Tax Year 2017-18

Graduate outcomes (LEO): postgraduate outcomes

Published

This release focuses on outcomes in the 2017/18 tax year for those who graduated with a Level 7 (masters) or Level 8 (doctoral) postgraduate degree one, three, five and ten years after graduation from an English higher education institution (HEI).

Please note: The outcomes in this release are presented as raw figures. They do not seek to control for differences in graduate characteristics that may influence outcomes over time or across different graduate populations. 

This publication also references outcomes for first degree graduates. These are taken from the previous publication: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/graduate-outcomes-leo-2017-to-2018


Headline facts and figures - 2017-18

UK domiciled postgraduates

  • 2017/18 saw an increase in Level 7 (Masters level) postgraduate earnings one, three and five years after graduation, although earnings ten years after graduation saw no change in nominal terms.
  • For the years covered in this publication (2014/15 to 2017/18 tax year) median earnings for the most recent postgraduates (one year after graduation) increased by £1,400 (5.6%) and by £1,200 (3.9%) for the five years after graduation cohorts. However, in real terms recent postgraduates saw no increase in their median earnings and those five years after graduation saw a fall of £500.
  • Five years after graduation, level 7 postgraduates earn more than first degree graduates (£32,200 compared to £26,600). However those who continue onto postgraduate study are a non-random subset of the first degree population and these figures do not control for differences in the characteristics of those who continue to postgraduate study.
  • The absolute increase in earnings between 2014/15 and 2017/18 for Level 7 postgraduates five years after graduation is largely equal for males and females but the gender gap is larger than that seen for first degree graduates. Five years after graduation male Level 7 graduates earn 19.1% more than females compared to first degree graduates where males earn 14.3% more than females.

 

International graduates

  • For EU domiciled graduates, those who completed a Level 8 qualification were more likely to be in sustained employment and/or further study in the UK after graduation compared to those who completed a Level 7 (taught) qualification. For example, 43.9% of Level 8 graduates were in sustained employment and/or further study one year after graduation compared to 35.3% of Level 7 (taught) graduates. This pattern is also true for Non-EU graduates where 28.9% of Level 8 graduates were in sustained employment and/or further study one year after graduation compared to 13.0% of Level 7 (taught) graduates.
  • Overall, within each study level, Non-EU domiciled graduates were less likely to be in sustained employment and/or further study in the UK than EU domiciled graduates. However, when looking at those who graduated with a Level 7 (taught) qualification ten years after graduation, nearly the same proportion of EU (18.1%) and Non-EU (17.6%) domiciled graduates were still working and/or studying in the UK.
  • Median earnings five years after graduation for Non-EU domiciled Level 7 graduates are in line with those for UK domiciled graduates (£32,100 compared to £32,200).  Whereas earnings for EU graduates are higher at £35,000.
  • However, this pattern varies by English region.  London has a similar picture to the overall national data but in a number of regions UK domiciled graduates have the highest regional earnings. This is particularly noticeable in the more northern regions. For example, in the North West median earnings for UK domiciled graduates are £29,600 compared to £27,400 for EU graduates and £26,600 for Non-EU graduates.

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Key statistics

Since the 2014/15 tax year, there has been a modest increase in earnings five years after graduation for Level 7 (taught) graduates, with the absolute increase largely equal for males and females. For males, the increase in average earnings was £1,400 and for females it was £1,500 five years after graduation. The biggest rise for females occurred in the last tax year, whereas the biggest rise for males occurred in 2016/17.

The gender gap is larger than that seen for first degree graduates. Five years after graduation, male Level 7 graduates earn 19.1% more than females compared to first degree graduates where males earn 14.3% more than females.

On average, the increase in earnings for Level 8 graduates did not fall equally between males and females – the £1,100 increase in average earnings for males over this period was more than double the £400 increase for females. 

UK postgraduates - employment outcomes

This section focuses on the employment and/or further study outcomes of UK postgraduates from English Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) at one, three, five and ten years after graduation for the 2017/18 tax year. Employment and/or further study outcomes for UK postgraduates are calculated as a percentage of those matched to CIS or a HESA further study record. 

