out rates for our poorest students. The Scottish government needs to be bold and make the case for university education and to properly fund it, increasing graduate employment to the level of our competitor nations.'

Further details and the report can be found from the HESA press release.

Last updated: 11 December 2015