Gloucestershire universities rank best in the south west for graduate employability

Gloucestershire is home to the top two universities for graduate employability in the whole of the south west, with Hartpury University and University of Gloucestershire ranking among the UK's best universities in the most recent Graduate Outcomes survey.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published

Two Gloucestershire universities have topped the south west's charts for graduate employability in the 2024 Graduate Outcomes survey.

Well exceeding the national average of 83 per cent, Hartpury University and University of Gloucestershire have achieved graduate employability ratings of 97 per cent and 95.3 per cent respectively — with most of its graduates in employment or higher education 15 months after completing their degree.

This positions Gloucestershire as the best region in the south west for graduate outcomes in 2024, with the survey reflecting the employment status of people who left university in 2022.

Graduate Outcomes is the UK's biggest annual social survey, compiled by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). It's designed to give current and future students an insight into prospective career destinations and development by capturing the perspectives and work status of recent graduates, 15 months after finishing their course. 

Notable results for Hartpury include 100 per cent of its agriculture undergraduates in employment, further study or other purposeful activity; 98 per cent of its equine undergraduates and sports undergraduates; 97 per cent of its animal undergraduates; and 93 per cent of its veterinary nursing undergraduates are in employment or further study, too.

100 per cent of postgraduates from its MSc Applied Strength & Conditioning, MSc Equine Science, MSc Sports Coaching and MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy, are all in employment, further study or other purposeful activity.

Hartpury University's vice chancellor, Professor Andy Collop, said: 'It’s an enormous honour to be named in the top 10 per cent of UK universities, equal first in the south west and number one in Gloucestershire for graduate employability.

'We’re delighted that the attributes of our graduates are helping them to secure dream jobs, progress into further study, and engage with projects and research that are having a meaningful impact within their respective industries.

'During their time at Hartpury University, we work hard to help students develop a range of skills alongside their academic knowledge, and this is clearly being recognised by employers who are seeking out well-rounded and highly skilled graduates.'

Meanwhile, the Graduate Outcomes survey found that 100 per cent of students from four undergraduate courses at the University of Gloucestershire have secured graduate-level jobs or pursued opportunities for further study: journalism, religion, philosophy and ethics, computer games programming and physiotherapy.

Other creative programmes, including sports journalism and popular music, also performed well, with over 90 per cent of recent graduates in employment or further education.

Vice chancellor Clare Marchant commented: 'These fields face particularly competitive job markets, yet 90 per cent to 100 per cent of our students surveyed on these programmes go on to graduate-level jobs or further study.

'This is a testament of the world-class talent of our graduates, as well as our ability to forge industry connections that set the foundations for fantastic careers.'

The University of Gloucestershire incorporates career development opportunities into its courses through work-related learning and extra-curricular activities. It also provides six months of free support to any graduate who's not in a job six months after leaving university, followed by the offer of a paid internship — with all graduates able to access lifetime career coaching through its careers team, too.

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