The chart below shows the proportion of Level 7 (taught), Level 7 (research) and Level 8 graduates whose activity was not captured, who had no sustained destination, who were in sustained employment, or who were in further study (with or without sustained employment). 

At one and three years after graduation, the proportion of UK postgraduates in further study (with or without sustained employment) is particularly high for Level 7 (research) graduates. This proportion falls by ten years after graduation as the number in sustained employment increases, reflecting the movement of these graduates from further study to employment. A small proportion of Level 8 graduates are also listed as being in further study.

At all years after graduation, the proportion of Level 8 graduates whose activity was not captured (i.e. no benefits/employment or study records were found in that tax year) was higher than that of Level 7 graduates. This may reflect the movement of these Level 8 graduates in seeking employment outside of the UK. 

Regardless of the level of study, the proportion of graduates in sustained employment, further study or both was generally higher for females than for males. This corresponds with a higher proportion of males whose activity was not captured for each level of study. 

UK postgraduates - earnings

This section focuses on the median earnings of UK postgraduates from English HEI's in sustained employment at one, three, five and ten years after graduation for the 2017/18 tax year. 

The chart below shows the earnings of Level 7 (taught), Level 7 (research) and Level 8 graduates. In all boxplots throughout this release, the middle grey line indicates the median earnings figure and the boxes either side of the grey line indicate the interquartile range (the range between the upper and lower quartile values).  

For all levels of study, median earnings were higher ten years after graduation compared to one year after graduation. Level 7 (taught) earnings were £26,600 one year after graduation and £33,900 ten years after graduation. Level 7 (research) earnings were £28,800 one year after graduation and £36,100 ten years after graduation. Level 8 earnings were £32,500 one year after graduation and £42,000 ten years after graduation. 

At each time point after graduation, Level 8 graduates had higher median earnings than Level 7 graduates, Level 7 (research) had slightly higher median earnings than Level 7 (taught) graduates, except at the five years after graduation point. The gap between Level 8 and Level 7 (taught) was £5,900 one year after graduation compared to £8,100 ten years after graduation. Meanwhile, the gap between Level 7 (research) and Level 7 (taught) was £2,200 and remained the same ten years after graduation. 

Level 7 (taught) graduate earnings

To compare between tax years, the tables below shows the median earnings of Level 7 (taught) graduates from 2014/15 to 2017/18 tax years in nominal and real terms.

Earnings in real terms are adjusted for inflation to better reflect what an individual can afford to buy with those earnings. To calculate real earnings, nominal earnings are divided by the inflation rate for that year.

Nominal earnings increased between the two time periods for those who graduated one, three and five years ago. The increase from the 2014/15 to the 2017/18 tax year was £1,400 (5.6%) for the one year after graduation cohorts, £1,500 (5.3%) for the three years after graduation cohorts and £1,200 (3.9%) for the five years after graduation cohorts. There was no change in earnings for those who graduated ten years ago. 

The increase in earnings between the tax years for Level 7 (taught) graduates is less than the increase seen for those who graduated with a first degree (as presented in our previous publication here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/graduate-outcomes-leo-2017-to-2018. ). Earnings one year after graduation for those who graduated with a first degree rose 12.1% between 2014/15 to 2017/18. 

Median real earnings of Level 7 (taught) graduates one, three, five and ten years after graduation, 2014/15 to 2017/18 tax years

Years after graduation2014-152015-162016-172017-18
Median real earnings 1 YAG25,20025,10025,10025,200
Median real earnings 3 YAG28,10028,70027,90028,100
Median real earnings 5 YAG31,00030,90030,60030,500
Median real earnings 10 YAG33,90033,70032,90032,100

The adjustment for inflation used the 2014/15 tax year as a base year, hence real earnings in this year are presented as equal to nominal earnings. For 2015/16 to 2017/18 nominal earnings were adjusted using Consumer Price Index inflation rates at the end of each tax year relative to the end of the previous tax year. 

