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York students reap benefits of University-wide focus on employability

The number of University of York graduates in employment six months after graduating has improved dramatically over the last year.

Thanks to a University-wide campaign, spear-headed by the University’s Careers team, York gained an employability rating of 93.8 per cent for students graduating in 2012, in a survey conducted by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Students gain valuable insight from professionals across the sectors of Arts & Heritage, Public & Third Sector and Consultancy at the Spring term Professional Connect event (image credit: Mark Woodward)
New figures published this month show that York has risen to 31st position out of 151 UK institutions from 66th the previous year. It now ranks 6th in the influential Russell Group of UK Universities, putting it ahead of other top universities such as Oxford, University College London, Durham and Warwick for employability.

The Employment Indicator is based on the Destinations of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) survey. This aims to contact UK and EU domiciled graduates of UK universities six months after graduation to establish what type of employment or further study they are engaged in. It expresses the numbers of graduates who say they are working or studying (or both) as a percentage of all those who are working or studying or seeking work.

Liz Smith, Director of the University’s Careers team, said: “More of our graduates are getting jobs and that is fantastic news. Over the last three years York has launched a number of new projects and initiatives to support the employability of our students, and I'm delighted to see that our graduates are reaping the rewards.”

Over the last three years York has launched a number of new projects and initiatives to support the employability of our students

Liz Smith

York’s improved performance on employability reflects the success of the University-wide Student Employability Strategy launched for the 2011/12 cohort of students. This successfully raised the profile of employability for both staff and students, and led to the development of an Employability Tutorial - an online tutorial that guides students through the process of developing their skills and experience. The tutorial is used by around 70 per cent of undergraduates, and has been shortlisted for two major national awards.

A marketing campaign around ‘Making the most of your time’ has encouraged students to engage with activities such as York Students in Schools, York Students in Communities and internships. In addition, Professional Connect, organised by the University’s Careers team and Development and Alumni Relations Office, as well as the University of York’s Students’ Union and the Graduate Students’ Association, has provided opportunities for students to network with alumni and other professionals.  

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