The table above shows that in real terms, the cohorts further into their careers saw a decrease in earnings between the 2014/15 and 2017/18 tax years, whereas those who graduated more recently (one and three years ago) saw no change in real earnings across the four years. From 2014/15 to 2017/18, the difference was £500 less for the five years after graduation cohort and £1,800 less for ten years after graduation (compared with a nominal increase of £1,200 for five years after graduation, but no nominal increase for ten years after graduation). This shows that whilst average earnings are generally on the rise, the value of these earnings in terms of the goods and services that they can buy has not increased over the last four years.

The chart below illustrates the differences in nominal earnings for all four points after graduation.

Level 8 graduate earnings

We also see a similar pattern with Level 8 earnings over time, as shown in the tables below. There were some increases in graduate earnings between the tax years in nominal terms. The difference from the 2014/15 to the 2017/18 tax year was £1,800 (5.9%) for the one year after graduation cohorts, £1,100 (3.2%) for the three years after graduation cohorts and £400 (1.1% and 1.0%) for the five and ten years after graduation cohorts.  

Meanwhile, in real terms, all but one cohort saw a decrease in earnings between the 2014/15 and 2017/18 tax years. From 2014/15 to 2017/18, the difference was £100 more for the one year after graduation cohorts (compared with a nominal increase of £1,800), £700 less for the three years after graduation cohorts (compared with a nominal increase of £1,100), £1,500 less for the three years after graduation cohorts (compared with nominal increase of £400) and £1,800 less for the ten years after graduation cohorts, (compared with a nominal increase of £400). As with Level 7 (taught) graduate earnings, nominal earnings appear to be increasing, but their value in real terms is has recently been declining.

The chart below illustrates the differences in nominal earnings for all four points after graduation.

Median real earnings (£) of Level 8 graduates one, three, five and ten years after graduation, 2014/15 to 2017/18 tax years

 Years after graduation2014-152015-162016-172017-18
Median earnings 1 YAG30,70030,90030,80030,800
Median earnings 3 YAG33,90033,80033,30033,200
Median earnings 5 YAG36,50035,90035,40035,000
Median earnings 10 YAG41,60041,80041,00039,800

UK postgraduates - earnings by sex

This section focuses on the median earnings of UK postgraduates in the 2017/18 tax year, split by sex.

Regardless of the level of study, males had higher median earnings than females. The difference between male and female earnings was less for Level 7 (taught) (£5,800) compared to Level 8 (£6,200). 

There is a mixed picture when comparing male and female earnings five years after graduation across tax years. Males continue to earn substantially more than female postgraduates and this difference is bigger than the gap seen for first degree graduates. However, female earnings increased slightly more than males’ earnings over the four year period (by £1,500 compared to £1,400) and the biggest increase for females occurred in the last tax year.

For Level 8 graduates, overall average earnings five years after graduation stayed the same (£36,400) between 2014/15 and 2017/18. However there was a bigger difference in the change between genders, with males earning £1,100 more on average in 2017/18 than 2014/15, whilst females earned just £400 more than they did in 2014/15.

For the small number of Level 7 (research) graduates, average earnings five years after graduation also gave a mixed picture, with male graduates earning the same in 2014/15 as they are in 2017/18, and female graduates earning £400 more. Again, males were still generally earning more than female graduates. 

UK postgraduates - subject level employment outcomes

This section focuses on the employment and/or further study outcomes of UK postgraduates from English HEIs five years after graduation for the 2017/18 tax year, split by subject.

Due to the small numbers taking Level 7 (research) degrees, these subject level breakdowns are not shown separately. Instead, outcomes for all Level 7 courses (i.e. Level 7 (taught) and Level 7 (research) are combined for each subject. In addition, PGCE and MBA graduates have been separated out rather than including them in the relevant subject breakdowns. 

Employment outcomes data on Level 8 graduates can be found in the tables accompanying this release. 

The chart below shows the proportion of Level 7 graduates whose activity was not captured, who had no sustained destination, who were in sustained employment, or who were in further study (with or without sustained employment). 

Graduates with a PGCE had the highest level of sustained employment only (80.9%). With the exception of Celtic Studies (where the graduate numbers are very small) language graduates had the lowest level of sustained employment only (60.3%). Languages, linguistics and classics graduates also had the highest proportion classified as activity not captured (20.8%). This is not surprising as, given the nature of their degrees, it is more likely that these graduates would seek employment overseas. Graduates in Nursing and midwifery (5.6%), Health and social care (6.2%) and Medical sciences (7.8%) had the lowest levels of activity not captured. 

Graduates with an MBA (4.7%), Architecture (5.4%) or Business and management (5.5%) had the lowest proportion of graduates in further study, while graduates in Pharmacology, toxicology and pharmacy (22.3%), Psychology (20.3%) and Combined general studies (19.0%) had the highest proportion of graduates in further study. 

Overall, females are more likely than males to be in sustained employment, further study or both, however comparing between females and males by subject, 17 subjects had a higher proportion of female graduates in sustained employment, further study or both and 20 subjects had a higher proportion of male graduates in sustained employment, further study or both the table below. The higher overall percentage for females is because a much higher proportion of females study the subject with the best employment outcomes (e.g. PGCE). The difference between females and males was small for subjects such as Medical sciences and Performing arts (both 0.1%) but larger for other subjects such as Chemistry and Veterinary sciences (both 7.0%).  

UK postgraduates - subject level earnings

This section focuses on the median earnings of UK postgraduates from English HEIs in sustained employment five years after graduation for the 2017/18 tax year, split by subject and sex.

As with the employment outcomes, these subject level breakdowns include all of the Level 7 data rather than splitting by taught or research. PGCE and MBA graduates have been highlighted rather than including them in the relevant subject breakdowns. 

Only Level 7 graduates have been included in this section. Subject level earnings data for Level 8 graduates can be found in the tables accompanying this release. 

The chart below shows the earnings of Level 7 graduates; data may be omitted in the chart due to the suppression of categories with low numbers of graduates. 

Median earnings were highest for those with a Masters in Business Administration (£62,400) and lowest for those who studied Creative arts and design (£22,300). Large variability in interquartile earnings can be seen from subject to subject. For example, graduates with an MBA had an interquartile range of £58,100, compared with £10,900 for Chemistry graduates and £12,000 for PGCE graduates. 

Comparing between females and males, males had higher median earnings in all but three subjects (Chemistry, Veterinary sciences and Creative arts and design). The difference between female and male earnings varied heavily between subjects. The smallest difference between female and male median earnings was for Chemistry (£700), in which females were paid more than males on average. The largest difference was for Masters in Business Administration (£19,800), in which males had significantly higher earnings on average than females. This was closely followed by Medicine and dentistry, with a difference of £17,500.

UK postgraduates - region level earnings

This section focuses on the median earnings of UK postgraduates from English HEIs in sustained employment five years after graduation for the 2017/18 tax year, split by the region that they live in after graduation.

These region level breakdowns include all of the Level 7 data rather than splitting by taught or research. Only Level 7 graduates have been included in this section. Region level earnings data for Level 8 graduates can be found in the tables accompanying this release.

Level 7 graduates from English providers currently living in Scotland had the highest median earnings one year after graduation. London had the highest median earnings for three, five and ten years after graduation and also sees the highest absolute increase in median earnings from one to ten years after graduation (£11,000)

Median earnings of graduates from English providers currently living in  the North West were the lowest one and five years after graduation, Northern Ireland was the lowest  three years after graduation (of the English regions the South West was the lowest) and the South West as the lowest  ten years after graduation. The English region with the lowest absolute increase in median earnings between one and ten years after graduation was the South West (£6,200). 

The chart below illustrates this.

Comparing between females and males five years after graduation, males had higher median earnings in all regions. The difference between female and male earnings varied between regions. The smallest difference between female and male median earnings was in the North East (£2,900; 9.8%) and the largest absolute difference amongst English regions was in the East of England and the South East (both £7,300; 24.1%).

Comparing over time, the table below shows earnings of Level 7 graduates five years after graduation across the last four tax years.

Across the English regions, earnings five years after graduation in London showed the largest absolute increase between 2014/15 and 2017/18 (£2,200) whilst the North East showed the biggest increase in percentage terms (6.6%; £1,900). Earnings in the South West showed the smallest absolute and percentage increase (£700; 2.4%).

To illustrate how regional differences, vary by subject studied, the chart below plots median earnings for the English region with the highest median earnings (London) against that with the lowest (North West). Data for all other regions are available in the accompanying excel table.

The chart below shows that regional variation in earnings vary by subject studied. With the exception of four subjects (medicine and dentistry, combined and general studies, chemistry and pharmacology), earnings are higher for graduates of all subjects in London. The largest differences are for MBA, Economics and Law graduates.

UK postgraduates - comparison with first degree graduates

At first glance earnings for Level 7 graduates are higher than those who completed a first degree.  Five years after graduation median earnings for Level 7 (taught) graduates were £32,200 compared to £26,600 for first degree graduates who completed their qualification in the same academic year. 

The earnings for Level 7 graduates in certain subjects also appear substantially higher than the earnings of first degree graduates in the same subjects. For example, first degree Business and management graduates had median earnings of £27,700 five years after graduation compared with £39,400 for those who completed a Level 7 qualification in the same academic year. 

Earnings for level 7 graduates were higher in most subject areas although there are subjects where the first-degree graduates had higher earnings. For example, Medicine and dentistry first degree graduates had median earnings of £49,300 five years after graduation compared with £42,000 for those who completed a Level 7 qualification in the same academic year. 

It must be noted that this difference cannot solely be attributed to the impact of having a postgraduate degree. The first-degree graduates that go on to study at postgraduate level are a non-random subset of the first-degree population, typically being the higher attaining graduates. For more detail on the comparison between first degree and postgraduate outcomes, please refer to the first postgraduate outcomes LEO publication published in May 2018.

It is possible that differences in the regional distribution of postgraduates might also impact the differences in earnings seen between Level 7 graduates and first-degree graduates.  However, this does not seem to be the case, five years after graduation the regional distribution of those who had completed a Level 7 postgraduate qualification was very similar to those who had completed a first degree. Almost one quarter lived in London (23.1% of Level 7 compared to 23.4% of first degree) and the English region with the lowest proportion was the North East (4.0% and 4.1% respectively).

For both groups of graduates those living in London have the highest median earnings five years after graduation (£36,900 for Level 7 compared to £31,400 for first degree graduates).  However, the difference in median earnings between London and the region in England with the lowest earnings for Level 7 graduates (the North West) five years after graduation was £7,300. This is a smaller difference than the difference in median earnings for first degree graduates. For first degree graduates the difference between London and the North east (the English region with the lowest first-degree earnings) was £8,000. 

the postgraduate ‘premium’ also varied between regions, with a bigger increase in earnings for Level 7 graduates generally seen outside London in the more northern regions. In London median earnings for Level 7 graduates were £5,500 (17.5%) higher than that of first degree graduates. Whereas in the North East median earnings for Level 7 graduates were £7,300 (31.2%).

International postgraduates - employment outcomes

This section focuses on the employment and/or further study outcomes of international postgraduates at English HEIs one, three, five and ten years after graduation for the 2017/18 tax year. Employment and/or further study outcomes for the UK postgraduates are calculated as a percentage of all graduates within the specified academic years. 

As in other LEO releases, there is comparatively poor LEO coverage for international domiciled graduates compared to UK domiciled graduates. This is because LEO relies on graduates having been issued with a National Insurance number to match them to an employment record. However, international students who have no intention of working or claiming benefits in the UK are less likely to apply for a National Insurance number and so would not appear in the LEO data. 

It is important to emphasise that the results presented in this release do not reflect the likelihood of an international graduate being in employment or achieving a certain level of earnings. Instead, they reflect the average outcome when an international graduate has remained in the UK. 

The chart below shows the proportion of Level 7 (taught), Level 7 (research) and Level 8 graduates who were not matched to CIS or a further study record, whose activity was not captured, who had no sustained destination, who were in sustained employment, or who were in further study (with or without sustained employment). 

Match rates for both EU and Non-EU domiciled postgraduates were low ten years after graduation but improved slightly for the cohorts who graduated one, three and five years ago. In line with the UK domiciled results, the proportion of EU and Non-EU postgraduates in further study (with or without sustained employment) is particularly high for Level 7 (research). This proportion falls by ten years after graduation as the number in sustained employment increases, reflecting the movement of these Level 7 graduates from further study to employment.

For EU domiciled graduates, those who completed a Level 8 qualification were more likely to be in sustained employment and/or further study in the UK after graduation compared to those who completed a Level 7 (taught) qualification. For example, 43.9% of Level 8 graduates were in sustained employment and/or further study one year after graduation compared to 35.3% of Level 7 (taught) graduates. This pattern is also true for Non-EU graduates where 28.9% of Level 8 graduates were in sustained employment and/or further study one year after graduation compared to 13.0% of Level 7 (taught) graduates.

Overall, Non-EU domiciled graduates were less likely to be in sustained employment and/or further study in the UK than EU domiciled graduates. However, when looking at those who graduated with a Level 7 (taught) qualification ten years after graduation, nearly the same proportion of EU (18.1%) and Non-EU (17.6%) domiciled graduates were still working and/or studying in the UK.

When comparing over time, the percentage of EU domiciled Level 7 (taught) graduates in sustained employment and/or further study has increased between the 2014/15 and 2017/18 tax years; all cohorts saw an increase of almost 2 percentage points across the four years. For Non-EU domiciled graduates, the picture is mixed and appears to depend much more on the individual cohort. For instance, three years after graduation, the proportion in sustained employment and/or further study decreased by 7.3 percentage points between 2014/15 and 2017/18, whilst ten years after graduation, the proportion increased by 3.0 percentage points.

Similarly, when comparing Level 8 graduates over time, the percentage of EU domiciled graduates in sustained employment and/or further study has increased overall between the 2014/15 and 2017/18 tax years. For Non-EU domiciled graduates, the picture is mixed and appears to depend much more on the individual cohort. For instance, three years after graduation, the proportion in sustained employment and/or further study decreased by 1.5 percentage points between 2014/15 and 2017/18, whilst ten years after graduation, the proportion increased by 2.7 percentage points.

In line with the UK domiciled results, female Level 7, EU domiciled graduates were more likely to be in sustained employment, further study or both than male EU domiciled graduates. The same is true for Level 8 Non-EU domiciled graduates. However, for Non-EU domiciled Level 7 (taught) graduates males were more likely to be in sustained employment than females. 

International postgraduates - earnings

This section focuses on the median earnings of international postgraduates from English HEIs in sustained employment at one, three, five and ten years after graduation for the 2017/18 tax year. 

The chart below shows the earnings of Level 7 (taught) graduates. Only Level 7 (taught) graduates have been included in this section, and earnings data for Level 7 (research) and Level 8 graduates can be found in the tables accompanying this release. UK graduates have also been included in the chart for comparison with international graduates. 

In line with the UK domiciled results, median earnings were higher for all levels of study ten years after graduation compared to one year after graduation. For UK graduates, Level 7 (taught) earnings were £26,600 one year after graduation and £33,900 ten years after graduation. This compares with £27,700 and £39,800 respectively for EU graduates, and £27,700 and £35,800 for Non-EU graduates.

Looking at changes over time in the table below, every cohort of both EU and Non-EU domiciled graduates who have remained in employment in the UK has seen their earnings go up between 2014/15 and 2017/18. The largest increases for EU domiciled graduates was one and five years after graduation, both increasing by £2,900.

For Non-EU graduates, the increase in average earnings over time was highest for the three years after graduation cohort, with a rise of £4,400. This was closely followed by the one year after graduation cohort, which experienced a rise of £4,000 between 2014/15 and 2017/18.

International postgraduates - earnings by sex

For EU and Non-EU domiciled graduates, regardless of the level of study, males had higher median earnings than females. The difference between female and male earnings was highest for EU domiciled Level 7 (taught) graduates (£8,400) and was lowest for Non-EU domiciled Level 7 (research) graduates (£2,000).

International postgraduates - region level analysis

This section focuses on regional variation in the employment and earnings outcomes of UK, EU and Non-EU domiciled Level 7 postgraduates. Only Level 7 (taught) graduates have been included in this section, and data for Level 7 (research) and Level 8 graduates can be found in the tables accompanying this release. 

The regional distribution of EU and Non-EU graduates that stayed in England is very different to that of UK domiciled graduates. Of the Level 7 graduates living in England five years after graduation 56.8% of EU domiciled graduates lived in London, compared to 37.1% of Non-EU domiciled graduates. This is much higher than the UK domiciled graduates where, of those living in England, 24.7% lived in London five years after graduation.

The second most popular English region for Level 7 postgraduates was the South East of England, with 11.8% of EU domiciled graduates and 11.1% for Non-EU domiciled, and 15.3% for UK domiciled graduates. The region with the least EU domiciled graduates living in was the North East of England, with 1.8% (compared to 5.1% for non-EU and 4.3% for UK graduates). The lowest proportion of non-EU domiciled graduates were residing in the South West (4.2%) with a similar percentage of EU graduates (4.1%) and 8.2% of UK domiciled graduates.  

Non-EU level 7 graduates were generally more evenly spread around England than EU graduates.

Median earnings five years after graduation for Non-EU domiciled Level 7 graduates are in line with those for UK domiciled graduates (£32,100 compared to £32,200). Whereas earnings for EU graduates are higher at £35,000. 

However, this pattern varies by English region.  London has a similar picture to the overall national data but in a number of regions UK domiciled graduates have the highest regional earnings, this is particularly noticeable in the more northern regions. For example, in the North West median earnings for UK domiciled graduates are £29,600 compared to £27,400 for EU graduates and £26,600 for Non-EU graduates.

International postgraduates - employment outcomes by country

This section focuses on the employment and/or further study outcomes of international postgraduates five years after graduation for the 2017/18 tax year, concentrating specifically on the twenty countries with the largest international graduate populations. 

The top twenty countries by graduate population were initially identified from the 2017/18 tax year, one year after graduation. These countries were then used for subsequent analysis to allow for comparison between the remaining tax and academic years. This country level analysis was only performed on Level 7 graduates. The chart below shows the proportion of Level 7 graduates who were in sustained employment, further study or both. 

Irrespective of domicile, the proportion of graduates in sustained employment, further study or both varied considerably between country. Of the EU countries, Italy had the highest proportion in sustained employment, further study or both (36%) and Cyprus had the lowest proportion (14.1%). Of the Non-EU countries, Pakistan had the highest proportion in sustained employment, further study or both (31%) and Thailand had the lowest proportion (5%). 

International postgraduates - earnings by country

This section focuses on the median earnings of international postgraduates five years after graduation for the 2017/18 tax year, concentrating specifically on the twenty countries with the largest international graduate populations. This country level analysis was only performed on Level 7 graduates. The chart below shows the earnings of Level 7 graduates.

For the EU countries, there was only a small amount of variability in earnings with Germany having the highest median earnings (£38,300) while Spain and Ireland having the lowest median earnings (£33,900). For the Non-EU countries, there was a larger amount of variability in earnings with Canada having the highest median earnings (£37,600) and Pakistan having the lowest median earnings (£21,900). For comparison, UK domiciled Level 7 median earnings were £327,700 five years after graduation. 

There was also variability in the interquartile range of earnings between countries (Table 17). Saudi Arabia had the smallest interquartile range (£17,300) while Canada had the largest interquartile range (£36,900). 

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